We are the Program for Online Teaching, a group of volunteer faculty helping other faculty teach better online.

Our focus is on pedagogy as the guiding force for using technologies for teaching.

Many of us are from MiraCosta College in Oceanside, California. MiraCostans may access the Teaching/Technology Innovations Center for technical help, resources, news and more.

The POT Network

  • POT Diigo group
    (see tutorial on how to save bookmarks)
  • POT Facebook group
  • POT Vimeo Channel (workshops)
  • POT YouTube Channel
  • Twittter (please use hashtag #potcomm)

Tour of WordPress Blog front page
Tour of WordPress Blog front page avatar

WordPress: Using Tags
WordPress: Using Tags avatar

WordPress: Using Categories
WordPress: Using Categories avatar

Laura demonstrates the setting up of categories as a good way of organizing posts.

MCC WordPress Tutorials
MCC WordPress Tutorials avatar

Faculty at MiraCosta College are welcome to set up a blog in the WordPress installation hosted at MiraCosta.

Laura Paciorek put together video tutorials to help.

There are three steps to acquiring your MiraCosta College WordPress blog site.The first is to email or call Anthony Ginger or Karen Korstad and request a MiraCosta College WordPress
site.The second is to choose a user name if you don’t have one for the college’s WordPress, which most people would not. And you could make it the same as your email, Surf, Blackboard user name or you could choose something else.
But you will need to tell them what you would like your user name to be.And the third thing is to choose a site name to be put in the URL. So, for example,”spartanonlineteaching” becomes the URL http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/spartanonlineteaching. Pretty much everything else you can customize after this is created. So, follow these steps and get your site and then there will be some more tutorials about how to make it work for you.
One nice thing about the WordPress site is that, when you have a new one, the first thing the “Dashboard” will invite you to do is to customize the site and make it more yours. I already went over how to rename it and things like that.But they go through how to set up the basic settings that you might want to do. How to get rid of things that they put as samples. Create things that you want to create. And even things like adding widgets. Work through these. I wanted to show you “Widgets” quickly. Because there’s already some things that are in that side bar in your blog that you may or may not like.Maybe, let’s say, you don’t want categories for some reason. You can just drag that out. And maybe you really want to add a calendar, so you can pull that in. And it’s really that simple as far as customizing your site even more. Hope you have fun making your blog your own.
Once you give your blog a new name and a new tagline, you can further customize it by choosing a new theme. There are currently a few themes inside of MiraCosta College’s account. But you can request a theme be added by contacting Anthony Ginger if you see a theme at WordPress.com that you like. Once you look through them and look at what the different benefits are for each theme and decide if that works for you, you can preview what it will look like by clicking on the theme of your choice.If you like what you see, you can activate it. And once you go back and look at it, you can see how now it looks a little different, there’s a different layout and you can go back in and change this at any time. Hopefully this helps. There’s more ways to customize. This is just one basic way that you can make it look different.
Now that you have your blog set up, you might want tocustomize it a little bit.  Let’s say the first thing you want to do is maybe change the name of it and the tagline.You do that by going to the “Dashboard.”  Once you’re inside the dashboard, you go to “Settings” and choose “General Settings.”  And here you can rename the title for your site and the tagline, a bunch of things.  So, maybe instead of “Laura’s Blog,” I want “Online Teaching Adventures” or something.  Then, save your changes.  And I can actually see that the name has changed and when I visit my site, it looks different here. Hopefully this is helpful and you have fun thinking of a name for your blog and customizing it.
Now that my blog has a new name, a new theme, I’ve renamed a page, added some posts… I want to show you what you can do directly from the “Dashboard” that’s quick, so you can keep your blog updated.  When you go to “Posts,” you can see all your posts, but you can just go right to “Add New” if you know what you want to write about.  And name your post.  And add your content.  You can save it as a draft.  Maybe you want to not forget something, but you’re not totally ready.  You can preview it.  Or, you can just go right to publish.  Once it loads, you can go right to your blog again and see your new post.  That’s a quick way to use your dashboard to add to your blog.
If you want to reduce the amount of spam comments on your blog, you’re going to want to install a plugin.  To do this, go to the “Dashboard” for your site and then go to “Plugins.” I already did that, so I’m going to scroll down. And the plugin that you want to active is this first one: Akismet.  Click “Activate.”  And after you do that, keep following the steps over here in the instructions.  You go to “Sign up for an API key.”  Choose “Personal.”  And if you don’t want to pay anything for it, you slide that down to zero.  Fill in all of the information here and click continue.  I already did that and what it did was email me a code.  And, so what you do after that is you click on this third part, which is to go to the configuration page.  And you’re going to put that code here in this box and click “Update options.”  And after you do that, you’ll be all set up to reduce the spam on your blog.  Hope that this helps and have fun blogging.