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Blog Pile, Wordpress

Random Post Generator

Confused? Don’t know where to put a comment on a #ds106 student blog as part of the Magnificent Seven Blog Comment Challenge? I have the link for you. With some rubbing together of magic dust and a dab of elbow grease, I have a new feature for the various “sections” of ds106- these are classes […]


Give Me Random Featured Posts or … well, not

In which I detail obscure WordPress tinkering and celebrate doing what happens with a small amount of understanding… Despite the expected mockery of some harsh critics I’ve been really happy with the change over in August to this newest outer dressing on this blog (do you keep your own history? It’s a good practice if […]

SPLOT, Wordpress

SPLOT No /random

File this in the tiny bits of code of almost nil importance. But it also reinforces that in building things like my SPLOT themes for other people, I’m not totally in the power to foresee all the things people will try. One of the “features” built into TRU Writer, TRU Collector, and SPLOTbox is an […]

Blog Pile, TRU Time

Randomly() Yours

Do you really know where your next blog post will come from? Mine kind of pop up like… driving down the road with a destination in mind, and an curious road sign appears. How can you not take that turn? Is that critical you get to Palookaville by 4? Mine started with (like many) a […]

Postcards from ds106

Postcards from #ds106

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by postaletrice

Greetings from ds106! We are in the second week here of the Spring 2013 (yes in Canada, this is a winter semester, sigh) University of Mary Washington course. Last year, the first time through teaching this class in person, I attempted to do audio reflections á la the great Scottlo (where is that dude?). That was interesting, but time consuming.

So this semester I will start a series of reflections of teaching the class. I already gushed about the first impressions of my students.

The first two weeks is something Martha and I coined last semester as “Bootcamp”, where in week 1 and week 2 we focus on all the logistics and setup they should do to be proficient in their blogging and media producing the rest of the semester.

I tried a weak housebuilding analogy – week 1 is putting in the framing and foundation; week 2 is painting it and filling in the decoration touches, in in very short time, the neighborhood will not look at all like one of those cookie cutter housing divisions.

It’s a lot I throw at them and was even asking myself this week if it is too much. Maybe 6 students dropped (4 new ones added). They get frustrated. One thing I wanted them to do is have a better understanding of their UMW Domains control panel. usually once they set up a domain and install a blog, we never go back there. I hope to interject some tasks through out the semester to have them use other things there (this week I had them set up a forwarding email address).

Also in the house building analogy, I am making them set up their ds106 blog as a subdomain- after class, it makes little sense to have this as a primary site. I want them to understand how to create not just one online space, but to know how to do several. I am asking them to install a second copy of wordpress at their primary domain, and throughout the semester to go back and make that one more of a welcome card site (I suggested a few free themes that would work well for that).

By Monday when I was reviewing their sites, i could not be more pleased. Blog posts were titles like “phew” “Bootcamp Game Me the Boot” and “Why I Never Fit inside the Computer Science Department”. But after those first sentences, they all pretty much accomplished the set up, the blogging, the media embedding, using categories.