WordPress in the Classroom
“My students don’t participate.”
Have you ever struggled with motivating your students to do their work or participate in lecture?
I can almost hear teachers scoffing when I ask that question. Of course you have!
What if I told you there was a way that students could take ownership of the learning process? That they would be excited about learning and would take the initiative on assignments? Yes, this is actually possible!
WordPress is a free website creation tool, and it is super easy to use, even for those who are not technical-minded. The beauty about WordPress is that it is simple to use, yet its creative freedom allows for great customization within your site. Your students will be able to design their own site according to their preferences, and therefore, will be more invested in their work. This is an assignment they will enjoy doing!
You are probably still wondering:
- Why do I need it in my classroom?
- How would I utilize sites in my curriculum?
Having a WordPress site invites students to engage with their studies. They become actively involved with their learning when they are building a site, publishing content, and collaborating with their peers. Pearson Education states: “Compared to less engaged peers, engaged students demonstrate more effort, experience more positive emotions and pay more attention in the classroom (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004).” WordPress is an easy and effective way for your students to engage with the curriculum.
Site design is representative of the creator. Some students might design a simple, straight-forward site, whereas other students might choose something loud and bold. Either way, the student gets to choose the look and the content of the site. This promotes individualism and communicates that their opinions and ideas are valuable to the learning process. Consequently, by gaining individual freedom, students are more invested in their work.
How can you use WordPress sites in the classroom? The possibilities are endless, but below I will list site ideas for each subject.
This one is fairly simple, but WordPress can be a wonderful blogging component to any English or journalism class. For example, I took World Literature in college, and my professor required each of us to make a WordPress site and post ten blogs by the end of the semester. We blogged about pieces of literature that we had read as homework. It was really enjoyable because first of all, formulating my opinions on the piece prepared me for class discussion. Secondly, it was so much fun to see what my peers thought of the literature. It helped me get different perspectives on the assignment and helped me practice my writing skills.
WordPress is a useful tool for research as well. You can have your students post about studies they are conducting, other studies that relate to the material, or they could even post interesting articles and statistics. Each student will be able to post research essential to the course as well as learn about studies that interest them.
Nowadays, art is pasted all over the internet. For instance, if you were looking for a photographer for a wedding, you would most likely Google photographers near you. Instagram accounts and online portfolios would most likely pop up, and you would proceed to look at their work to determine if you want to hire them or not. What better way to teach students than to prepare them for relevant business strategies? Art students can learn how to market themselves and their work on the internet by creating a site. Not to mention art students would probably love to design their own site.
There are multiple ways to utilize WordPress in the classroom, but the most important thing is that students feel involved and valued. Building a WordPress site can instill both by allowing the student to use creative freedom while designing the site and posting content that is relevant to them and to the material. It also allows students to appreciate each other’s work and creativity.
If you are not using WordPress in your classroom, now is the time to start. Email the WordPress team to find out more information, and we will do our best to help your dream of motivated students become a reality.