What Is It?

WordPress.com is a hosted version of the open source WordPress software package where you can start a blog in seconds without any technical knowledge.

Who Uses It?

There are 4.2 million blogs hosted on WordPress.com ranging from TechCrunch to The New York Times, and from the British Prime Minister to Curt Shilling. The WordPress software is the most used blogging software among the top 100 blogs.

How Does It Work?

Signing up for an account on WordPress.com takes all of 20 seconds. Once you register you’ll get a confirmation e-mail and then you are on your way. Clicking on Write a new post or Write a new page will take you to a page where you can enter the Title, Content, Tags, and Categories for the post. The interface is very similar to Microsoft Word and other text editing programs. Clicking Publish will make your post visible to the world.

Instructional Technology Uses

Personal Web site

It is possible to replace a static HTML Web site with a dynamic WordPress.com blog. A smart use of pages and the ability to set a static homepage will allow the blog to function in a manner similar to static Web sites.

On-line discussion

Use your blog to post discussion questions and have the students conduct the discussion in the comments. It is even possible to allow threading of comments by using some plugins.

Peer reviewed writing

Have students create blogs and post their writing assignments and collect feedback from classmates or outside experts through the comments.

Incorporate remote experts in your course discussions

It is possible for you to add users to your blog as authors thus giving you the ability to have remote experts participate in the course by leading discussions. Similarly, remote experts can participate through commenting without having to be added as authors.

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