5 Things to know about Edublogs/WP and New Google Sites

Thinking about platforms for public-facing student work? Each has its own pros and cons, and there are several key factors to think about:

  1. What are the platform’s policies for how the data are stored, and what are the possibilities to export the work to another platform?
  2. How easy is it to work with a given platform (interface, navigability, collaborative functions)?
  3. Are there associated costs? Is the platform freemium, free in the educational context but paid after leaving the college?

To help students, staff, and faculty make their own decisions on what is right for them, I put together these handouts. One covers Edublogs, which is our college subscription for WordPress and the New Google Sites, which is available to everyone at Carleton via our institutional license.

Image of handout with 5 tips for using Edublogs. PDF download available on click.

image of handout with 5 tips for using New Google Sites. PDF download on click.

 

Digital portfolios at Carleton

See Janet’s Blog by clicking here.

This is my inaugural post from a Carleton College blog. Carleton uses the WordPress (WP) Edublog platform  and I’ve chosen the template called Blogghiamo. I’ve chosen this particular template because it is the template we are using for the students in the OCS digital portfolio project. After I play with this template a bit I’ll likely pick one that is more suited to the sorts of posts and pages I’ll be doing for our work in Academic Technology but it’s fun to take this template for a drive!

There are several portfolio initiatives on Carleton’s campus. Probably everyone is aware of the Writing Program Portfolio and the good work coming out of that, but I want to focus in this post on a couple of the digital portfolio pilots that are happening.

Helena Kaufman and Cynthia Shearer are doing some interesting exploratory work with a small group of students doing a term abroad. These students were introduced to WP in Spring Term 2015 and collected artifacts for their portfolios while they were gone in Fall Term of 2015. Those students are now back on campus and are meeting with Helena and Cynthia to begin to make sense of their experience and share their reflections in their portfolios. AT Associate, Eric Mistry, is meeting with the students to help them with any WP issues. Eric is also well positioned to help students reflect on their time abroad because of his own travels as a student which are preserved on the blog he kept at that time. Eric’s current blog is also a good read and you can access it here.

OCSportfolio

Melissa Eblen-Zayas has two goals for the digital portfolio pilot she and the physics department are doing. A small group of volunteer students are documenting their physics work in their WP blogs and those blogs will serve as a robust resume for students and as a method of departmental assessment for physics. One of the keys to making this work for departmental assessment is the careful and consistent use of the tags the department agreed upon. These tags will allow the department to search and sort student posts into meaningful categories. The tag categories are: Topical Area, Project Type, and Objectives. For example a student might tag a post: Classical Mechanics, Computational, Apply/integrate physics knowledge to understand real problems.

Both these digital portfolio efforts are in early stages and I’ll report back from time to time on their progress.

WordPress is a powerful tool and can be just the right tool for a digital portfolio. If you want to think with us in Academic Technology about how WP night work for you please track us down!

Winter Workshop 2015: “Technology to Engage in Public Scholarship”

A group of almost 30 faculty and staff met December 1st and 2nd to think about technologies used in public scholarship. Throughout the two days, participants:

·   Gained an overview of public scholarship and learned about sites to publish their work

·   Gained an overview, including the strengths and challenges, of 5 technologies: Omeka, WordPress, Reason, Wikipedia, and GIS

·   Explored two of the above technologies in a hands-on workshop

·   Learned about image use, copyright, data management, text formatting, and exit strategies for online work

·   Learned about available resources/support in Academic Technology, the Library, and CCCE

·   Were invited to join a technology circle to support those working with a specific tool

 

One of our goals for this year was to usefully collect and curate a large inventory of resources for each of the technologies explored in the workshop. We created a page to make it easy for participants to access the information they needed during the workshop and beyond, to make the information accessible to those who were unable to attend, and to allow us to share resources beyond simple printouts. Check out the page by clicking here and check out the large variety of useful resources available. If you’d like to learn more about using a particular technology in your classes or professional role, just contact us at Academic Technology.

Over the two days of the Workshop, we spent the morning sessions discussing data management practices, using images effectively, copyright,  writing for the web, and overviews of the five featured technologies for the workshops. Each afternoon was a long hands-on session with one of the five featured technologies. Participants were able to get a strong introduction to the technology, work on a project of their choice, and have close personal instruction from the resident experts on their technology. (For the sessions they weren’t able to attend, the resources are available here!) In between sessions, breakfast and lunch were open for mingling and networking; we enjoyed seeing the discussions from the sessions spill into the discussions around the lunch tables.

Overall, we really enjoyed helping to host and lead the Winter Workshop. We hope the Winter Workshop Resources Website continues to grow and adapt as a useful resource for using technology to help engage in Public Scholarship. We’re also analyzing our feedback forms to help produce better workshops every time we produce them. Enjoy pictures from the event below!