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Hosting a dynamic blog - a paradigm shift of collaborative knowledge construction by applying WordPress themes and plug-ins

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  • 1. CITE Research Symposium 2010 Mike H.L. Chui mikechui@ied.edu.hk The Hong Kong Institute of Education
  • 2.  Students have experience on using CMS/ LMS but they have little governance on the functions  Little chance to tailor for pedagogical purposes  Students generally perceive administering on the server side is difficult  Dynamic data exchange: PHP + Apache server + MySQL database  ICT industry rarely designs tools for specific pedagogical applications (Muwanga-Zake, Parkes and Gregory, 2010)
  • 3.  Free Web hosting services blogs as e-portfolios  Easy setup at the server side is the KEY  Installing blog platform  Easy setup and maintenance (WordPress)  Easy add/ remove features (Plug-ins)  Aesthetic considerations (Themes)
  • 4.  An experimental study +focus group (proposed)  Population  FT PGDE(S) – 2009-2010 (128 students)  43 out of 128 students voluntarily are participating the study , from the second semester of 2009/2010  Student-teachers (STs) are advised to 1) download the learning material; 2) complete the self-evaluation checklist; and 3) post issues encountered from instructor’s Moodle system  Totally 8 weeks will be involved (ongoing since Feb 2010)  STs are advised to 1) apply WordPress blog during the teaching practice; and 2) write a reflection afterward  A questionnaire will be adopted for this blended learning initiative at the end of 8 weeks  Students might be invited for the focus group for in-depth interview
  • 5.  Week 1: Installing WordPress  register a free Web space  change theme  post message  Week 2: Basic customisation  adding plug-ins and themes (FTP)  updating plug-ins from dashboard  understanding WordPress security basics  Week 3: Managing widgets in dashboard for learning  Week 4: Introducing plug-in for pedagogical applications (part1)  Week 5: Introducing plug-in for pedagogical applications (part2)  Week 6: Exporting and importing blog posts – knowledge management  Week 7: Managing learning materials in WordPress with your students  Week 8: Sharing experience on selecting plug-ins and theme customisation for better communication
  • 6.  Learning is defined as a basic, adaptive function of human (Bransford et al., 1999)  Steve Jobs proposed 7 key tasks of people in iPad keynote (Jan 27, 2010):  Browsing (Web browsing)  Email  Photos (Enjoying and sharing photographs)  Video (Video, watch videos)  Music (Enjoy your music collections)  Games (Playing games)  eBooks (Reading eBooks)  Could the tasks be transformed to “Learning”?  How “Learning” can be actualised by blog?
  • 7. 7 key tasks of people Learning with blog Browsing Basic Internet operations/ RSS/ Blogrolls Email Receiving comments from blogposts/ New subscribers to your blog Photos Embedding Flickr/ Webshots/ Picasa  Photo story telling/ Project-based learning Video Embedding YouTube/ Animoto by screencasting your own instructions and experiences/ Embedding eTVs Music Subscribing/ Embedding podcasting materials Games Embedding blog widgets  instructional games/ drill- and-practice/ simulation eBooks Creating and embedding your own literatures  Google Docs/ SlideShare/ Scribe/ Docstoc
  • 8.  Required features for hosting WordPress (WP)  Support FTP client (third party software like FileZilla FTP Client http://filezilla-project.org/ )  Allow WP theme/ plug-in installation (FTP)  Support PHP + MySQL + Apache server  At least 100 Mb capacity  Registration of a free Web hosting  http://getfreehosting.co.uk/  http://www.erufa.com/wp/ (Traditional Chinese)
  • 9.  After registration, the following screen will be shown:
  • 10.  Go to control panel: http://cpanel.erufa.com  Username: erufa_36270xx(refer: Control panel user name)  Password: xxxxxxxx(refer: Control panel password)  Click on the MySQL databases link
  • 11.  Enter demo in Your current databases field, and click on the Create Database button Sooner or later, you will see a database erufa_xxxxxxx_demo is created.
  • 12.  Go to http://wordpress.org/download to download the latest version of WordPress  Unzip the file into a folder in your local drive (e.g. d:/wordpress)
  • 13.  Open the file named wp-config-sample.php in Notepad or any ASCII editor (e.g. Notepad++ at http://sourceforge.net/projects/notepad-plus/), change the bold words as below (Remark: DO NOT use MS WORD):  Save the file as wp-config.php
  • 14.  Use FileZilla FTP Client to upload the whole stuff (under wordpress folder locally) under the htdocs folder in the remote directory  Host: ftp.erufa.com  User: erufa_36270xx  Password: refer FTP password
  • 15.  Go to http://mikechui.erufa.com/wp- admin/install.php , enter the following information and click on Install WordPress button  Remark: "mikechui" is a variable, change to your log in name
  • 16.  Copy the password, click on the Log In button to get into the Dashboard  Remark: Next time, go to http://mikechui.erufa.com/wp- login.php to log in (with user name: admin)
  • 17.  In dashboard, click on Users  Click on the admin link to change Admin password (MUST DO!!), paste the original password you just copied
  • 18.  Change the New Password, click on Update Profile button to continue  Change Settings as you like, click on Save Changes button to proceed
  • 19.  Posts > Add New
  • 20.  Single-discipline/ Personal learning environment (PLE)  Student-teacher (ST) who blogs with reflection from a single discipline could form a circle with the other STs within the same discipline  Cross-discipline/ Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)  ST can collaborate by sharing resources/ reflections with the other disciplines (e.g. Chinese x English; Science x Liberal Studies)
  • 21.  Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L. and Cocking, R.R. (eds.) (1999) How people learn: brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington: National Academy Press.  Jobs, S. (2010) Announces iPad. [online] Available from: http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/1001q3f8hhr/event/index.html [Accessed 27 January 2010]  Muwanga-Zake, J.W.F., Parkes, M. and Gregory, S. (2010) Blogging at university as a case study in instructional design: Challenges and suggestions towards professional development. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp.(to be confirmed).
  • 22. Thank you very much for your participation

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