Today I introduced a load of my students to the joys of blogging. Well when I say blogging, it was the starting point where we opened up the blogging application and figured out how to set the name of the site and to set up appropriate categories.
We are using WordPress hosted somewhat experimentally on the DMU Commons systems. The aim is to give staff and students alike a chance to share their thoughts and observations about the work that they do and the material that they are producing for their coursework. With any luck this will be a useful resource where learners can build a profile that can be recognised within the media industry where the great work that they do is seen and picked-up by people who are looking for talent and want to employ the next generation of technically savvy and smart media producers.
There’s a sense of apprehension so far about what they can write about, but I have a real feeling that once the learners get into their stride, and they start to gain some confidence after they have seen each others posts, I really think that there will be a buzz around the site.
We are aggregating the posts that are connected with radio production in one site at http:radio.our.dmu.ac.uk
WordPress is a very flexible site with the opportunity to install lots of plug-ins on the sites that you host for yourself. We have to restrict the level of plug-ins on this site because we are expecting so many people to use it. But Owen Williams who is hosting this site is very keen to add more plug-ins if there is a clear use and demand for them.
The syndication plug-in has been an interesting experience for me to get to grips with. It’s never straight-forward to adapt and change the setting, but I think I’ve now figured out how to add the individual RSS feeds from each of the blogs that my students produce and then tag with an appropriate category. It might not be the best way to do this, but it works for the moment. I’m not sure that a site like this is intended to host many hundreds of students work, but it’s worth having a go to see how far we can take it.
So, over the next couple of weeks and months, I’m looking forward to a whole host of interesting blogs to read, an explosion of social media feeds and posts, and a strong sense that we are all sharing our experience and learning from one another.