Setting up WordPress for IndieWeb use by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich from Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko
I spent some time this morning doing a dry run through setting up a suite of IndieWeb plugins on a fresh WordPress installation. Going off of a scant outline I talked for almost two hours describing IndieWeb functionality as I set it all up. Hopefully it will provide a useful guide to newcomers to t...

A really clear guide to setting up your WordPress for IndieWeb use. Available as a screencast and audio file. I’ve listened to about half the audio so far. I would love to have had this when I started adding plugins in a random fashion.

#pressedconf18 run by @nlafferty & @patlockley was inspiring, 12 hours of organised #WordPress in EDU tweets. Starting holidays head a buzz, best fun I’ve had on Twitter for a while. Much better use of twitter than news feed. Blog posts popping up archiving presentations too.

Also on:

This is a summary of my presentation for PressED – A WordPress and Education, Pedagogy and Research Conference on Twitter. I’ve pasted the text from the tweets, without the conference hash tags below.

I am @johnjohnston a primary school teacher in Scotland. I acted as ‘Product Owner’ for Glow Blogs from 2014 to 2016 & continue the role on a part time basis.

Glow is a service for to all schools & education establishments across Scotland.

Glow gives access to a number of different web services.

One of these services is Glow Blogs which runs on WordPress.

  • Glow Blogs consist of 33 multisites
  • Total number of blogs 219,834
  • Total number of views in February 2018 1,600,074
  • Number of blog users logging on in Feb 2018 243,199

All teachers and pupils in Scotland can have access to #GlowBlogs via a Single signon via RMUNIFY (shibboleth)

 

Development

#GlowBlogs developed & maintained by Scottish Government considerable amount of work going into dev, testing, security and data protection. This differs from many edu #WordPress set ups as changes developed relatively slowly.

Major customisations include shibboleth signon, user roles & privacy. Teachers/Pupils have slightly different permissions.
Blogs can be public, private or “Glow Only”
There is also an e-Portfolio facility added via a plugin.

 

How the Blogs are used

Glow Blogs are currently used for School Websites, Class Blogs, Project Blogs, Trips, Libraries, eportfolios. Blogs By Learners, Blogs for Learners (Resources, revision ect), collaborations, aggregations.

 

e-Portfolios

ePortfolios supported by plugin, custom taxonomy. ‘Profiles’ print or export to PDF. Pupil portfolio blogs can have sparkly unicorns or black vampire styles but the profiles that come out look clean and neat.

Pupils

Pupils can learn to be on the web but with <13 we have duty of care.
Pupils can create blogs. Cannot make blogs public.

A member of staff can make pupil’s blogs public. Pupils can be members of public blog and post publicly.

 

Examples

Possibilities

Only scratched the surface of the potential of #WordPress the tools are in place, Scottish teachers and learners are exploring the possibilities but it is early days. We are tooled up for the future.

 

 

 

Also on:

I am taking part in PressED A WordPress & Education, Pedagogy & Research Conference on Twitter. Runs all day on #pressEDconf18. I’ll be talking #glowblogs at 19:05 BST 29-03-18 in about 10 tweets. Need to do a bit of thinking about how this will work.

I’ve been testing the new Gutenberg editor for WordPress a little. I just sent the url to this short video in the feedback form.

I am finding using the editor a little tricky on iOS. It is a lot better in portrait mode. I can see that many folk will like Gutenberg and it has some interesting features.

I really hope that the experience on iOS can get better before we get this in Glow Blogs. Just from a selfish point of view, my class use iPads to post to their e-portfolios. Having said that I alway get them to write in the Notes app first. Pasting multi-lne text in to Gutenberg seems to be handled nicely, the double/treble returns my pupil like to type gets stripped out sensibly.

At the end of last year I started using Good Reads again, but quickly found I want to record what I’ve read but don’t want to write a review.

I am much happier writing one line notes/reviews here. I’ll probably manually POSSE to Good Reads, but consider this where I keep the record.

I’d really like to map posts with the book emoji, 📚, to the Read Post Kind automatically. That means posts from micro.blog would get sorted here without me having to go to the dashboard and edit. I do have a function on the blog to add a wwwd category to any post containing colon wwwd colon but I don’t know how to set the post kind in the same sort of way…

On WordPress and Webmentions by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (Read Write Collect)
In a backchannel conversation, I was asked about what is involved in setting up webmentions. I responded there, but thought that I would keep a note of it here: Hmmm, my suspicions to why my webmentions/linkbacks are not getting through is that they are being flagged as spam by spam filters. On th...

I really love the idea of webmentions, they seem to return us to the earlier days of the web, where conversation spanned sites. It also feel much more of an acknowledgement to get a mention on someones own site as opposed to a social media silo.

I’ve already turned off the moderation of webmentions here, they get published immediately.

As Aaron’ says the solution is technical. Even the basic use of webmentions take a step or two more than just setting up a blog.

I notice mentions from some folk come through as mentions but don’t link to the post they come from. I do get the full post via email notification, so they must be sending all the information,but either my blog is not handling it correctly or they are not formatted in a way the blog understands.

I just spent Saturday and half of Sunday at WordCamp Edinburgh 2017. This is only my third WordCamp, but I though it might be worth typing up a few impressions.

The camp was very nicely organised, ran to time, had good food, the venue was great. Minimal friction for attendees.

The vibe was quite like a TeachMeet although most of the presentations were an hour long and a bit more formal. I guess Wordcamp like TM has its roots in Bar Camp? Compared to a TeachMeet the sponsored were more visible and more part of the community. This felt fine as I guess most of the attendees were professional working alongside the sponsors. (I am not a fan of the over sponsorship of TeachMeets)

The talks were very varied, some technical, some business related. All the ones I went to were informative and enjoyable. There seemed to be a strong strand about using WordPress for the good, democracy and social change.

Social Good

Two of the keynotes were to do with this idea of social good. The opening one on day one was by Leah Lockhart, who talked about helping community groups and local politicians to communicate. I felt there were a lot in common with eduction. Schools have embraced online communication in the same sort of way, veering towards twitter ( probably less Facebook that community groups) as an easy way to get messages out. In the same way they lose control of their information and its organisation. Leah spoke of the way WordPress could give you a better long term result.

Leah also explained that it is hard for community groups to be able to design how their information gets out. I think we are at the point where WordPress is easy enough to use the difficulty comes in using it in a strategic way that maximises its potential. I’ve got a fair bit of experience in helping schools use WordPress in a practical sense and there is plenty of online help for that. There is a gap to be filled in the preparation and planning. If this is solved for community groups it might be easy to repurpose the information and processes for education.

Bridget Hamilton spoke of Using WordPress to create social change. Her story of her site Verbal Remedy was inspirational. A blog provide effective communication without much in the way of backing.

Technical

I went to a few of the more technical talks.

Mark Wilkinson spoke of ‘a deep understanding of actions and filters’. Since I mess around with code in WordPress at a very basic level this was a really useful talk for me. It was just pitched at the right level. I’ve used these with only a basic understanding. I think Mark got me to the point I could being to understand things a lot better the next time I dip in. Mark’s Slides

Tom Nowell spoke about the WordPress Rest API for beginners, he meant beginners with the API not generally. I held on by the skin of my teeth. Luckily I follow Tom Woodward and had played with the API in a much simpler way than either Tom documented. Yesterday I added a wee bit to my homepage to pull in the last status from my blog! Tom’s Slides

Twitter vs Blogs

Franz Vitulli talked about aspects of the pull between Social media and blogging it was good to hear another view of the area I’ve been reading and thinking about from an indieweb point of view.

Progressive Enhancement

Ben Usher Smith gave this talk, at first I thought it was a bit out of my wheelhouse, but it became apparent that the process of progressive enhancement can be applied to any sort of enterprise. I hope to be more aware of this when planning for my class next session. Ben’s post Progressive enhancement — More than just works without JavaScript on medium.

Even More…

I went to a few other talks all of which I enjoyed. Even the ones I though I was choosing almost at random had something interesting to them. Often it was in thinking about how the ideas or principles fitted into my world.

I took notes during the talks using Little Outliner 2, this meant I could publish as I went along: Notes from #wcedin. I am really liking using an outliner for this process, although I don’t think an iPad was as good as a laptop would have been. There are a few different links and thoughts there.

After I got back I feed the twitter hash tag into Tags, Martin Hawksey’s tool. This gives me TAGSExplorer: Interactive archive of twitter conversations from a Google Spreadsheet for #wcedin .

I probably missed a few opportunities to talk to folk, I found myself feeling a bit less social than I do in my TeachMeet comfort zone. But the atmosphere was very relaxed and inclusive. I’d recommend educators with an interest in blogging to join in if there is a Wordcamp near them.