This is not a scam. You can get on average $500+ from UWA Blogs just like that. Do you want it?

The only condition is that you must be UWA staff or student. If you are you can get a free website/blog powered by WordPress – fully functional and packed with premium themes and plugins with no costs for domain registration and hosting! This equals an average cost of $500 a year if you would like to pay it out of your own pocket. And do you know what the special deal is? You can have more than one weblog! YES, this means N x $500 free to you straight form UWA Blogs.

Do you know how all of this happened? Here is a short story of UWA Blogs.

Blogs have been used in education for more than 10 years and several staff members at UWA used blogs, especially WordPress to enhance their teaching and learning. But, they used it the old way i.e. purchasing the domain, paying for hosting and extra themes and plugins etc (or actually having someone from our IT or Multimedia staff do it for them). This wasn’t very effective and it was quite expensive. I know this because I did experiment with different blogging platforms (from Weebly to Blogger) when designing blogging assignments several years ago. The various options were either simplistic, unsuitable for education or unsafe (exposing students and staff’s private information).  The alternative to this was… well… Moodle or Blackboard blogs, which, if you know the power of WordPress, you would never call blogs and certainly not websites.

And then about three years ago I came across Edublogs/CampussPress which is nothing else but WordPress for education – a full website hosting service powered by WordPress, super safe (they have an obsession about safety), affordable and used by some of the world top universities (e.g. Stanford, National University of Singapore). With the support of Phil Hancock and Michael Gillan from the Business School I successfully applied for a small grant ($3000), Improving Student Learning in the old good Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, CATL. We tested Edublogs/WordPress in one unit, EMPL3001 Globalisation and Work, as an assignment tool and it was a great success.

I quickly realisded we had a chance to give all UWA staff and students a powerful tool for truly digital education with endless possibilities.  Imagine that each of us can design their personal, professional and visually stunning websites, run empowering blogs, use these as engaging assignment tools and much more. It was the time for the next step. That’s when we successfully applied for the Education Futures Grant ($10,000) from the Centre for Education Futures in 2015. This funds allowed us to open UWA Blogs to all staff and students and really democratise digital creative education.

Yes, you are lucky! You have a powerful digital tool for free. The grant covers the license fee for Edublogs/CampusPress and our rather symbolic administrative costs of implementing and servicing UWA Blogs platform. We were able to pay the license for 500 blogs till March 2017. But the sad and funny thing is that a license for an unlimited number of blogs costs only $12,000 USD (around $16,500) a year. Sad, because we could not afford to pay the unlimited license so that everyone at UWA enjoys free website this year. Funny, because if you divide this price by the number of thousands of UWA staff and students, we would pay less than $ 0.50  (50 cents!) each for a value of $500 and much more if you have multiple websites!

Can you see how lucky we are? Do you think that UWA (with an estimated $90 million operating surplus) could afford a $16,500 license fee that opens the doors to innovative digital education for all UWA staff and students?

If you have any doubts, check out what our students think about our blogging project in the short video ‘The Impact of Blogging‘.

Andrzej

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