It's Elementary!

by Jamie Forrest

Edmodo out, WordPress in October 28, 2010

Filed under: eci831,New Learning — Jamie @ 3:37 am

So, after a day of watching how-to videos, reading step-by-step help files, and just plain playing around, I’ve come to this conclusion:  although Edmodo seems to be a powerful tool on its own, I don’t think that it is the tool for what I have envisioned for my project.  So, I dropped it…

I switched over to WordPress and have been playing with this blog.  I like that I can tag the book review using the interest level of the book, the reading level, the sticker colour, and whether or not the book is AR.  I have played around with one post, trying to establish a standard format for the students to follow too.

I do have a question for the seasoned bloggers out there.  Is there a widget that allows for people to check all the tags they want in a search?  For example, if they want an LG book with a sticker colour LAVENDER, can they search for both of these tags at once?

Thanks in advance for your help.  Also, any suggestions you have for improving the blog would be appreciated!

 

13 Responses to “Edmodo out, WordPress in”

  1. Alyson Says:

    Jamie – I prefer blogger to WordPress. It works with Google Apps and WordPress is more difficult to add widgets, etc. There are ways to tag on WordPress but not sure exactly what you want.

  2. dwees Says:

    Yeah I’m looking for clarification of what you mean as well.

    David

    • Jamie Says:

      Okay. If you go to the blog I mentioned in the post, on the sidebar, there is a dropdown menu with the tags I’ve used in the book post. AR means Accelerated Reader book. 3.6 is the grade level equivalent for this book. LG means that it is geared towards Lower Grades (K-3). Finally, Lavendar is the sticker colour our kids will find on the spine of the book in our library. These are all tags that the students in our library would recognize and might use to search for books. As it is right now on the blog, I can only figure out a way for students to search ONE of these options at a time in a dropdown menu. I would like to know if there is a way for them to choose more than one of these tags to search without having to type them into the search box. Does that make more sense?

    • Clint H Says:

      I think what she wants is a way to search tags similar to delicious, to be able to find all of the posts that have tag1 AND tag2 AND tag3, for example. I’ve had a quick look but can’t seem to find anything. I agree, though, that it would be useful feature for the blog she is creating.

  3. Alyson Says:

    Not sure that is possible….though I can see why you would want it to search that way.

  4. Vinny Panico Says:

    There has to be a way to do it. I imagine having something like WordPress’s Theme Search.

    Btw- WordPress is definitely the way to go. It’s the most robust, scalable, and community-supported option.

  5. Lisa Says:

    The guru of all things WordPress (and you can tell him I said so) that I know of is @jimgroom on Twitter. He might be able to answer your question. Be sure he knows you are using the .com version which may have different levels of options available to you.

    @chambo_online

  6. Ben Wilkoff Says:

    You might give Edmodo another shot. I really like the ability to create a tag and then share it with all of my kids. I also like that the conversation can take on new twists and turns and it isn’t up to you (as the teacher) to decide all of it. You can also make a public page for anyone to use as a resource of all of the books you are using.

    Anyway, WordPress is a great tool and I blog with it daily, but I think that in creating a safe envrionment for your kids to talk about books, Edmodo is still the winner. Dunno. Lot’s to consider.

  7. courosa Says:

    Lots of good advice here, Jamie. You may want to ask @zemote himself about Edmodo, especially if you have any concerns or thoughts about the tool. He has been pretty helpful in the past.

    But of course, WordPress is a great tool and can be used for a number of different reasons. Hosting your OWN WordPress would be the ultimate though as you could really customize – or even do something like Worpress MU, where you can become your own WordPress.com as a district.

    If you want to know more about WordPress MU, ask my bro @gcouros as he set it up for his school.

  8. I don’t think WordPress currently allows you to search for multiple tags. But their support is SO good. When I have questions, they email answers within a day or two… and they listen to users so that features that get requested a lot get added. I would encourage you to tell WordPress what you are looking for.

  9. I just checked my daughter’s book site. I used the search widget and put in two of her “categories”… I got what I was looking for… I typed

    nature “ages 4-6”

    into her search widget. (Would be cooler to be able to click check boxes in front of tag or category names…)

    http://butterflysbooks.wordpress.com/?s=nature+%22ages+4-6%22

  10. James Says:

    Jamie;

    I’d say keeping tags and searches straight may help you. In the blog you use as an example, the tags are acronyms which you’ve explained above. Unless you explain those to your users (and you may be doing this with students), making them acronyms actually defeats the purpose of tags. Tags should be plain text labels for content, the meaning of which should be immediately apparent to visitors of your site. A taxonomical structure will be more beneficial if its meaning is clear.

    Second, while I understand why you might want to only search particular tags, a better way to consider this might be to think of search as what one uses when tags or categories aren’t working for them. In other words, a full-text search will parse everything in your posts for a granular match to keywords, whereas a tag is already performing a very high level search on your taxonomy.

    Third, you could really consider employing broad categories and more granular tags for greater flexibility. They’re somewhat separate from each other, but if you have more complex categorization ideas, the combination of both can be helpful.

    I’d also echo what Alex has said above, except that he’s showing his ‘old school’ as you won’t find WordPress MU any more. WordPress 3.0 has now replaced all previous versions of WordPress and includes multi-site/network capability. Getting a shared hosting account and having control of your environment is probably what you want. Any perceived benefits of a platform like blogger will immediately disappear as you have complete control over widgets, themes and plugins for additional functionality. In fact, with your own WP environment there are several plugins that make your blog play very nice with your Google account, including managing it through Google apps for your own domain.

    I’m managing some WordPress stuff where I work and really starting to dig into leveraging WP 3 as I presently revamp my own sites.

  11. ktenkely Says:

    Jamie, if you haven’t already found something… Search the WordPress plugins for one called mutli category or multi tag search. There are several. I use the multi category search in the right sidebar of iLearnTechnology if you want to play with it and see how it works. Select multiple categories and it will come up with all results that have been tagged with those categories. Good luck!


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