*This site was put together for sharing during a presentation at WPCampus 18. I hope the site provides the same narrative as what I presented, but you can also watch the recorded feed or download this rather large pdf of my presentation from the conference.
The great challenge of educational technology is not putting tools in hands, but rather building a community that appreciates the tool and integrates it into student learning.
The diffusion and adoption of WordPress in higher education usually (always?) includes professional development. Whether through one-off workshops or semester long courses, professional development can help familiarize faculty with WordPress as a tool, provide examples of use-cases, and support integration into course designs.
Educational technologists also go into the classroom to talk with students about how blogging works and why it is a useful skill. We offer office hours, tutorials, and 1 on 1 troubleshooting. These trainings, both at the faculty and student level, lay the foundation for participation, but how do we follow up to see what people are making?
Community portals and web commons have been used to promote a sense of community and highlight interesting WordPress projects. They promote discovery, both for the staff in building them, and for the visitors who visit the site.
At OU, we have built an activity stream to see the latest blog posts, a weekly update spotlighting interesting posts, and a website that shows what kinds of web apps people are using within our Domain of One’s Own system. While both of these projects help to share the great work being done in OU Create, we wanted to do something more to bring the community together and celebrate them as creators.
We introduced an award ceremony called the OU Creaties (sadly, this was the best name we could come up with) in 2016. Each year since then, we’ve continued the event as a way to 1) convert users into stakeholders, 2) identify talent amongst both the students and faculty, and 3) promote best practices. By following the linked dates, you can see the nominees and winners from 2016, 2017, and 2018 and read our event summaries from 2017 and 2018.