Common Sense Review
Updated May 2015

WordPress

Inviting, customizable mobile blog platform with easy-to-use interface
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • Teens can easily post pictures from their device's photo stream.
  • Teens can manage or post to existing WordPress blogs or create new ones using the iOS or Android apps.
  • The user interface is easy to navigate and fully featured.
  • Posting a new blog entry is easy, and voice-recognition dictation can make it even easier.
  • Kids can approve or report as spam comments from the device.
Pros
Easy setup and activation let students start blogging quickly, and customization options give tech-savvy students the ability to create more elaborate sites.
Cons
Mobile version lacks a few web conveniences.
Bottom Line
Wordpress's app makes it easy to create and edit blog posts, manage comments, and view friends' blogs, and could be an indispensable tool for communication and collaboration if well-implemented.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

This app lets students and teachers freely share their thoughts on any subject, which should be engaging to most. It has a clean interface, and design can be easily customized.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Learning depends on implementation, but communicating responsibly online is a critical skillset for students. Comments let students get/give feedback, and interest-driven blogging can spark student creativity.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

The interface is easy to use and is well-explained, and blog templates can be as simple or as complex as users would like them to be. There's a vast amount of help out there, but it's a lot to take in.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

If you're thinking about assigning student blogs, you'll want be judicious with this tool: The terms of service specify that users must be at least 13 years old. Also, students trying to manage multiple blogs for different content areas might get overwhelmed. Rather than having students set up individual blogs, you could create a class blog to which students can contribute. WordPress allows up to 35 users to be invited to each blog, so a class could easily contribute to blogs collaboratively in class or from home.

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What's It Like?

Wordpress is a free blogging platform that students can access via this app or online at Wordpress.com. Students 13 and up can use the app for the iOS or Android device to create and manage WordPress blogs. Once registered, students can post blog entries with text, photos, or video as well as manage their blog's templates and design, approve comments, and adjust its settings. In addition, students can use the Reader tab to read blogs they follow or search for blogs on subjects of interest. While most of the web-based features are available in the app, there are some notable mobile-only functions, like voice-recognition dictation to post blog entries and one-tap picture posting for images and videos from the device's camera roll.

For teachers creating their own classroom blogs, they can use the WordPress apps on mobile devices to simplify the setup process. Most of the features are actually more accessible (and easier to find) in the app than they are online; typing on the touchscreen rather than a keyboard is the main difference that might slow posting down for students and teachers alike.

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Is It Good For Learning?

An easy way for teens to update their blogs and publish writing for an authentic audience, Wordpress is a media production tool that lets students learn online publishing basics and experiment with various forms of digital storytelling and creation. Students can learn to refine their writing by publishing it; over time, they'll hone their skills for effectively using technology to communicate their ideas.

Blogs can give students an easy, fun way to publish their writing as well as get feedback. However, comments may not always be kind or (with the proliferation of spam) relevant. Careful application of safety measures, such as making the blogs private or password-protected, should help. Students can learn to understand the recursive process of writing and continue to revise and edit even after their work is published electronically.

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Lesson Plans