WordPress for classroom discussion

My inaugural post from the Modern Language Association, in Boston for 2013. I’m sitting in the exhibit hal theater listening to a talk on using WordPress to facilitate classroom discussion. Pingbacks are one way to corral references from independent blogs to each other.

(It’s kinda nice having a big conference in your hometown, though MLA is not as big as the American Library Association conferences I’ve been to. Very convenient to be able to slip away to local restaurants and get away from the crowd).

P2 for micro-blogging is another approach.

* comments and posts appear inline, which makes it easier to follow a conversation straight from the front page.

Automattic uses P2 heavily for internal collaboration, which is cool.

bbPress is a plugin for more formal forums with topics and suchlike.

* subscriptions to posts and topics are automatic

BuddyPress is Facebook in a box

* MLA Commons uses this to organize activity streams and distributed community blogs

Buddypress Courseware is an LMS plugin (assignments, gradebook, etc.)


* paragraph by paragraph and line by line commenting on a text
* peer review of writing is one possible use
* commentary on poetry
* nested discussion of very precise sections of text

Digress.it is similar; there are other para-by-para commenting tools.

Feedback loop during the writing process

EditFlow plugin

* designed to allow newsrooms to work better and collaborate, but can be used for other things like software documentation
* designed to help you collaborate during the writing process rather than after it.
* editorial comments are threaded, so you can follow the conversation more easily


* an online thesis proposal and project site, to allow a broader community to participate
* allows writer to link to other sources, which is awkward in print

An interesting variety of plugins and approaches to making different kinds of discussions happen.

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Boston area academic librarian and instructional designer. News junkie. Fan of marine mammals, October.