WordPress provides a range of options for functionality beyond the basic writing and commenting platform. The McGraw Center selectively integrates ‘plugins’ that encourage writing, collaborative work, and the creative use and analysis of multimedia.
By default, WordPress allows you to upload videos or to easily embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu, and many other websites. Functionality has been added to allows for the embedding of video from Princeton’s own Kaltura media server and Video-On-Demand service.
Audio files can be uploaded directly into blog posts. Blogs can showcase student-produced podcasts or audio documentaries.
A video annotation plugin developed here at the McGraw Center allows users to post comments at specific times in a video. Whenever a student adds a comment to the page, the current position of the video playback is stored, allowing one resume playback from that point. A timeline visualization of all comments in the video can also be displayed.
Create image galleries
Images added to a McGrawCommons blog can be organized and presented in a tiled image gallery or as an in-page slideshow.
Create zoomable images
Using a plugin developed at the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, large images can be presented in a ‘zoomable’ window allowing users to focus in on details in the image.
Text authored on McGrawCommons can also include footnotes. Footnotes can contain links, images, audio clips, and video.
Create an annotation network
Using our annotator plugin, students can annotate posts with other posts, creating a network of linked annotations. The annotations can then be exported as a spreadsheet or as a network graph for further analysis.
Connect your McGraw Commons blog to a list of glossary terms in a Google Sheets spreadsheet. The Princeton Glossary plugin scans each page of your blog, looks for terms from your glossary, and inserts pop-up definitions of those terms for the reader.
Pictures taken with GPS-enabled phones often contain information about the latutude and longitude from which pictures were taken. Use this information to plot student-contributed images on a map.
Control when students can view comments
Expand the possibilities of student comments on your blog by restricting when students are able to view colleagues’ comments.
Plugins developed by the McGraw Center allow students to annotate images. Drag a marker to a point on the image and insert a multimedia annotation. Annotations can appear as a list beside the image or in pop-up bubbles.
Image tagging encourages activities related to crowd-sourced metadata generation and image analysis. Students contribute short descriptive tags to an image and a wordcloud-style visualization of those terms is generated.
Associate geographical coordinates with blog posts and illustrate your blog with maps
The wpGeo plugin adds a Google Map to the editing interface for each post, allowing students to designate a geographical location with their writing. A map is then embedded in the post. Cumulative maps containing all locations or all locations associated with some category of posts can also be included on your site.
Add Dublin-core metadata
The Dublin Core Metadata extension adds common cataloging fields from the Dublin Core to the post editing interface.
Import citations from Zotero
With Zotpress, collections of bibliographic citations can be imported from your online Zotero library or from a group Zotero collection.
Juxtapose any two posts
A juxtaposition plugin, developed by the McGraw center, allows users to select posts for side-by-side display.
Use hypothes.is to collaboratively annotate blog pages.
Grade student posts
The grader plugin does something seemingly simple but quite valuable on a public blog. It allows instructors to comment upon and add grades to student posts and have those remarks only visible to the student and instructor.