The festival of WordPress
January 22, 2021

This is an archive of the January 2021 event

Online Learning for the WordPress Community

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WordPress Community Team began to explore new ways of connecting online that would meet the goals of all WordPress events: to connect WordPress enthusiasts to each other, to inspire people to do more with WordPress, and to encourage people to contribute back to the Project. These goals led to the development of Learn WordPress, a brand new platform that offers free educational content for anyone interested in learning how to publish with, build for, and contribute to WordPress, no matter their experience level. In this talk, you’ll learn how you can benefit from Learn WordPress, how you can bring it to your local WordPress community, and how you can contribute to the platform.

Speaker: Angela Jin

Time: 7:00am UTC
Region: Asia
Stage: GoDaddy Pro Stage

Angela Jin:  Hi there. I’m Angela

Jin and I’m sponsored by

Automattic to be a community

organiser for the WordPress open

source project. I’m really

excited to be here with you

today to talk about online

learning for the WordPress

community, centred around a

brand new resource that came

about last year amidst the

COVID-19 pandemic, and that is

now available to all WordPress

enthusiasts. Learn WordPress

helps anyone interested in

WordPress build the skills

required for publishing with,

building, and contributing to

WordPress, regardless of

experience level. This is an

amazing online resource with a

lot of potential to grow in the

coming year. So it is my hope to

not only share how learn

WordPress came about, and why

it’s a benefit to anyone

interested in WordPress, but

also to inspire you to

participate. Early in 2020, we

were all so excited about

another year full of in person

wordcamps when the COVID-19

pandemic hit, derailing the

possibility of meeting in

person. This was a really big

hit to the WordPress community.

We do a ton of great work

online, but an additional way we

really connected was at meetups

and WordCamps. When it became

impossible to meet in person, we

lost one of our primary ways of

connecting with each other. But

the WordPress community really

came together to address that.

We had online events with new,

more varied formats, and we even

adapted contributor days online.

We had musical talent shows

featuring community members. We

had online hallway hangouts and

coffee chats. And we even tested

and tried out different

platforms. As a whole, this

community really demonstrated

how creative and fun and

resilient we are, not to mention

very supportive of each other.

What we were missing, however,

was opportunities to learn and

level up our skills, and to do

so in a way that really

connected us together. There is

some magic that happens when

WordPress people get together,

and I think we’re at our best

when we are able to inspire and

learn from each other. So while

the Community team was chatting

with organisers about creative

ways of creating those

connections online, the Training

team for years had been working

tirelessly on creating lesson

plans so that people could host

their own workshops. This led to

a really wonderful

collaboration, and thus, the

idea for learn WordPress was

born:  an online resource that

offers free educational content,

for anyone interested in

learning about anything related

to WordPress. Where workshops

could be watched at any time,

and those who are interested in

learning alongside others could

do so through online discussion

groups, creating those amazing

connections that WordPress

enthusiasts cherish. Learn

WordPress was launched on

December 15, 2020, and was the

result of some incredible cross

team partnerships. In addition

to Community and Training, Meta,

Marketing, Design, and more

teams provided invaluable

support, along with a dedicated

Learn WordPress working group.

So today, we have this new

resource:  Learn WordPress that

can be found at Like

WordPress software, anyone can

use Learn WordPress, and anyone

can contribute to it as well.

There are five ways that you can

participate in Learn WordPress

at this time. The first way to

get involved is to use Learn

WordPress and learn something!

Regardless of if you are brand

new to WordPress, or if you have

been using it or contributing

back to the project for years.

Learn WordPress will be a great

resource if you’re interested in

extending your WordPress

knowledge. The Learn WordPress

site houses workshops,

practical, skills-based videos

that demonstrate to viewers how

to do things with WordPress.

There is a wide range of

material from beginner topics,

like How to Install WordPress

and Where to Find Help, to

more advanced topics like

Advanced Layouts with the Block

Editor. If you’re interested in

creating a new online

storefront, you might find

Getting Started in eCommerce

helpful. For levelling up your

development skills, Introduction

to Gutenberg Block Development

would be really interesting. We

even have the Diverse Speaker

Training workshop series to help

people from marginalised or

underrepresented groups prepare

to give talks at WordPress

events. The point is, there is a

lot of great information

contained in these workshops

that anyone can learn from. Each

workshop includes a description,

along with learning outcomes,

and comprehension questions so

that you know ahead of time what

you should be learning from the

workshop, and so that you can

reflect on what you’ve learned.

Workshops also come with

quizzes, so that you can test

your knowledge.

Workshops that have related,

more encompassing learning

outcomes, are grouped together

to create courses, such as the

Publishing with WordPress

course, which includes all the

basics of creating your site.

Workshops can be watched on your

own and at any time, but what if

you want to learn with others?

This is where discussion groups

can help us create those

meaningful connections that come

from learning together and from

each other. Check out the Learn

WordPress homepage to see

upcoming discussion groups to

join. Watch the corresponding

workshop and join others who are

interested in learning more

about that particular topic.

Discussion groups provide a

dedicated place for like minded

people to learn about a

WordPress topic together by

discussing major learnings,

asking questions and exchanging

ideas, and generally, inspiring

each other to do more with

WordPress. Of course, Learn

WordPress only recently

launched, and there’s a lot to

learn about publishing with,

building, and contributing to

WordPress. Anyone can submit a

workshop idea to Learn

WordPress, and it can be on any

topic related to WordPress, and

for any experience level, and in

any language. To do so, submit

your workshop idea with the

workshop presenter application,

making sure to include a

description of the workshop,

learning objectives and some

comprehension questions.

Creating a workshop is a

wonderful way to share your

knowledge with other WordPress

enthusiasts. Since we are a

global community, a hope that I

have for Learn WordPress is to

see lots of workshops in

different languages, so that we

can truly help everyone and

anyone with WordPress.

Discussion groups are key to

creating meaningful ways of

connecting with and learning

from each other. And the best

part is, anyone can start and

facilitate a discussion group.

Discussion group facilitators

are responsible for scheduling a

discussion time and reminding

participants to watch the

workshop ahead of time. During

the discussion, help to

introduce the topic and keep the

conversation on track. The

advantage of being a discussion

group facilitator is that you

get to pick the topic and

workshop for discussion. You do

not need to be an expert on the

topic. In fact, this could be

your very first introduction to

the subject, and you could ask a

lot of really great questions

about the topic as the

facilitator to help everyone

learn. You can apply to be a

discussion group leader at the

discussion groups page, or if

you are already a meetup group

organiser, organise a discussion

group as part of your Meetup

group. Discussion groups make

for excellent meetups. Included

with Learn WordPress are lesson

plans, guides for people who are

presenting at events or in

educational environments. Lesson

plans are found on the Learn

WordPress homepage and offer

outlines and a complete script

for anyone who wants to recreate

workshops at a WordPress event.

Since WordPress is continually

being improved and built, older

lesson plans will need to be

updated, and you can also create

new lesson plans to help cover

new topics for Learn WordPress.

The Training team can help you

get started in updating and

creating lesson plans. And they

meet every Friday at 11 UTC and

on Tuesdays at 17 UTC in the

#training channel in Slack.

One final way of getting

involved is to join the Learn

WordPress working group, a

collaboration across the

Community and Training teams

that helps to plan for workshops

and discussion groups, review

workshop and facilitator

applications, and works on

improvements to the Learn

WordPress website. The group

meets on a monthly basis in the

#training channel in Slack.

Joining this working group is an

excellent way to help build the

future of Learn WordPress. Learn

WordPress only officially

launched in December, and while

there is already a number of

excellent workshops and

discussion groups available to

help you extend your WordPress

knowledge, there’s so much more

we can do together. WordPress’

mission is to democratise

publishing, and education and

connection are important tools

that will help us get there.

Learn WordPress does not replace

our events, and I’m really

looking forward to seeing all of

you at an in person WordCamp,

when it is safe to do so again.

Learn WordPress simply creates

another opportunity for us to

create impactful connections,

especially during this time of

online events. And, I think

it’ll lead to really incredible

in person discussions in the

future. But the resource also

relies on you as an important

part of the WordPress community.

There is so much knowledge that

we all have to share, and

experience that makes us

stronger as a community. So

check out Learn WordPress today,

add something new to your

WordPress knowledge base, and

give back the gift of your

knowledge and experience to help

the WordPress community. Thank

you so much for joining me

today. If you’d like to get in

touch with me to chat about

Learn WordPress or to discuss

anything related to the

WordPress community, you can

find me here.

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