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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 […]

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.