Author Archives: Todd Conaway

Winter Institute & Why WordPress?

WordPress can be used for many things. WordPress is just a thing to easily create web pages with. It is not the only tool, but rather, one of many. It can be a place to keep your course content. It can be a place to keep a resume. It can be a students class journal. It could be a travel journal. It could be just about anything you want to place on the web.

If you look over to the right you can click on some links that go to various teacher’s web spaces. Most are WordPress, some are not. Many are Yavapai College teachers. On the far right you can sign up for email notifications when new posts are added here. On of the things we are trying to do at the college is to develop a support group for educators who are using WordPress in various ways. We will try to have meetings once a semester so that we can learn from each other. You can email with questions about WordPress or how it might be useful to you.


“Social Media” and Learning

This morning I read this article and thought about the word “media.” Books are media, right? Libraries are social spaces that have and share media, right? Sound is media. Concerts are social events that share sound. Some for free, others not. Webpages are made of media. Some cost, some do not. There are many examples.

So my question is: Why have we become so resistant in education to the combined words “social media” and how can we get over it and begin to USE media intelligently and in a socially responsible way?

Anyway, the article linked above share a story about the successes of social media in academic space. What I like is that the “event” will be “broadcast to anyone willing and able to participate. The event itself, is media. Sound, video, images, space, digital stuff.

Good work Mr. Boyer.

People I Admire: Educators Who Write

I have been following Jabiz Raisdana for about  year. I met him in a class I was taking called ds106. It is/was/will forever be a class about digital storytelling. Our medium of communication was Twitter and blog comments. He wrote a lot about his teaching experiences. He was a great role model. He still is. This morning I read his most recent post and it sent me on a short journey into the world of assessment and communication and value of educational artifacts.

So here in the WordPress Users space I share his blog because he uses the digital medium well. He uses it as a place to reflect and to share ideas. He uses it as a place to solicit ideas form others. He uses it to communicate.

He also uses it to share his world and the things he had done. When I imagine the teacher who engages in leveraging this digital environment one of the ways a teacher can do that is to share course content. Another way is to share the challenges and wonders they face in the world we live in.

Jabiz, the time and energy you chose to share with the many who have read your  thoughts continues to amaze me. Thanks!

More Courses from Stanford Offered Open, on the Web.

While these may not fall into the WordPress category, the course do have many similar qualities to what creating open online content does for us. They share useful content created by good teachers. Those teachers, paid with public funding, are creating and sharing course content with the community they serve.

This OpenCulture site lists all the courses.  Here is direct link to the Anatomy course.

CUNY Commons Boxing the Platform

CUNY will be making available, for free, the platform they have used in creating the CUNY Commons. I am excited about the prospects this may bring. And I love some of the language used in the recent announcement.

The core features of Commons-style networks enjoy broad appeal as institutions look for ways to penetrate institutional silos, to mitigate the effects of geographical distance, and to produce collaborative, public-facing scholarship that can help demonstrate the value of intellectual life at a time when funding for higher education is increasingly being called into question.


Educational groups, scholarly associations, and other non-profit organizations will be able to leverage the Commons in a Box to give their members a space in which to present themselves as scholars to the public, to share their work, to locate and communicate with peers, and to engage in collaborative scholarship.

Well said!

What I Would Like to Accomplish Today

These are some basic things I would like to get done while we are here. It is like an agenda or something?

  1. See who shows up
  2. Look at some examples
  3. Talk about why we are using these tools
  4. Answer basic questions
  5. Answer trickier questions
  6. Date for next meeting?
and what about the “reflective teacher” and using these spaces for that activity?

Welcome to One Place to Shop

This is the first YC event like this and I have only the Flyer to share at this point.