WordPress-fu for the entry-level edupunk

The above is the title of a workshop proposal I’ve submitted for Ascilite this year. It occurred to me that I did quite a lot of workshoppy practice-sharing type work around what I was doing with games-based learning and Moodle stuffs but (largely for baby-related reasons) I haven’t done much at all with where my focus has been for the last while, which is building outside-the-box (I hate the phrase but in this case it’s more or less literal if you take ‘box’ to mean ‘institutional VLE’) spaces for doing cool stuff in WordPress. Which seems remiss of me given WordPress is free and dead easy to use and lets you do cool stuff but not many people have ever explored it from an admin/maker perspective or used the self-hosted version.

So assuming it’s accepted, the workshop will be a hopefully entertaining half-day exploration of running and using your own WordPress install to create spaces for learning/teaching/research/admin/whatever. The ‘entry-level edupunk’ thing is a reference to those who might be frustrated with the restraints of their LMS (etc) and would like to do something different but don’t know where to start and also don’t want to be too anarchic about the whole thing. The point here is that it’s not about being a complete cowboy and running a rogue server from under your desk, I’ll also be talking about how to make a case for institutionally-sanctioned projects, how to work well with IT etc.

Part of the workshop will also be along the lines of my previous post, looking at plugins etc that weren’t designed for an education market but that can be appropriated to do some nifty stuff. Plus some fun unstructured design time and free fiddling with ‘OH GOD I BROKE IT’ assistance. Ultimately I really just want to show people how easy it is to do neato stuff with an extraordinarily rudimentary grasp of web dev principles and php (because that’s all I’ve got), and that you can be a little bit cowboy without being very cowboy :).

3 comments

  1. Guido Gautsch · September 27

    Cool! I’d totally go to that (if I were at Ascilite)

  2. Tim Klapdor · September 27

    w00t! On board with you on this and would gladly sign up! Currently doing two projects in WordPress to work “outside of the box” as you put it – so would be keen on learning how to un-cowboy those to be honest!

    PS – saw this yesterday and potential for a range of educational project that require personal spaces, hubs and networks. http://bavatuesdays.com/decentering-syndication-or-a-push-away-from-rss/

    • Sarah · September 27

      Ahh the Bava. I pretty much blame him for my interest in and use of WordPress (and edupunk). UMW Blogs and DS106 are kind of my go-to reference for cool stuff you can do with WordPress :).