WordPress.com launched its new Classrooms service Wednesday to assist in website setup for a variety of school activities. The program aims to become an integral part of educational tasks and offers various built-in modules to help with website creation and maintenance without having to worry about code manipulation.
In a February 20th blog post, the company stated that “WordPress is an elegant solution for education professionals looking to create a website for their class, and today we’re excited to announce the launch of WordPress.com Classrooms. Whether you need a group blog for your high school history project, or to keep your 3rd grade students’ parents up to date about the next field trip, you’ll find the solution here at WordPress.com.”
School Projects, Updates, And Networking
There is a large amount of functionality contained within the Classrooms concept, beginning with password protected pages that allow administrators to decide which content remains private. Users will have their choice from a number of in-house themes along with the ability to add photo galleries, review comments, and more.
Teachers will have a wide variety of customization options available to them via the Control Panel options that are easy to understand for non-programmers and require only a few key strokes to configure. Educators can set homework tasks and publish the data for both students and parents to view while encouraging collaboration on shared projects. “Classrooms” has many of the tools necessary for simplifying a professor’s work while also improving overall communication.
Since 8pm Eastern Time Wednesday evening, nearly a dozen news stories have emerged on the Classrooms launch. A write-up posted by TechCrunch.com opined that “the launch of all of these verticals over the last few months is clearly meant to highlight the fact that WordPress is not just a basic blogging platform anymore. Thanks to its flexible theming engine and the addition of custom post types, WordPress has now become a pretty capable content management system that can be used for far more than basic blogging.”
VentureBeat.com added that “for teachers looking to increase organization, enhance their teaching styles for their digitally trained audiences, or simply decrease paper in the classroom, WordPress Classrooms seems like a simple and timely solution. Even though it’s just an edu-washed version of WordPress.com blogging software, it’s still an excellent product and one that first-time site builders will find a friendly introduction to the wild world of webmastery.”
The global ramifications of the WordPress platform have been felt in all continents except Antarctica, with approximately one-quarter of all websites currently being powered by WordPress. Due to its open source nature, developers can easily manipulate code to come up with unique products minute-by-minute; in turn creating a real-time evolution of premium WordPress themes that has resulted in a thriving open marketplace.
As TechCrunch alluded to, WordPress is no longer recognized as just a blogging platform. Websites using WordPress now successfully relay everything from online retail services to restaurant menus to eager front-end customers. Localization ensures that programmers and webmasters are able to easily manage the back-end controls regardless of whether English is their first language.
More WordPress Classrooms Info
“We’re all about engaging discussion,” wrote a WordPress representative on Wednesday. “Invite students to post their thoughts on your latest lecture and submit their reaction papers as comments. Or maybe you just need a place to get the word out about class happenings — turn off comments entirely and make your site an informative online newsletter. You can even share class forms and documents with parents by using the media uploader.”
To find out more about the new service available to the public, visit the WordPress.com Classrooms page.