They’ve just released version 2.9 for the standalone WordPress system. This update brings a few useful additions, as well as the usual host of bug fixes and things.
Some of the updates that interest me:
easy and quick embedding of video from various online sites (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.) – still want to see if this code will translate in Feed Readers or other sites that people may push their WordPress blog posts to (WordPress proprietary tags will not work in these other environments, so need to wach out!)
easier updating and compatibility check for plugins
image editing capabilities
I’m currently taking a peek at it on our test server, and hopefully the update for WordPress MU (which blog.ryerson.ca runs on) will follow in the next couple of months.
In the meantime, here’s a little video from WordPress to outline some of the changes:
Some interesting points that I found in all three presentations:
You have to integrate the technology into the teaching and learning. It can’t just be added on top of an old learning structure, and expect the students to engage with it. Things have to be properly planned out and executed to the best of your ability!
With these ‘social’ technologies, the students are a part of the process, not just a casual observer. You may not want to give them the power to veto your use of certain features, but it can be useful for them to feel included – especially when the technology doesn’t work the way you were expecting. Their input and feedback is as important as yours (maybe MORE because they are supposed to be getting an education out of it!).
Choose solutions that utilize interfaces most users are already familiar with. Getting “past” the technology is often one of the hurdles to having an engaged group.
Is it possible to steal ideas? Is it bad to steal ideas?
Whose ideas are they anyway?
OK, so I’m not looking to make big bucks by stealing ideas that other people initiated. What I’m really talking about here is the propagation of ideas in this big blogiverse that exists in the even bigger webiverse. As a blogger, I sometimes feel bad when something I post started as someone else’s idea. Maybe someone posted a great video (that I re-post), or someone posts on a particular topic that I reflect on and add to.
How is this supposed to work?
When it comes to instructional technology, I think it’s best when something sparks other discussions. It starts with one idea – and if it’s a good idea, or at least one worth talking about, we’ll start talking about it. Different viewpoints emerge, some posts refer to other posts that refer to other posts, ideas evolve, experienced people offer anecdotes… and then things happen! Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?
So when you see me post about something I saw on someone else’s blog, it isn’t because I haven’t got ideas of my own… it’s because I want to remember what I read, and my thoughts on it, and I want to ‘pass it on’, so to speak.
Feel free to pass on any ideas you’ve found on my blog! Honestly, I’d be flattered to know that someone was reading, nevermind that someone was inspired to repost something I’ve blogged about!