Thursday, September 15, 2011
WordPress in the Liberal Arts
Four Points Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center
1125 Boston Providence Turnpike
When:9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Workshop Organizer: Baynard Bailey of Vassar College
WordPress is a powerful digital publishing platform capable of building simple static sites, blogs, and CMS's. Our WordPress in the liberal arts SiG will focus on empowering users in academic communities to feel confident in developing, administrating and advising their campuses on best practices. New users of WordPress will come away with a general sense of the flexibility and utility of this publishing platform. WordPress administrators will have a deeper resource pool and a broader network for troubleshooting and problem-solving. Consultants will be exposed to a plethora of ways in which WordPress can publicly enhance teaching and research.
7:30am – 9:00am Registration and Coffee
9:00am- 10:00am Presentation: WordPress for Teaching and Learning
Baynard Bailey, Academic Computing Consultant, Vassar College
This opening session will situate the use of Wordpress within the framework of an academic institution. We will place our attention on how the publishing platform can be used to enhance the inherent interactions of the classroom and provide opportunities for experiential forms of learning. Our hope is to address the multitude of questions that can arise from these modes of learning to better prepare technologists and teachers for their use.
10:00am - 11:15am Panel: WordPress in Action : Innovative Projects in WordPress
In this session we will be inspired by the multitude of projects that are being explored throughout campuses across the US. From mapping to exploring narrative, presenters will discuss their success and challenges in bringing Wordpress into the classroom.
My.Macaulay: WordPress, Eportfolios and a Student Portal
Panelist: Joe Ugoretz, Associate Dean of Teaching, Learning, and Technology,, William E. Macaulay Honors College – CUNY
"The college website is not for US!" our students told us. "We want a place where we can have the information WE need, and we want to talk to each other, too." This presentation will demonstrate how WordPress (already in use at the college for eportfolios, blogs and course websites) helped Macaulay Honors College to build a student portal with social networking, reflection on learning, and practical applications all working together.
On the Map
Panelist: Kevin Willarty, Academic Computing Manager, Wesleyan University
The overall goal of "On the Map" is to organize and display scholarly projects geo-spatially. One particular goal is to showcase Wesleyan research, fieldwork, and service learning in and on Middletown, Connecticut, the home of the university.
Individual sites on the Wesleyan WordPress installation can use the GeoMashup WordPress plugin to map posts or pages on a site-specific map. In addition, however, an aggregator site can mash up mapped posts from several individual sites using the FeedWordPress plugin.
"On the Map" uses a small amount of original programming to make creative use of existing tools.
Blogging in the Classroom: Three Examples
Panelist: Mark Frydenberg, Senior Lecturer, Computer Information Systems, Bentley University
This presentation will share innovative ways for introducing a variety of blogging tools and assignments into college courses. We will demonstrate using a blog as an alternative to a learning management system to create an interactive learning environment that goes beyond the classroom, show live blogging applications to capture what happens in the classroom, and talk about classroom uses of Twitter as a micro-blogging platform.
11:15am - 12:30pm Panel: Customizing Wordpress for Academia: Theme & Plugin Development
Our interest in this session is to demystify the process of customizing for use across campus. We hope to break the barrier of "the code" in terms of themes and plug-in creation as to allow faculty and technologists to dig deeper into what can be possible in Wordpress.
WordPress Themes and Plugins
Panelist: Jon Breitenbucher, Adjunct Professor and Instructional Technology Specialist, The College of Wooster
I will talk about some of the challenges of maintaining a WordPress Multisite in regard to themes and plugins. I'll also discuss the process I use to develop themes and plugins. I will focus on my current practice of developing themes for the Genesis Theme Framework by StudioPress.
New Models for Blogs on Campus
Panelist: Kyle Dickson, Associate Professor of English, Abilene Cristian University
The WordPress platform has moved beyond what we think of as the typical blog. In its first two years on our campus, faculty have chosen WP to replace typical course tools like Blackboard, replicated functionality of Web 2.0 instant publishing sites like Drop.io or Posterous, developed course portals to support multi-section classes, and implemented a campus-wide blog portfolio program with aggregator course blogs. The presentation will demonstrate how this platform now supports teaching across campus as well as suggesting next steps for supporting interdisciplinary teaching.
Integrating WordPress with the Academic Enterprise
Panelist: Alex Chapin, Principal Curricular Technologist Middlebury College
Middlebury College is integrating its academic and administrative systems to enable the creation of curricular resources and activities across a number of platforms including WordPress, Moodle, MediaWiki and Drupal. WordPress @ Middlebury has been configured to enable it to be used for courses with plugins for assigning roles to class members, controlling access to course sites and managing media. Middlebury has also developed a theme framework for generating a wide range of themes with flexible layouts, consistent interfaces and configurable default widgets. Finally, Middlebury is developing templates for various types of sites including those for courses, projects and initiatives.
12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm - 2:30pm Panel: Institutional Narrative
In our final session we will hear the stories of several institutions as they have traversed the Wordpress landscape. Whether as a tool for teaching or as a content management system, we are interested in hearing the path that each group followed as they defined how the system is best used on their campuses.
Managing a College Web Site with WordPress
Panelist: Bill Dennen, Web Technologist, Wheaton College
Wheaton College uses WordPress with Multisite to manage its web site. With thousands of pages spread across scores of sub-sites, we have found that WordPress can handle just about anything we've thrown at it. Come hear an overview of the 18-month long project to migrate from a home-grown CMS to WordPress, including some of the things we've learned along the way.
WordPress as a Supplementary Learning Management System
Panelist: Monty Kaplan, Instructional Technologist, Emerson College
Emerson College introduced WordPress experimentally in early 2010. Since then, it's grown into the most widely used supplement to learning management at Emerson, supporting over 1500 unique users in just under two years. Each new project presents an opportunity for us to improve the platform for all users in this massive multi-site environment. With the right balance of simplicity and customization, WordPress is a go-to tool for us and I'm happy to tell you the who, what, when, where, and why.
2:30pm - 3:00pm Wrap-up and End
Alex Chapin is a curricular technologist at Middlebury College specializing in technologies for second language acquisition and is the author of iSpeak, a series of phrasebooks and language study products for mobile devices published by McGraw-Hill. Other projects he has been involved with include Segue, an open source curricular content management system that received a Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration in 2007 and the Course Hub, a Drupal-based application for generating course sites from student information systems and connecting them to resources created in various platforms including WordPress and soon Moodle. Alex has created WordPress themes and manages the development of WordPress @ Middlebury.
Bill Dennen is a Web Technologist and Sysadmin at Wheaton College, which uses WordPress for managing the school's web content. He has many years of experience supporting the use of technology in higher education. Prior to Wheaton, Bill worked at Brown University and Colby College. Outside of work, Bill is an avid Red Sox fan and enjoys traveling to sunny, warm destinations with his family. Follow Bill at @wjdennen on Twitter.
Jon Breitenbucher is a Ph.D. mathematician by training who discovered a passion for instructional technology and Web applications while completing his degree work in the late ‘90s. While serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the College of Wooster he setup an alpha release of WordPress Multiuser and helped faculty begin to incorporate blogging in their courses. This eventually led to a position at the College as an Instructional Technology Specialist specializing in WordPress and Moodle.
Jon currently maintains two WordPress Multisite installations at the College of Wooster (Spaces and Voices). He has developed a number of themes and plugins for WordPress and is always looking for ways to enhance WordPress.
Joseph Ugoretz is Associate Dean of Teaching, Learning, and Technology at Macaulay Honors College, CUNY, a member of the Consortial Faculty for the CUNY Online Baccalaureate, and teaches in CUNY's graduate program in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy.
He was one of the organizers of the 2009 WordCamp for Education, and a speaker at WordCampNYC in 2009 and 2010. His WordPress projects range from eportfolios and learning management systems to digital signage applications. Aside from educational technology, Dr. Ugoretz' research interests include Urban Legends and Internet Lore, Science Fiction, and Oral Performance Art (the subject of his fieldwork with pitchmen at county fairs and carnivals).
Kyle Dickson, Associate Professor of English and Director of the ACU Learning Studio. Since 2005, Kyle has given numerous campus and conference presentations on e-learning, podcasting, course blogs, and mobile learning. In 2007, he helped develop the ACU Connected mobile learning initiative and continues to work closely with faculty to explore mobile media and tools. In 2008 he directed the ACU Digital Media Center, leading its expansion in 2011 as the AT&T Learning Studio in the library commons
Mark Frydenberg is a Senior Lecturer of Computer Information Systems at Bentley University in Waltham, near Boston, Massachusetts. Mark has introduced a multidisciplinary Web 2.0 course that brings together students in both business and liberal arts disciplines to explore the strategic and societal influence of Web 2.0 technologies. He is the author of a text book, "Web 2.0 Concepts and Applications" published by Cengage Learning. Mark has spoken about teaching and learning with new technologies at conferences and events throughout the United States and Europe. He blogs occasionally at http://cis.bentley.edu/mfrydenberg and @checkmark on Twitter.
Monty Kaplan is an Instructional Technologist at Emerson College where WordPress has quickly become an indispensable teaching support tool. Having worked as an Academic Technology Intern throughout his undergraduate degree at Clark University, Monty has spent his first two years in "the real world" continuing to explore his passions of technology and education. When not showing faculty how to integrate technology into their courses you'll catch him reading The Chronicle's ProfHacker in the day and Y Combinator's Hacker News at night.
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