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Teaching WordPress in High school (17 posts)

  1. Paal Joachim Romdahl
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi

    I just started as a Media teacher in a high school here in Oslo, Norway. And I plan on introducing WordPress instead of Dreamweaver in 2-3 high school classes.
    So I am asking for some feedback/advice.

    Some of the questions that arise are:

    Should I use wordpress.com? And ask each student to make their first blog/web site there.

    Should I create a multisite on either the schools server or on one of my own domains?

    Ask the students to find themselves a free host to where they can add their wordpress install?

    I am thinking of teaching them MAMP to install a local wordpress install. Then use the plugin Duplicator to pack up the site and upload it.

    That are the questions that pop up right now. Thanks for thoughts, feedback, advice, tips etc etc.

    Have a great day!

  2. Rev. Voodoo
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Depends what you want to teach, right?

    Do you want to teach WP installation, server stuff, plugins, theme customization, etc? If so, you would want to teach .org. If you just want to do the basics... stick with .com.

    If you can find a good free host, that would be cool... but I've seen WP have so many problems with free hosting. The way those servers are often set up causes many problems.

    Setting up multisite is a cool idea if you can handle that. But then the students only have about as much control as on .COM - but you can give them plugins or themes, or upload their themes.

    MAMP/WAMP/LAMP is also a cool idea, but that adds some workload for you. The learning there could be pretty valuable.

    Do you have an intranet option you could work with? Maybe some creative subdomain options there?

    All in all, it depends on your resources, and exactly what the goal is - what you want them to learn!

  3. Paal Joachim Romdahl
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Actually I would like to teach them how to install and use MAMP and do a local install of WordPress. Then upload it.

    Multisite restrictions is something to consider. I would like to give space to the students to explore plugins and themes.

    I talked with a tech person today at school and she said that the tech school another part of the school I work with have done some teaching with WordPress, so I will contact them and hear how they do things. I want to create a good working lesson plan on installing and using WordPress (posts, pages, menu, etc etc). As well as using themes (simple theme customizations) and plugins.

    Thanks Rev for your feedback! I'll post with my progress as it moves along.

  4. atyq
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I think that it's a good idea to use WordPress: it's one of the most used CMS in the world.
    Furthermore, they will learn how to use Mamp/Lamp/Wamp, essential softwares for developing websites.

  5. Paal Joachim Romdahl
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I have had two sessions with the students.
    One the first day. Downloaded MAMP, newest WordPress install and a few free themes from themify.me.

    Some students had used space and some Norwegian letters in naming their site and site title which showed up as errors in the site. One was very subtile. Naming the site ttile through the WordPress install with Norwegian letters caused the menu icons/kitchen sink area not to show up in pages and posts.

    The second session. Everyone who had an error with their site reinstalled their site with using english letters for the database, site folder and site title. One guy had to reinstall MAMP and WordPress a couple of times before it suddenly worked for him as well.
    They also began creating pages, posts, add some images and embed a youtube video.

    Two of the guys in class have recently started (or in the process of doing so) a small web hosting company and are willing to give web space for all the students. Which means that everyone will later on have the opportunity to also upload their site to an online location.

    The third session. I will let the two guys present their web hosting company and the students will register at their site and get a web space.
    I found the site http://www.wp101.com/ and am thinking of signing up for their 36$ lifetime membership (limited time) and show the students a few of the tutorials at the site. I asked the guys at WP101 if they are ok with me sharing my login info so that the students can in their own pace check out other videos.
    I am going through other things to go through during the third session.

    Feedback is always welcome!

    Have a great day!

  6. This is a great idea and I would love to see something like this for students in the U.S.

    I found the site http://www.wp101.com/ and am thinking of signing up for their 36$ lifetime membership (limited time) and show the students a few of the tutorials at the site. I asked the guys at WP101 if they are ok with me sharing my login info so that the students can in their own pace check out other videos.

    They also have a WP101 Plugin available that would let your students watch the videos from the dashboard and there is no restriction on how many dashboards you can install it on.

    http://wp101plugin.com

  7. wpwebsitewizard
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    When I started building websites, I started with a Dreamweaver course at the local college. It was a disaster. The pupils were all of different abilities and standards - the teacher was either too fast or too slow for each pupil.

    If you have the resources, in my honest opinion you should give them each access to the video training course so that they can each progress at their own pace.

    If you want to teach them something really useful, then WordPress.org is what you should be teaching.

  8. I teach at a couple of colleges here in Vancouver BC. I've put together a sie with my teaching material and tutorials. Feel free to take whatever you want.

    http://www.wpyogi.com

    I just revised my teaching material this year, but I haven't had the chance to update my site yet... I'd love to get feedback if you end up using it.

  9. Paal Joachim Romdahl
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    My progress report on teaching WordPress in high school

    I looked at the wp101plugin but that costs $19 a month so I skipped that purchase. As I did not see the great need (yet) on making the purchase.

    I did though purchase the $36 lifetime deal at wp101.com and shared the site with the students.

    A recap of the WordPress teaching day on Tuesday 11 September.
    I went over some of the basics again of creating pages, posts, categories etc.
    I then mentioned that I had purchased a membership to wp101.com and guided them to the site. And told them to check out a tutorial or two that they could go through. I walked around checking and the students did a couple of tutorials.

    The students continued to work on their sites. One of them Trygve called out that he had created an online site with a domain that he had purchased from the two students who do web hosting. This lead to the natural transition that the two guys talked about offering a free subdomain to the students. Or if the students wanted they could also buy a domain name.

    I also showed what plugins are and mentioned that the first plugin that we would look closer at is Contact Form 7 a very popular contact form plugin. I went to my youtube channel and the Contact Form 7 video tutorial I have earlier created: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPetiRjikqE A few hours earlier a person had written a comment to my tutorial on how much it had helped him. The perfect timing to mention the tutorial...:) I asked them to bookmark the tutorial as we would get back to it later on. Next up was creating banners for their sites. At the end of the day I gave them homework to watch through the Contact Form 7 tutorial. That they should bring in questions that would arrise from the tutorial that we would talk about next Tuesday in class. I have briefly mentioned creating a custom style css, and the video brings it up in more detail. We will see the tutorial together in class and I go through it with the students.

    --

    As you said wpwebsitewizard and I also noticed in another graphic design class the following day. Holding a lecture for the students it will vary how they take it in as it can go too fast or too slow, having the students find and watch video tutorials was a lot more efficient. So they did this for an hour or so. Afterward they presented for the class some of the things they learned through the tutorials. Having a mix of lectures and watching video tutorials I find is a good mix. As some students prefer one way over the other.

    ---

    Thank you very very much for sharing your site Christine!
    I have downloaded most of the lessons and look forward to going through them!

    ---

    Next Tuesday 18 September.
    I'll ask the students how it went with watching the Contact Form 7 video tutorial, and then go through it. Next up I will likely go through the custom style css file (a copy of the style.css) and modify things along the way to show how it works. Then let the students continue working on their sites and also have them watch tutorials at wp101.com. Then perhaps have them present some of the new things they learned through the video tutorials. Teaching what one self has just found out is a a good way to learn.

  10. Paal Joachim Romdahl
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Tuesday the 18th of September

    A slow going day today.

    We took a look at shortcodes, authorbox, and created an image gallery.
    Installed the plugins Duplicator, Akismet and Contact Form 7, and looked at how these plugins work. The next time it would be good to have the students present some of the things they have done.

    We also briefly looked at the css file.

    All in all a pretty slow going day. But that's ok.

  11. Paal Joachim Romdahl
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Tuesday the 25th of September

    I forget to update my ongoing posts here on this thread which I will likely when I get things in place just add to one of my sites.

    We continued to go through various aspects of WordPress. This time one of the students created a simple facebook guide by adding a text widget and some code to add a like button. This was shared with the other students through dropbox which all the students installed on this day in class. I can easily add material to the drop box folder we are using so that everyone gets it right away.

    Another student showed how inspect element in Chrome works.
    Another student showed a few things around the JetPack plugin.

    It was nice to have some of the more knowledgable students come forth and present something for class. The students now know a few more things about widgets and plugins.

    2 October the Oslo high schools had their fall break. One week off was nice. It gave me a chance to use more time and prepare various things.

    9 October
    I had created an assignment on the various things we had gone through in WordPress the last month.
    Part 1:
    Create a site.
    Add a theme.
    Make 7 pages.
    Turn of reply/comment/discussion feature on some of the pages.
    Add a post category.
    Add some posts that were connected with the category.
    Add a reply to one of the posts.
    Then show the teacher Joachim the first part.

    Part 2 create a menu with a dropdown.
    Find other themes and install (but not activate).
    Add 4-6 images to the media library, add a audio file.
    Embed 1 or more videos.
    Photoshop - make a banner, optional create a favicon and a background.
    Then show the teacher Joachim the second part.

    Part 3
    Look at the CSS file and write down the main sections that contained a *///.
    Add some plugins, Contact Form 7 or other contact form plugin, and add two more.
    Add Widgets to the sidebar. Lastest posts and 2-3 other widgets.
    Adjust the Permalinks.
    Do additional things. Up to you.
    For instance create a child theme.

    There were some questions from the students along the way. But doing it like this I got to see where the students were at with their knowledge of WordPress. I gave them a minus if they had for instance 5 pages instead of 7. An ok if they had 7, and a plus if they had additional pages. So for each task they received a - ok or +. Totaling up to a grade for each part. Some misunderstood the first part, but I told them that they could easily make up for it in part 2 and 3.

    Most of the students got through part 1 on this way. Some finished part 2. We will continue next Tuesday. When they have finished I am planning on showing them how to customize the new WordPress theme Twenty Twelve. We will dig deeper into css and easy parts in php (changing footer text and moving the menu below the banner) and I will see what else I do.

  12. Paal Joachim Romdahl
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    16 October 2012

    A new day and the students continued the assignement I gave one week ago. Some were not present last week and started the assignment others continued where they left off.

    Questions came up along the way. Many of the students used the day fairly well in learning more about WordPress in relation to the assignment.

    At the end of the day most where almost finished.

    I had no idea it would take so much time for them to finish this assignment. I plan to spend about 2 hours next week so everyone gets finished. Then I will begin showing them the theme Twenty Twelve, and how to customize various aspects of it.

    Since they have WordPress once a week it is easy for them to forget what they have been taught. So each time I go through some refreshers. But this assignment really shows me where each student is at in their learning progression.

  13. 5il3nt
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    In our school in Canada the wordpress lessons are since 2010 :) Now the most students could make their own wordpress site in few ours. I think that this is a very good idea. It is really not hard to make such web site.

  14. David
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Why don't you start a blog and use it as a teaching journal. Seems like your experience will be helpful to other teachers.

  15. Paal Joachim Romdahl
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hey David.

    I do plan on copying my comments to a blog, but need to get the site I plan on using in order first..:) I will post about it here when I do have it in order. In the mean time I will continue to post here on this thread.
    Thanks for the feedback!

  16. Paal Joachim Romdahl
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    23 October and
    30 October

    Days pass quickly. I will need to dig up what we have been doing the last few weeks.
    But we have worked with this tutorial: http://www.studiopress.com/design/colored-content-boxes-buttons.htm on using CSS and HTML in WordPress.

    We also looked at Inspect in Chrome and how one can look at and adjust the code on a web page. We also began looking at modifying the content, footer etc areas of the CSS.

    We looked at changing languages, and the plugin Bogo. For a backend in English and frontend in Norwegian.

    6 November

    We started with shortcodes through themify.me themes. And downloaded shortcodes ulitmate http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/shortcodes-ultimate/faq/ Most of the day was spent working with areas inside the CSS as well as checking out how shortcodes work. We also looked a little bit at Tiny MCE ulitmate and advanced.

    At the end we also began looking at child themes and why to make them.

  17. Paal Joachim Romdahl
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    13 November

    Teachers planing day.

    20 November

    I gave the students a new assignment today. They were to find a site that they liked and copy it the best they knew how into a new local site in WordPress. A fun assignment for them.

    27 November

    They continued to work on the sites.

    Just a few Tuesdays left before Christmas. Tomorrow the students have a study day for their English Christmas exam. Tuesday next week some students will have another study day others will continue to work with their sites. Tuesday after that something else is going on.

    I have already copied most of my thread posts to my desktop and plan on adding them to another site.

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