In the United States the school year is just about to start. If you are a teacher, why not use WordPress to supplement your classroom?
Many schools already have a learning management system in place, but the truth is that they are really clunky and no one really wants to use them.
Because of this it isn’t uncommon for teachers to set-up their own classroom specific sites to share details and news relating to their subject, and WordPress is proving to be a great choice.
If you don’t consider yourself to be very technically inclined then you would probably do best by heading over to WordPress.com and creating a free account. You don’t have to worry about hosting or even a fancy domain name. You will have some extra functionality available to you using the WordPress.com closed ecosystem of available themes and plugins – and that will be a good place to start!
For example, you could use the blogging feature to provide updates and reminders (your students can subscribe to the blog so they get emailed as soon as you post), encourage interaction in the comments on articles or discussion topics, and create a resource page for students and parents.
Transition to a Classroom LMS
As you test the waters with your WordPress site you may determine that having a full-blown learning management system is beneficial. If so, you have a large variety of resources available to you.
The only caveat here (for the time being) is that you will need to transition your site off of WordPress.com and start self-hosting. This sounds scarier than it really is. You can simply choose a WordPress host and they’ll take care of the technical stuff.
The reason you need to switch to self-hosted is because in order to have the functionality of an LMS you need the ability to install plugins that currently the WordPress.com platform doesn’t allow (but will soon). With your self-hosted site in place you can use plugins like LearnDash to bolster your basic classroom site into a fully functioning LMS.
If that sounds interesting to you then have a look at the following articles for the best way to get started:
- Using LearnDash for Schools
- How to Start a Classroom LMS
- 3 Easy Ways to Use a Classroom LMS
- Blended Learning with LearnDash
- How To Use Course Forums Effectively
Each of these covers the tools and techniques for implementing a WordPress based classroom LMS. Remember that setting this up will take some time, so don’t rush it.
Technology is just part of the equation as you will also need to establish buy-in from your students in order for the LMS to really have an impact (and to prevent it from being an “information graveyard”).