Tag Archives: blogging

Create Manage License

One of the objectives we have during the first half of the course is for you to create and manage content using Word Press.

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Below is a checklist to get everyone caught up managing content on your course blog. The checklist is also designed to develop your skills (such as adding images and links) and establish habits, or protocols, (such as including categories and tags when you publish a post. Finally, we are introducing below a conversation we will have together about rights and responsibilities for creating and sharing content in the digital commons.

Here is your checklist:

Manage Your Blog

  • Add an Image to your About page (See example on Julia’s About page for an example). Consider Justifying image left or right and wrapping text using image editor. If fo rany reason you do not want to use an image of yourself, please choose an appropriate image that you would like your readers to associate with your blog
  • Add or Modify the Blog Header You don’t have to have a header. And what you can do with a header is in some cases determined by the functional capacity of the theme you have chosen. Still, headers are attractive and can serve to reinforce or echo the blog theme. Julia’s Liberal Art in the Land of the Sky is a good example. We might consider whether Emily’s fabulous image on Geneseo’s Educational Evolution is too large. On most screens, the reader will need to scroll before getting any information. John’s Liberal Arts in the Beautiful Valley is also large. This image is a bit grainy as well, and it may be that the resolution of the image may not support the size
  • Add a Links or Blogroll Widget (if you do not already have one). Delete any default WP links that do not seem relevant or necessary. Add your College home page (Title of the link should be the name of the College!). Add COPLAC. Add any other relevant links. Make a note to add relevant links as you continue in the course

License your Content

  • Add a License to your Blog As authors creating and publishing content on the web, we need talk about copyright and the commons, digital communities, collaboration and sharing. First, go to the bottow of the NAPLA course page and have a look at the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License icon. Next, visit Creative Commons and watch the three-minute Creative Commons Remix on Vimeo. Read About Our Licenses and What They Do. You will learn how the licenses for your work are designed to address legal, human, and software considerations. Then, choose a license. The NAPLA course blog uses the least restrictive license. The 4.0 License lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon our work, even commercially, as long as users credit us for the original creation. You retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make non-commercial uses of your work. Once you have chosen a license (we recommend the one above), add a Text Widget to your Blog. Put the text widget at the bottom of the widget sidebar. Paste into the Text Widget Window the following code:

<a rel=”license” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/”><img alt=”Creative Commons License” style=”border-width:0;” src=”https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88×31.png” /></a><br />This work is licensed under a <a rel=”license” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/”>Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>.

Save and close the widget window. Voila! Welcome to the digital commons!

Revisit and Revise Your First Post

  • Add a Category Open edit for your first blog post and add the category “Research Reflections.” Make a note to add this category to all of your subsequent weekly writing posts
  • Add Another Category Add your first and last name as a Category to your post. This way the NAPLA course blog (where your posts also appear) will list your name under categories. Then you (or another reader like you mom or your uncle) will be able to click on that category and read a digest of your posts on the course blog. Make a note to add this category to all of your subsequent weekly writing posts
  • Add Tags Go through your first blog post and identify key words and concepts, people, place names. Add three or more Tags to the post
  • Add one or more Links Highlight text > add a URL > save (or command + K on a Mac). Casey’s Blog Post, for example, at the bottom under “Sources,” can embed the URL on the list by using the link tool. And Julia’s Blog Post can take existing text and add a link to COPLAC and a link to the UNCA Fact Book.

Complete the steps below by the end of the week. If you have any questions please let us know. We will troubleshoot and field questions during class or by email. Have fun!

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Blogs and Blogging

As you set up your own Word Press shop we would like you to have a look at one earlier instance of a comparable digital project: Century America. This project site provides a link to the Century America course site where you will find student blogs.

A few selected student blogs from the Century America site offer examples of blogs that have been customized by the user:

Musings on Ink and Type
Heart of the Blue Ridge

While you are browsing these sites, you  might want to read a few of the blog posts by the students. Think about the voice of these reflections on intellectual work, the rhetorical challenge of writing engaging and professional prose–and remember here that your writing will be syndicated on our primary NAPLA course blog. Consider the post “Creating Meaning in a Sea of Information” by a student at UNC-Asheville in Western North Carolina in her sophomore-junior-ish year, Ashley McGhee, or a post by Britta, in Morris, Minnesota, “Weather Setbacks and Research Advances” and “Research Musings and Updates.” Note well that in the second two examples the author has created categories and tags to organize the posts on the blog. (Britta has also included an awesome tag cloud widget at the bottom that helps to organize the content on the blog.) We will talk more about the advantages of using these WP features when posting on your blog.

If you would like to look ahead, take a glimpse at the awesome Century America Student Project Sites

University of Maine Farmington
New College of Florida
Midwestern State University

Why a Blog? E-mail, web pages, wikis, blogs, Facebook, social networks, twitter—much of the writing we now do takes place in a digital format. And while all of us are still working out the conceptual implications of these new technologies, the advent of digital writing has created pedagogical opportunities to think about (and with) the digital tools that we use to represent and understand ourselves, and the world.

Blogging offers significant opportunities for student writers:

  • Designing and managing a blog offers experience using one of the digital technologies used by readers and writers. Digital writing requires all of the knowledge and skill writers use in other formats in addition to the new ways digital writing blends modes of representation (visual and verbal) and creates opportunities for fresh conceptual and material connections;
  • A blog allows teachers to shift the motivation for writing from the assignment to the writer. In fact we might argue that one of the obstacles to becoming a more effective writer in school is the writing assignment itself: for more often than not, writing assignments motivate writing for a purpose other than one’s own. Your blog posts will therefore be more focused on questions and problems and less on assignments, on thoughtful (and creative) exploration of ideas as opposed to more mechanistic forms of response to proscribed questions, pre-assigned topics, or readings
  • The relatively short form of the blog entry encourages concise and purposive writing. Managing to say exactly what you need to say in fewer words will challenge you as a writer
  • The likelihood that the blog will actually be read will help you become more rhetorically aware—of the conceptual, linguistic, social, emotional and ethical concerns a writer must address to be effective with any audience
  • Writing in a digital format (a web log, or blog) enacts (and represents) the complex process of thinking and writing that takes place in a college-level course; and we will use your writing experiences, and the archive of writing that we create, to reflect on your learning process, and the role of writing in that process

 

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