Category: Blogging

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WordPress Tutorials and Useful Links

From CUNY Academic Commons

  • WPCandy tutorials – WPCandy has many useful tutorials that provide tips on configuring your blog.
  • FLOSS – general how-to manual for WordPress (in TWIKI format)
  • WordPress.org – Here you will find complete documentation for WordPress, including available plug-ins and themes and free downloads. As an open source project, WordPress depends on its community to develop plug-ins and themes, and to document each of these by using its Codex, a collection of blog pages which serve up wiki pages that members of the community can collaborate on.
  • WordPress TV Screencast how-tos created by WordPress developers
  • WordCamp NYC 2010 – The folks at WordPress organize “camps” at major cities throughout the year, and they are very interesting to attend. Cheap and highly recommended, if you are interested in WP.


Adding Users to a Blog

From CUNY Academic Commons

A blog can be configured to have one or many contributors, and WordPress allows granularity in the permissions users are assigned. Listed below are roles and their permissions:

  • Administrator – has access to all the administrative duties
  • Editor – can publish posts, manage posts as well as manage other people’s posts
  • Author – can publish and manage their own posts
  • Contributor – can write and manage their posts but not publish post
  • Subscriber – can read comments, and receive comment and news letters

To add a user to an existing blog, follow these five steps…

1. Log into the Dashboard of your blog.

2. Navigate to the Users tab located in the left navigation bar of your Dashboard and select ‘Add New’. (The Users tab is located between the Plugins and Tools tabs).

3. Enter the member’s member’s email address, username, or display name(this information can be found on their profile page).

  • Please note- Only Commons members can be added to a blog.

4. Set the role of the new user to: Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor or Subscriber.

5. That person will be sent an email asking them to click a link confirming the invite.

New users will not need a new username or password to log into the blog — once they log into the Commons they will have access to the blog under ‘My Blogs’ on the top navigation bar.

Twitter Tools

From CUNY Academic Commons

Based on Matt Gold’s post “How to Create Blog Subscriptions”.

The Twitter Tools Plugin, which again is available from the dashboard of your blog, allows you to connect your blog posts to a twitter account. You can create an automated process so that every time a new blog post is published on your blog, an update with a link is posted on Twitter.

When you set up this plugin, be sure to go back into your twitter tools setting to make sure that the Application Type has read and write access (http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-twitter-tools-it-works-make-sure-twitter-application-has-read-and-write-access).

Here’s a screenshot that shows the look of the resulting twitter account posts:

Twitter account connected to a blog

As you might notice, I activated the companion Twitter Tools: bit.ly links plugin to create shortened URLs (useful on a platform like twitter that has a 140-character space limitation).

Image Handling Plugins for WordPress

From CUNY Academic Commons

There are several plug-ins available on the Commons which extend WordPress image-handling functionality.  Some make it easier to add images to blog sidebars, some provide templates and scaling mechanisms that allow users to professionally format images and text, and some create galleries and slideshows. Here’s a rundown:

Contents

Flickr Photo Album

Created by TantanNoodles, this plugin requires a Flickr account and a Flickr API key. The user configures the plugin by clicking “Photo Album” under the Settings tab on the WordPress dashboard. Once properly configured, the Flickr icon appears as the last option under “Add Media:” on the edit page. Templates may be created easily, and images scaled to meet any requirements.

Users may select images from their own Photostreams and albums, or choose the “Everyone” or “Interesting” tabs, which allow paging through images licensed under Creative Commons.

Quick Flickr Widget

This plugin lets you manage pictures on your sidebar. Once installed, click on Widgets, find “Quick Flickr Widget” and drag it to a sidebar. You will need to cut and paste your Flickr RSS feed URL which you will be able to get on your Flickr “Photostream” page. Click on the RSS icon, and copy the generated URL.  Then go back to your dashboard and paste the URL into widget configuration form. This plugin comes with a lot of customizations.

Nextgen Gallery

NextGen Gallery provides an easy way to present images in a gallery format. Not a image service like Flickr and Cincopa, NextGen integrates image storing within WordPress. Once installed, a tab called “Gallery” will be available to manage images.  Apparently if used in combination with another plugin (JW Image Rotator), slideshow functionality is possible, but the Commons does not have this plugin.

A gallery of images may be added to posts and pages through the use of “shortcodes” – by adding the following:”[nggallery id=myGalleryName].” There is a variety of configurations and effects possible.  NextGen supports CoolIris (aka “PicLens”).

Lightbox Plugin

Details for this plugin can be found here. Lightbox is widely used/mashed up with other applications. Essentially this plugin allows you to show a smaller image which, when clicked, expands to full size and “overlays” the screen. It is a nice effect.

To use this plugin natively, you will need to add some HTML to your pages or posts, but nothing very complicated. The link above gives an example, and you will only need to change the the URLs.

Photo Dropper

Photo Dropper lets you search Creative Commons by keywords. Once you find an image, select small, medium or large and the corresponding image appears in your page or post, along with a hyperlink attribution. Searching/paging can be tiresome, since only four or five results are returned at a time. Configuration is available in the dashboard, under “Settings” ==> “Photo Dropper”.

Post video players slideshow and photo galleries

The “Post video players slideshow and photo galleries” plugin, developed by Cincopa is another service which requires membership, but it offers easy and robust image-handling, including slideshows and galleries. Images are uploaded to Cincopa and managed there. Once you decide upon the images and their format, click on finish and Cincopa creates a key which you simply paste into your page or post.

Once this plugin is installed, a tab on your WordPress dashboard will be created called “Cincopa.” Click there and follow the instructions.

Cincopa is quite dynamic and allows Photos, Podcasts, Music and Video to be combined in galleries.  Many also include Lightbox effects.  The plugin also has some Flash components which can be used to enhance slideshows.

Adding Wiki Content to your Blog Posts

From CUNY Academic Commons

The Problem

You’re writing a blog post, and you’d like to include wiki content. This content might come from the Commons wiki, or a variety of MediaWiki sites like Wikipedia, Wiktionary, WikiQuotes

You can certainly just link to the wiki article. But you can also “include” the wiki page at the end of your blog post or page.

Or you can just use a blog post or page to “serve up” a wiki page.

“KwikiMart” courtesy of cogdogblog

The Quick Solution

To include a wiki in a blog post or page, first activate the “Wiki Inc” WordPress Plug-in.  (This is a one time operation – on the WordPress Dashboard, click “Plug-ins.”  Then scroll down until you see Wiki Inc.  Click the checkbox and the “Activate” hyperlink.)

Once Wiki Inc is activated, go to the edit screen of your blog post. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and you should see the follow input boxes:

Image:Wiki inc.JPG

In the first box, enter the title of the wiki page you want to include in the text of your post or page.

In the second box, enter the “Main_Page” address of wiki.

Here are some examples of Main_Pages you can use:

Limitations

  • Only one wiki page per blog post or page is allowed.
  • Wiki content must come from a MediaWiki-based wiki
  • Wiki content appears at the end a each blog or page

External (i.e., off the Commons) Blogs You Might Want to Subscribe To

From CUNY Academic Commons

Please add blogs and about education and technology (that aren’t on the CUNY Academic Commons) that you think your colleagues might find valuable.

 bavatuesdays is the blog of Jim Groom (of UMW) who’s probably the best educational technologist in the country.  Here are two online comments about him:  “Generations from now, they won’t call it the Internet anymore. They’ll just say, “I logged on to the Jim Groom this morning,” and “Everything Jim Groom touches is gold. He’s the King Midas of the Internet.”

The Lapland Chronicles is the terrific blog of our leader Matt Gold. Read his blog to learn everything that’s going on in digital humanities and in technology in higher education. (KG).

Stephen’s Web is the blog of Stephen Downes, a is a leading voice in the areas of online learning, rich media, e-learning objects, and weblogs.

Learning and Innovation is the Cole Camplese’s blog and one of the most respected ones on the intersection of technology and education.  He’s the Director of Education Technology Services at Penn State and he’s been writing about the impact of technology on teaching and learning for the past decade.

Tomorrow’s Professor Blog is a collaboration between MIT and Stanford that serves as “a place for discussion about teaching and learning, and general issues concerning higher education.”

incorporated subversion is “the online education blog” of James Farmer, the CEO of EduBlogs.

CAC.OPHONY is a blog on “communication-intensive instruction at the college level and its implications for students about to face the challenges of writing and speaking publicly in professional settings.” It’s written by the Fellows at Baruch’s Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute.

eLearningSpace is an extremely well-organized and user-friendly site that includes links to dozens of other blogs and important resource sites.  Here’s the introduction:  ” Staying current in elearning trends can be a daunting task. An educator must be aware of forces in business (for corporate elearning partnerships), education, and technology. It is important to select valuable, focused and trusted resources of information. Subscribing to a good listserv, visiting technology sites, reading elearning blogs, or relying on aggregators can significantly reduce the time spent staying in touch with new trends and issues.”

Creating Passionate Learners is the blog of a Google AI researcher and an expert on brain and metacognition.
Educause Blogs has blogs that include liks to podcasts and presentations that illustrate the topics being discussed.

ReadWriteWeb is an excellent source of information on all web 2.0 tools and e-Learning 2.0.  The articles that the author includes don’t come from the e-learning profession, so they really represent clients and learners’ opinions.

Digital Campus is a biweekly discussion of how digital media and technology are affecting learning, teaching, and scholarship at colleges, universities, and libraries.

EdTechPost is a blog about technologies for learning, thinking, and collaborating in higher education.

Digital Digs is a blog in which Alex Reid discusses a variety of issues including new media, rhetoric, and composition; digital ethics and scholarship; and digital scholarship and tenure.

Futures of Learning is a blog about new media and learning. The members of the blog are part of a project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, that is conducting an international survey of research in the field.

Mountebanke is the blog of Joe Ugoretz, the Director of Technology at the CUNY Graduate Center, Director of Learning and Teaching at McCauley Honors College, and the the creators of McCauley Honors College’s ePortfolio project.

e-Literate is the blog of Michael Feldstein, Principal Product Manager for Academic Enterprise Solutions at Oracle Corporation, in which he discusses online learning and learning management systems.

Dave Lester’s Finding America is the blog of Dave Lester, a “digital humanist” web developer at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University who examines the way colleges and universities are using new technologies.

Interactive Media for Higher Education has the latest news and the author’s insights about interactive media, social networks, web 2.0, and student learning and recruitment.

abject learning is a blog about “open education” and the impact of Web 2.0.

External Blogs

From CUNY Academic Commons

Please add blogs and about education and technology (that aren’t on the CUNY Academic Commons) that you think your colleagues might find valuable.

 bavatuesdays is the blog of Jim Groom (of UMW) who’s probably the best educational technologist in the country.  Here are two online comments about him:  “Generations from now, they won’t call it the Internet anymore. They’ll just say, “I logged on to the Jim Groom this morning,” and “Everything Jim Groom touches is gold. He’s the King Midas of the Internet.”

The Lapland Chronicles is the terrific blog of our leader Matt Gold. Read his blog to learn everything that’s going on in digital humanities and in technology in higher education. (KG).

Stephen’s Web is the blog of Stephen Downes, a is a leading voice in the areas of online learning, rich media, e-learning objects, and weblogs.

Learning and Innovation is the Cole Camplese’s blog and one of the most respected ones on the intersection of technology and education.  He’s the Director of Education Technology Services at Penn State and he’s been writing about the impact of technology on teaching and learning for the past decade.

Tomorrow’s Professor Blog is a collaboration between MIT and Stanford that serves as “a place for discussion about teaching and learning, and general issues concerning higher education.”

incorporated subversion is “the online education blog” of James Farmer, the CEO of EduBlogs.

CAC.OPHONY is a blog on “communication-intensive instruction at the college level and its implications for students about to face the challenges of writing and speaking publicly in professional settings.” It’s written by the Fellows at Baruch’s Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute.

eLearningSpace is an extremely well-organized and user-friendly site that includes links to dozens of other blogs and important resource sites.  Here’s the introduction:  ” Staying current in elearning trends can be a daunting task. An educator must be aware of forces in business (for corporate elearning partnerships), education, and technology. It is important to select valuable, focused and trusted resources of information. Subscribing to a good listserv, visiting technology sites, reading elearning blogs, or relying on aggregators can significantly reduce the time spent staying in touch with new trends and issues.”

Creating Passionate Learners is the blog of a Google AI researcher and an expert on brain and metacognition.
Educause Blogs has blogs that include liks to podcasts and presentations that illustrate the topics being discussed.

ReadWriteWeb is an excellent source of information on all web 2.0 tools and e-Learning 2.0.  The articles that the author includes don’t come from the e-learning profession, so they really represent clients and learners’ opinions.

Digital Campus is a biweekly discussion of how digital media and technology are affecting learning, teaching, and scholarship at colleges, universities, and libraries.

EdTechPost is a blog about technologies for learning, thinking, and collaborating in higher education.

Digital Digs is a blog in which Alex Reid discusses a variety of issues including new media, rhetoric, and composition; digital ethics and scholarship; and digital scholarship and tenure.

Futures of Learning is a blog about new media and learning. The members of the blog are part of a project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, that is conducting an international survey of research in the field.

Mountebanke is the blog of Joe Ugoretz, the Director of Technology at the CUNY Graduate Center, Director of Learning and Teaching at McCauley Honors College, and the the creators of McCauley Honors College’s ePortfolio project.

e-Literate is the blog of Michael Feldstein, Principal Product Manager for Academic Enterprise Solutions at Oracle Corporation, in which he discusses online learning and learning management systems.

Dave Lester’s Finding America is the blog of Dave Lester, a “digital humanist” web developer at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University who examines the way colleges and universities are using new technologies.

Interactive Media for Higher Education has the latest news and the author’s insights about interactive media, social networks, web 2.0, and student learning and recruitment.

abject learning is a blog about “open education” and the impact of Web 2.0.

Blogs about Education and Technology

From CUNY Academic Commons

bavatuesdays is the blog of Jim Groom (of UMW) who’s probably the best educational technologist in the country.  Here are two online comments about him:  “Generations from now, they won’t call it the Internet anymore. They’ll just say, “I logged on to the Jim Groom this morning,” and “Everything Jim Groom touches is gold. He’s like King Midas, but with the Internet.”

Stephen’s Web is the blog of Stephen Downes, a is a leading voice in the areas of online learning, rich media, e-learning objects, and weblogs.

eLearningSpace is an extremely well-organized and user-friendly site that includes links to dozens of other blogs and important resource sites.  Here’s the introduction:  ” Staying current in elearning trends can be a daunting task. An educator must be aware of forces in business (for corporate elearning partnerships), education, and technology. It is important to select valuable, focused and trusted resources of information. Subscribing to a good listserv, visiting technology sites, reading elearning blogs, or relying on aggregators can significantly reduce the time spent staying in touch with new trends and issues.”

Educause Blogs has blogs that include liks to podcasts and presentations that illustrate the topics being discussed.

ReadWriteWeb is an excellent source of information on all web 2.0 tools and e-Learning 2.0.  The articles that the author includes don’t come from the e-learning profession, so they really represent clients and learners’ opinions.

Digital Campus is a biweekly discussion of how digital media and technology are affecting learning, teaching, and scholarship at colleges, universities, and libraries.

Futures of Learning is a blog about new media and learning. The members of the blog are part of a project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, that is conducting an international survey of research in the field

Mountebanke is the blog of Joe Ugoretz, the Director of Technology at the CUNY Graduate Center, Director of Learning and Teaching at McCauley Honors College, and the the creators of McCauley Honors College’s ePortfolio project.

Dave Lester’s Finding America is the blog of Dave Lester, a “digital humanist” web developer at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University who examines the way colleges and universities are using new technologies.

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