Last quarter, I completed BISMCS 333: Media and Communication Studies, the core class for the UWB Media & Communication studies major. Taught by Amoshaun Toft, the class covered many different aspects of communications, media, and policy, all while putting them in a 21st-century context. As part of our final project, each group created a communication object to share with the rest of the class, also to be showcased to the public in a way of our choosing. Initially, groups were assigned to research and discuss topics of gender, race or class within the media. The research turned to analysis, which then turned into the object, presentation and reflection. Communication objects groups chose to create included Twitter accounts, memes, informational/satirical posters, and web sites–which I’d like to take a moment to discuss.
All of the student work was creative, impressive and fantastically put together. Although, working in Learning Technologies made me automatically pay close attention to the sites some groups created using WordPress and Wix. Usually whenever these sites appear in the classroom, they are being used as the course website (a great example of this is Professor Toft’s site for that class). Using these sites and others like it for student projects is a bit less common. However, all of these groups pulled it off and created some great sites. If you are wondering how to use blog hosting sites in your classroom, or if you just want to be inspired by awesome student work, read on:
Last month, we announced the coming release of the UW Blogs Network for faculty and staff, powered by WordPress. For those of you who couldn’t wait to get started on your own UW blog, we have good news: it’s now available! By going to blogs.uw.edu, you can learn more or start creating your own UW WordPress-powered blog. Please note that you must activate the UW Blog Network through your myUW account (these steps will be covered in the second half of the post).
We at Learning Technologies would like to help get you started. If you continue reading, we will provide a quick step-by-step tutorial on getting started with a UW blog. If you feel you need to get a little more inspired first, check out some existing UW Blogs.
Update: Thanks to the UW Bothell Web Team for informing us about the custom Bothell theme that has been developed for UW Bothell pages. See below for details on changing the default theme.
UW IT will soon be releasing a new “UW Blogs” service that allows faculty and staff to easily create WordPress blogs under the UW network. This new feature will make blogging with WordPress on a UW web server much easier. Previously, one had to manually install WordPress on their department page which required some knowledge of MySQL and Unix. With this new blogging service, faculty and staff can easily create a blog on the UW network with WordPress by simply activating the service under MyUW and logging in with their UW NetID.
Currently, UW Blogs is beta testing and is not public yet. More information can be found at the UW Blogs Documentation site.
UW Blogs can be accessed at blogs.uw.edu.