Which was your favorite US President?
*Chester A. Arthur
Currently if you want to upload pre-recorded mp3 audio clips for your postings/pages, you have to buy a subscription for that privilege. However, WordPress.com does allow the above exception for free. If interested, go to the “Store” under your “Dashboard” and look for Storage Upgrades. An additional 10 GB of storage (added to your free 3 GB) costs $20 a year, and allows for uploads of mp3 files to your site.
I have written about this previously, but let me just jot a few items as reminders so that I can come back to this later and develop the ideas more fully:
We understand the “book” analogy for organizing a body of content. The progression through the content is normally linear. We start with a “Table of Contents” followed by units, modules or chapters, those broken down into paragraphs and sentences, and then an Index. We can write comments and notes in the margins and we can underline or highlight selected text. We might have black & white or color photos to illustrate the text. Perhaps we don’t have to act so linearly because if we are familiar with the subject we might choose to jump to a later chapter, and then maybe return to a previous chapter to refresh our memory.
Once we port this content from the physical pages of a book into the framework of a WordPress site with pages and posts, we can begin to develop a rich media experience. Our color photos can become a slide show, or movies or audio clips. We can add links to additional information, or use RSS feeds to pull content from other authors. We might include a discussion board or comments area where viewers can ask questions or make commentary. The Chrome browser now has a free plugin called “Speak-It” which makes it easy for someone viewing text on a page to highlight the text and have that text read to them audibly. If our browser has a plugin that will generate a QR image for the page URL, any links on the page, or any selected text on the page, we can easily project the QR image on a screen or whiteboard and our students can “suck” that information into their smart devices (iPad, Android smart phone, tablet, etc.). This makes WordPress a powerful presentation tool.
But, I believe that we will leave the book analogy at some point and the “Learning Object” will become the means by which we present a body of content. The digital environment will allow us to test our students at the start and modify the learning experience based upon the student’s current level of knowledge or experience. We might then use a video to introduce ourselves and give a broad overview of the subject.
If we are into Game Theory, we might even incorporate “badges” into the learning process and students would not necessarily have to learn in a linear fashion, but could “pick and choose” amongst many badges as long as their total count reached a certain level.
Instead of using copy-n-paste to port the textbook content into WordPress, just use the Scribd embed code for WordPress. In this case, you could have a course site and use the Scribd textbook as one of the resources.
- Intro to Sociology
- I asked the original compiler of this “free” online textbook if I could use his content to prove that WordPress could be used for an online textbook. It was okay with him as long as I didn’t charge for it. *It took about 4 hours to copy-n-paste and then clean up the original content over into my WordPress site. **When you add links to additional content, embed videos or other media, it makes the content come alive.