Blog Platforms for College Distance Learning

Blogging in college courses is one method of involving students in their education. This report includes information about educational blogging and includes information that I gathered on the WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Edublogs, and CampusPress blogging platforms. Specific details include some of the methods for incorporating quizzes and discussions into blog posts and sites within these platforms.

My Personal News: MAC, PC, … or BOTH?

I have been thinking about purchasing a Windows-based computer for over a year, ever since one of my professors could not open my mp4 videos embedded in a course creation project. I run a Macintosh lab but many of the teachers in my school have both MACs and PCs. The problem is that between teaching computer classes, data collecting, report writing, technical responsibilities, (well, you get the picture); I do not have the time to work on any additional projects at work — including making sure that content I create on my MacBook Pro runs just as well in a Windows environment.

I finally bought a laptop that runs Windows because I want to make sure that anything that I post can be opened on both Windows and Macintosh computers. I did not buy the current 2018 Intel i7 processor, nor did I purchase the maximum available RAM or fastest processor, but I did follow the sales for a few weeks and grabbed one that was $400 off. We have a holiday in a few weeks so prices may drop even more, but some of last year’s models are already selling out, and I did not want to risk missing out on a good deal. Now, I have to teach myself Windows 10 because the PCs at work are still running Windows 7 or 8. There are definitely cheaper ways to test content on Windows, including creating a Windows partition on my 4 1/2-year-old MAC, that already has an almost full hard drive, but these solutions would not work for me.

As a bonus, when teachers do upgrade to Windows 10, I’ll be ready to help them.

This weekend’s task, set up the new laptop and make sure that everything is running well before the return/exchange period ends.

A Year Later: As it turns out, my Mac had nothing to do with the site improperly posting my videos … that site finally admitted to problems and was taken down. For most people, PC or Mac is a matter of personal preference. For me, knowing both types of computers helps me with my work.

Screen Readers and Capital Letter Abbreviations

One type of abbreviation that screenreaders struggle with is initialisms such as USA or CEO. My work requires that all websites be accessible to people who speak one of ten languages common in my city and to people with disabilities who use screenreaders and other assistive technology devices. One difficulty that can occur is how to handle abbreviations. It is often inconvenient to write out everything, but web developers do not want people to hear USA as the word “usa.” This would cause the reader to have to momentarily stop and think about the words (or even to adjust the screen reader’s settings) instead of focusing solely on the content or message of the passage. Using dots or spaces may help … sometimes, but that can interfere with other assistive technologies. I have neither read of nor heard about a perfect solution; I just wanted to point out one issue that has been discussed recently in the assistive technology and website design fields.

Practice Building Quiz Questions: Contact Forms, Shortcodes, and Polls

Five Qustion Quiz Built Using WordPress.com’s Contact Form Creator:

 

One Quick Question Built Using the Quiz Shortcode:

(shortcode found online at: https://en.support.wordpress.com/quiz-shortcode/)

Who would need to know about light’s color wheel?
Oil painting artists
Painters do not generally create using colors of light.
Children learning about primary and secondary colors for the first time
Children typically first learn the traditional common color wheel’s primary and secondary colors.
Stage electrics specialists who want to increase the visual tone of the production

 

Two Quick Questions with the Included Polldaddy Poll Function: