If I were a dog…

…I would be going to WordCamp 2008 like the great Alan Levine, but being only a bava—which in fact is not only the surname of my favorite film director but also Italian for drool—I’m not. So, after reading Alan’s recent call for examples of WordPress in education I tried to add my 50 cent, but Alan’s blog was intentionally blocking my long, link-filled comment of utter genius because he is petrified of the Reverend’s wrathful range, as one should be.

But never fear faithful reader, for the Reverend has got his own publishing platform, and can make the good word know the world round. That’s right folks, “I’m comin’ up, comin’ up, so you better you better get this party started.” So, with no more saccharine fan fare, here is my addition to Alan’s call for examples that was maliciously blocked to keep the right reverend from making it clear that education is where WordPress is poppin’ like no other field. And if the folks at WordPress don’t start paying us mind, we’re going to make a mass exodus to LiveJournal very, very soon! Transcript of my aborted missive to the dog follows:

All right, I have couple of things for you dog.

First, the current ground swell of universities adopting WPMu for all kinds of cool things. Here is a list compiled by Mario A. Núñez Molina, and stolen by the bava:

Universities using WPMu

And then there is the Pickering Institute 🙂

Pickering Institute (ab)using WPMu; or what’s in a domain?

The dude at Plymouth State in New Hampshire who is using WP as an OPAC for the university library:

The MacCaulay Honors College launching WPMu as e-portfolios:

David Wiley’s use of WordPress.com, and the kick off of the whole spam educational blogging technique you love so much 🙂

Proud Spammer of Open University Courses

Literary Journals with WordPress by Pulitzer Prize winning Claudia Emerson (who rules!). Below are two examples of a possible seven:
(Some background on this project here: http://bavatuesdays.com/nonce-journal/)

Steve Gallik’s Lablogs and Data-Blogging (a wonderful example of WP as Lab Notebooks)
Some background on this project here:

UMW Lablogs: Aggregating Online Laboratory Experiments

Marie McAllister’s Eighteenth Century Audio site, which basically has students recording themselves reading poetry, then uploading them to Librivox and linking to them in this WP Blog:
(Some background on this project here: http://bavatuesdays.com/eighteenth-century-audio-a-wordpress-social-site/)

Jeff McClurken’s work with Digital History: http://digitalhistory.umwblogs.org

I particularly like this one for it really is a site with no search functionality, yet still effectively acts as an easy engine for finding over 100 historical markers:

The now graduated UMW student Roblog, whose blog is an ideal example of a student portfolio:

And Brad Efford, whose blog is an example of just how amazing students are with this stuff (he was also part of Gardner’s Film/text/Culture experiment mentioned below):


Just about everything Gardner Campbell has done with blogging (you’ll agree with me there I’m sure):

Gardner’ grand experiment which I think is one of the best yet. Basically students used each others blog posts throughout the semester as research and fodder for their final papers, which were written as posts, and used trackbacks as attribution and quotes. Brilliant


Gardner talks about this experiment here:

Then there is Barbara Ganley’s unbelievable work, but she used MovableType 🙁

Ok, I have more, but you only have a little bit of time 😉

This entry was posted in WordPress, wpmu and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to If I were a dog…

  1. Hello, Jim,

    This WordPress thing you describe sounds interesting. Could you point me to some links that could give me an overview of what you can do with it?

    Thanks — hope your summer’s going well 🙂



  2. Thanks for your post from an old professor/relative newcomer to the edtech world (“official” in my position since January). I bow in awe in the face of your wealth of knowledge and expertise. I am especially interested in the WordPress info. Having little knowledge of code writing and “hacking up” templates and such, I am searching for a blog home that will allow me simple and easy control over the whole page. Without a crash course in programming, what’s a beginner to do???

  3. Alan Levine says:

    You are a wonderful maniac, Rev, thanks for the persistence at my blog gate. From your graphic, I am thinking.. CogPunkBlog? CogGroomBlog?

    Twas not fear but mystery in the bowels of WP=Spam-Free plugin, which borked in excessive URLs. I can sort fo see how you dont want to give a spammer feedback like, “if you put 10 fewer URLs in you will make the cut”, but I am not happy with the logic. Having my WP moderation queue set to approve posts from someone I have let in before, that should over-ride a link count test.

    Regardless, thanks for laying them on my, and of course UMW blogs are going to be heavily featured.

    FYI- you dont have to dump links in my comment feed! Just tag ’em in delicious as


    and I shall have them.

    Your loyal dog… CDB

    PS- why dont people tag much? I am long puzzled, a lonely tagger…

    PPS- @Bill Fitzgerald- WordPress is kind of like that drupal thing, but it is actually comprehensible by mortal humans, and a scad more elegant 😉

  4. fcom says:

    Hi, the Facultad de Comunicación University of Seville…

  5. Reverend says:


    I can’t think of any resources offhand, but I’ll keep looking, I heard Drupal is one hell of a CMS though, and even pretends to blogging sometimes. 🙂

    @Humble Beginner:

    I bow in awe in the face of your wealth of knowledge and expertise.

    It is quotes like this that will win you great favor on the bava. In fact, I am now your humble vassal and your wish is my command 🙂

    To start with WordPress I would head over to WordPress.com and start a blog up and play around. You can also use the wonderful edublogs.org. And if you have faculty who are interested, send them there and show them what.

    Now, if you want to make it more university official, Then see if your IT department will install a single WP for you to see how you can load themes, plugins etc. (I would load the OneClick install plugin so you can do this all from Firefox). After that, I would play around with it and have fun. Soon after see if they’ll install a WPMu install so that you can have faculty sign up for their own blog easily.

    Alternatively, if your IT department has not the time and/or the inclination to do this for you, see if you can get your own account on Bluehost (or some other hosting service) and buy a domain, and use Fantastico to install WP and play with it. And you can also install blogs for a series of other cohort faculty and allow them to play.

    In fact, your comment is leading me to a larger post, how to get up and running easily with WP in education, this would make a useful series of post. So stay tune 🙂


    You know I know you weren’t really hiding from the bava, you own the bava, and I was just creating that good old drama that makes it all fun. The wpeducation tag? Why didn’t you just say so 🙂 I totally missed that in the post, and besides, as much as I love delicious as a space to save and store my links, it is very sterile and impersonal when I’m taking about things I really love.


    Wow, that is one hell of a blog, I love the big Google marker in a real street. Art blogs are by far the coolest.

  6. Thank you most sincerely, Reverend!
    Have the “test” blog up at WordPress.com….kicking the tires. Will haggle with my department colleagues for the rest. I eagerly await future direction here in the meantime. I do very sincerely appreciate your patience with a mere EdTech mortal (yet aspiring Edupunker). 🙂

    PS: Thanks for making us think hard…it hurts so good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.