Episode 052: The Best Ways to Teach WordPress – Part I

This is going to be the first episode in a series of episodes talking about how to teach WordPress. It isn’t like a normal classroom subject.

The Best Method to Teach, is Hands-On

The best way to teach WordPress is hands-on, while tutorials and book-format are great for some, most people who really desire to learn will get more out of a hands-on training over trying to replicate what they see in a book. In Michele’s case she was heading up the KidsCamp at WordCamp Miami, a program which allows kids to learn how to build websites using WordPress.

This is an amazing program and thing that is unique to WordCamp Miami, and every year new kids come out of their day with websites they’ve built, it is awesome.

Overall I agree that hands-on is the best way to teach someone, but not always the most practical which is why there are teaching methods that range from hands-on to book, and everything in between.

Fun Learning Up to a Point?

I said this on the podcast, but not sure I agree with it, more so I haven’t seen a good example. Fun times are had with learning when the topics are pretty basic. It is easy to make an “Intro to CSS” talk fun, because you can do fun stuff with it like turning the background red. I haven’t seen this done with more high level talks like Carl’s OOP stuff. Not saying I don’t find it interesting, I do, but to make it engaging through “fun” is a bit more difficult with high level topics.

Have you seen higher level topics taught in “fun” ways? If so, please steer me correct.

Learning by Teaching

Carl talked in Atlanta about how you can leverage teaching to learn new things. I joked around that I do this all the time, leading me to be in “imposter syndrome” mode 90% of the time, however it is a good way to learn new things. Knowing I have to teach something to a someone (or people) helps me push through learning it myself, and getting it down so I can answer all the questions that come up.

Here is Carl’s talk from WordCamp Atlanta about the topic:

 

Tips & Tricks

  • Gauging Audience – Ask preliminary questions before your talk/presentation and adjust your presentation accordingly
  • Have Patience – Some people may not catch on as quick, find the lowest and highest denominator and find the average
  • Have Mentors – If you can, have people / floaters that can walk around helping those that need it as you go
  • Don’t Take Shortcuts – Don’t make the assumption that your students will follow along shortcuts. Show every step, then explain potential shortcuts
  • Prepare Yours Slides – I don’t, but you should
  • AVOID LIVE CODING or LIVE DEMOS – seriously, whatever can go wrong, will go wrong

One thought on “Episode 052: The Best Ways to Teach WordPress – Part I

  1. It is always great and wonderful watching to see Carl teach. I have been an avid follower of his blog (though i seldom comment) and have learned alot from him.

    Great talk.

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