Communicating Out in the Open: The WordPress Class Blogs Plug-In Suite and Language Learning

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Abstract

This case study discusses the development of the Class Blogs Plug-In Suite in WordPress in order to create a blogging tool for use with all levels of language classes. The template, which is openly accessible and independent of a Learning Management System (LMS), creates an open, online learning environment that not only provides students with the ability to post their own work as well as comment on their classmates' work, it also has the potential to transcend individual classroom conversations and allow conversation to happen with language speakers around the world. This template was developed over the past 10 years, with the help of language teachers and students, and with the aim of facilitating the class blogging experience: it creates a central page that aggregates information from students' individual blog posts, images and videos in one central location, making it much easier to connect and comment with classmates. The template also provides easily accessible information on number of words blogged, number of posts written as well as number of comments made on others' blogs as a way to encourage language production and a sense of community. Concurrent with the exploration of the blogging template, this case study will provide suggestions on how teachers can encourage connections with the outside world, and examples of how students have accomplished thoughtful, integrated learning in the open environment of a blog to further their language learning.

Keywords: blogging, collaboration, WordPress, student-centric learning.

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Sawhill, Barbara. (2013). Communicating Out in the Open: The WordPress Class Blogs Plug-In Suite and Language Learning. In Ana Beaven, Anna Comas-Quinn, Barbara Sawhill (Eds), Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom (pp. 11-22). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2013.000106

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From the same author

Notes on Contributors
Beaven, Ana; Comas-Quinn, Anna; Sawhill, Barbara.
doi:10.14705/rpnet.2013.000102
Acknowledgements
Beaven, Ana; Comas-Quinn, Anna; Sawhill, Barbara.
doi:10.14705/rpnet.2013.000103
Introduction on Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom
Beaven, Ana; Comas-Quinn, Anna; Sawhill, Barbara.
doi:10.14705/rpnet.2013.000105