First Christmas tweets from my students #MFC4322

Why use WordPress for Academic Blogging?

Blogging mindmap


  1. It’s free – up to a very generous point.
  2. It’s customisable.
  3. It’s a social network – a great way to find and link with others in your field.
  4. It facilitates multiple authors and collaboration.
  5. It is open source – which makes it even more customisable for a very low cost (for the hosting only).
  6. People have built really usefully plugins and extended the wordpress platform to create whole online communities that can be used to blog together – for example you can build your own social network on BuddyPress.
  7. Can move swiftly and easily to a completely independent site at very low cost.
  8. Lots of free resources to learn WordPress.

Free Resources for Learning WordPress

BLOG graphic


First stop for learning WordPress is

If your website is independently hosted – that is it is NOT on – the WordPress Codex and its teach yourself WordPress section is your first port of call.

If you’d like a printable manual the wonderful WordPress consultants Interconnect IT regularly update their free wordpress guide.

If you prefer video tutorials check out

Of course wordpress is a social network, and many bloggers have collated their picks of the best resources for learning WordPress, here’s a top three to get you started:

If you find any good resources – p[lease mention them in the comments.


Academic Bloggers

This list is compiled from the participants in the #LTHEChat (Learning and teaching in Higher Education) about the value of academic blogging.

The chat takes place every Wednesday evening (BST) from 8-9pm find out more on the LTHEChat website and follow them on Twitter @LTHEChat

  • Academic Blogs Academic blogs from the University of Glasgow
  • Christopher Wiley Information and expert comment and teaching notes on popular and classical music topics
  • David Hopkins eLearning, MOOCs, Blogging, Social Media, and the stuff in between. Author of The Really Useful #EdTechBook
  • Educational Vignettes A team blog sharing practice, ideas, expertise and activities in the field of educational development
  • How Sheila Sees IT ponderings from the world of educational technology in HE
  • James Clay News and views on e-learning, ILT and tech stuff in general…
  • Kate Soper Thoughts Personal reflections on technology enhanced learning
  • Laura Ritchie Musings on teaching, researching, performing, and learning music in HE
  • Learning and Technology Reflections Thoughts about learning, teaching and technology in HE
  • Sue Beckingham Helping you get started using social media for learning, teaching and research
  • Textile Conservation A blog about textile conservation at the University of Glasgow.


WEEK 1. Welcome to #MFC4322 – Online Research and Content Generation

Your task this week is to set up your WordPress blog and to write a blogpost on any subject you want – around 250-500 words – it should be as long as you need it to be to make your point.

i love bloggingTry to use one or more of the following:

  • A link with anchor text to an external site.
  • An embedded video from Youtube.
  • A picture to illustrate your post.

Don’t worry too much about the overall design of your site as we will be perfecting it over the weeks to come, and you will be going back to edit previous posts once you learn more tips and tricks.

You also need to complete the WordPress GROVO training by clicking on the link in the invitation email I sent you.  This week’s overview of WordPress should only take 30 minutes or so to complete.

This week you should also tweet once a day on the #MFC4322 class hashtag.

Free online Twitter course

As part of my research into social learning at Leeds Trinity University, I am running my popular 12 Days of Twitter course again in the new year.

12daysoftwitter graphic (3)The course takes place in half an hour a day (maybe more if you get keen!) – at any time of day you like – over 12 days. It’s a great way to build your network and make new friends and colleagues whilst learning to tweet on Twitter.

At the time of typing our first two cohorts are full. So far we’ve got training professionals, librarians, business owners, marketers, researchers, academics and a couple of journalists. If you fancy joining our online twitter course, you’ll be made very welcome!

How to attribute a picture correctly on

Where to put the attribution

The easiest place to put the attribution is somewhere in the text of your blog post – perhaps at the end.

If your theme allows for a picture caption to be displayed to your readers, this is the ideal place to put your attribution, but you will need to cut and paste some HTML to get the right result.

Putting the attribution in the Caption field

I find it easiest to write the attribution into the normal wordpress post editing window, that way I can put the hyperlinks in as normal:

“A Hedgehog’s Back” by Denis Defrayne is licensed under CC by 2.0.

Then I switch from VISUAL view to TEXT view:

attribution code

Then I can copy and paste this HTML into the caption by editing the photo:

A hedgehog's back
“A Hedgehog’s Back” by Denis Defrayne is licensed under CC by 2.0.

 Best practice for attribution:

  1. Use the Artist’s title for the piece.
  2. Link to the Artist’s profile page, or their about page, or equivalent.
  3. Link to the original source of the piece – e.g. the original Flickr page.
  4. Link to the license deed.

I also like to link the main picture to the original source using the “Link To” field, then my blog readers can get to the source of the image – and its owner – with one click on the photograph.

Please put any questions in the comments.