An Introduction to Blogging and WordPress from Sioux-Hudson Literacy Council

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The most fascinating and satisfying journey that we take with learners is the one that starts with our course: Introduction to Blogging.

Learners sign up for many reasons: curiosity, personal growth or for their small business ventures. They leave with an understanding of the gift that the Internet has given us all: the gift of a voice.

So, what is a blog?

Well, this video by Common Craft says it all.

Blogging is online self-publishing. It is communication and it is community. Blogging takes no special programming knowledge, no professional writing credentials, and often no money.  Blogging gives anyone who cares to a chance to tell a story, to tell their story. It crosses boundaries and breaks down barriers.

Sioux Hudson Literacy Council (SHLC) started blogging a couple of years ago. While we did start our blog using the Blogger host, we soon found that WordPress suited our needs much more. WordPress blogs are free. They are very customizable with neat added features you can use, and the “back-end” is easy to use. WordPress gives you a complete breakdown of blog traffic, from the number of visits to the blog to which blog posts are most popular. You can really start to plan how you write and when you publish, based on these numbers.

But, while WordPress is fabulous, our Introduction to Blogging class uses Tumblr. Blog hosts like WordPress can be overwhelming to the new blogger, and I’ve found that Tumblr, a fairly new blogging service, is a straight-forward, intuitive blogging tool.

To find the right fit for your organization, we would really recommend creating a blog in all three blog hosts. Try each one out and see which one fits.

Blogging should be considered a very important part of any literacy organization’s voice. And I think we can relate this back to the movie: The Kings Speech.” The movie is about a man who assumes the role of King of England but with a stammer, also known as a stutter, where a person has involuntary pauses and repetitions when speaking. The movie is ultimately about a man who finds his voice in a time where his country needs his leadership. This is an approach that many, if not all, adult literacy organizations can take with blogging. Find your voice!

“Why should I listen to you?”  “Because I have a voice!”  “Yes you do.”

Blogging is an opportunity for adult literacy organizations, across all streams, to find their voices and to share their learners’ stories and organizational successes. Blogging provides organizations with a medium to speak to learners, peers and funders.

And, depending on who your target audience is, WordPress has several options to make your blog creative and interactive:

  • You can include website links to interesting articles and literacy resources. Here is an example to NALD. Click on the green link to see their website.
  • WordPress also allows you to insert pictures, like the clapper board shown above, to help bring your blog to life.
  • WordPress also allows you to embed videos from sources such as YouTube… like the video you saw at the beginning of this blog.

People learn in different ways and it’s important to consider what options you have to deliver the most effective message(s) to your audience.

To learn more about blogging and using WordPress, please feel free to contact Sandra and Warren at Sioux Hudson Literacy Council (SHLC). Click here to view the SHLC blog – who knows, this might inspire you or someone you know to sign up for the Good Learning Anywhere online course – Introduction to Blogging.

Sandra Turner is responsible for Communications and Logistics at Sioux Hudson Literacy Council (SHLC) and the Good Learning Anywhere (GLA) Project. Sandra also instructs online using Centra (e-Channel) for courses such as Introduction to Blogging. Sandra is a regular contributor to the SHLC blog. She writes blogs on current news, trends and celebrations in Native stream adult literacy.

Warren Butler is an Online Instructor with the GLA Project at SHLC. Warren instructs courses in both Centra (synchronous) and Moodle (asynchronous) platforms. He is an avid fan of using social media, such as Twitter, to gather resources for learners, share ideas with practitioners and keep up to date with trends in literacy. Warren also blogs on behalf of Sioux Hudson Literacy Council.

The SHLC is a non-profit, community based, client centred Literacy and Basic Skills Program. We also operate the Sioux Lookout Learning Centre and GLA e-Channel distance delivery program.

SHLC is funded by The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) and, formerly, the National Literacy Secretariat (NLS).





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