At the end of July I shared a couple of links via Google+ and my Tumblr site about an LMS app theme for WordPress and WPLMS, both of which focus on developing LMS/VLE type functionality for WordPress. I find this sort of stuff interesting because the team I work with have been migrating our teaching resources from Blackboard to a new learning portal built in WordPress. This migration has been the culmination of three years work, starting with blogs on WordPress.com to support undergraduate teaching to then setting up our own WordPress multiuser site. Feedback from staff and students have informed and driven our developments to the point that our undergraduate medical curriculum is now delivered via WordPress.
Reading about LMS app theme got me thinking and I posed this question on Google +
I think I may have said this before but couldn’t a few of us in the UK using WordPress as an alternative to the more traditional VLEs work together to get some JISC funding to develop some useful WP educational plugins and functionality?
As Martin Hawksey quickly pointed out there are others using WordPress in education in the UK, there’s been interesting things going at the University of Lincoln, Dumfries and Galloway College have been using WordPress as an eportfolio tool. There’s also the work of Jim Groom at the Universty of Mary Washington, which was one of the initial triggers for my interest in WordPress, and more recently his DS106 cMOOC. Steve Bonham joined the conversation which then spilled over to Twitter and Pat Lockley also chipped in and we talked about the possibility of a meeting to showcase how WordPress in being used in UK HE and explore whether there might be opportunities to explore funding to support WordPress development.
So as the title of this post asks, do you think we should try and hold some sort of UK WordPress in education event? Would you be interested, would you come? There is a JISC WordPress listserv but it has very little activity. There are growing numbers of individuals and organisations using WordPress in UK education, there are annual Blackboard user meetings and Moodle meetings and although there is annual UK Wordcamp there’s not an educational event.
Do we need an event? Should we start a google doc where we could detail who’s using WordPress and how, a bit like Matt Lingard’s doc on UK VLEs? Would you be interested in a Google Hangout for a starter discussion? Would there be any chance of funding from JISC or other groups that might fund a WordPress special interest group or an educational WP hackday type of event?
I was going to publish this post following that conversation, but things were too busy and hopefully I’ve not missed a trick in not striking while the iron was hot! What do you think, are you interested? Would be great to hear from you via the comments here, Twitter, Google+ and any other channels that this post might be shared.