500 Words At A Time: As A Teacher, Part 12

A quick, but interesting day in class. My services as advisor were required a couple of time. One of the things I like about WordPress are the options and versatility. However, I also do not like those same things, especially in a situation where the students have not been trained in the basics of WordPress. Blogging or using WordPress is a relatively easy thing to do, as long as you are willing to go through the hassle of poking around and playing with the various settings and have a passing familiarity with Word…just Word.

If you do not have the willingness to poke around and play or the time, WordPress is a pain. If you do not have passing familiarity with Word, WordPress can border on frustrating. If you have both of those conditions, WordPress is practically useless. There are a few students who have one of those problems and it is affecting what they are able to do verse what they want to do. Add on student pride (or maybe people of a certain age pride) where they are unwilling or unable to ask for help until the situation has reached a critical stage-either time wise or their ability to deal with frustration-and you have the exact moment when I am called for.

And that was me today. Today, actually yesterday the students were supposed to be done with the bulk of their online portfolios; the reality was somewhat different. There are a couple who are far enough along that if they declared that were done and only going to work on fine tuning I would be cool with that. There are others who need to spend a lot of time putting material on their portfolio and then they can fine tune.


-One of the best lines ever from a portfolio

One of the more interesting issues was menu related. A student created a header page and two sub-header pages or so they thought. Each time I would click on a sub-header page I would be taken to the header page. Nothing I did changed that. Unfortunately for me, WordPress’s new menu interface is GARBAGE compared to the older system. It took me a few minutes of poking around to discover the problem which is the sub-header pages did not exist, only as titles. I have to say that was a new problem. The solution for the student, delete the titles and work with the header page.

My day ended a few minutes ago, before I left the students turned in their first mock-ups of their print portfolio. My job, to take one color of pen, I chose red, and go through each one writing down issues, mistakes, suggestions, and so on. The goal being not to deflate them, but to assist them in seeing what they might not notice and what other people may, in a grand effort to create the best portfolio possible.

Unfortunately, for those students who need to work on their online portfolio, the print portfolio needs as much if not more work.


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