Here are some notes around the effect that the glow blog migration will have on e-portfolios hosted on the WordPress instances. There are two main things to consider, users/members of blogs and links to access blogs.
User Management Issues
We are currently migrating the blogs, including e-portfolio blogs, to a new WordPress Server initially running the same version of WordPress 2.9.2
The set up will mirror the existing set up, an instance for each Local Authority. The URLs will stay the same.
The permission on the blogs and their private/glow only/ public setting will stay the same.
Only users who have previously visited the blogs while logged onto glow will have the same access.
Going forward the settings for blogs will be handled in the blog rather than Sharepoint. This is partially because the new Sharepoint is cloud based and cannot be customised in the same way as the old glow portal and partially because of the advantages of having blogs stand on their own two feet (see below for details).
Users who were granted roles on a blog though the old glow group in which the blog was created, but have never visited the blog will have to be added again. (There is no trace of these users in WordPress and therefore no way of migrating them). You can mitigate against this providing problems by asking those users to visit the blogs before the switchover. After migration Admin Users will be able to add these (or any other) users in in the blog admin dashboard.
I’ve covered more about User Management in a previous post: Blog Migration Notes: Users.
Finding your e-Portfolio
If users followed the advice on setting up glow blogs as e-Portfolios they would have created a group in the old glow portal to hold links to groups of e-portfolios. After the switch over to the new authentication in early October (3rd) the old portal will not be there.
There will be a need for teacher and pupils to be able to access blogs there are a few possibilities in the short term.
- Lists created before the portal was migrated to O365 will still be there in your O365 group.They will be buried in the migrated content but can be resurrected.
- You could copy and paste the list from old glow and paste into a new glow group.
- You could recreate the lists. This would be my favoured option as I would distribute the work to pupils.
For the third approach you would need to create a space when pupils could add their e-portfolio URLs. This could be a links list in O365 or a share word document in OneDrive. Pupils would need to have permissions set so that they could add to the links or have edit permission on the document.
As a teacher I would not use links like this, too much work. I would bookmark them in my browser and put all the bookmarks in a folder. I could then log on to glow and open the folder of links in tabs. This would after a wee wait give me a set of tabs that I could quickly go through to visit each portfolio without clicks.
Post Migration Development
After migration it intended to move into phase 2 which will be an upgrade of the blog software from 2.9.2 to 3.9
Phase 3 will include improvements to the service, adding plugins and themes to increase functionality.
In Phase 3 it is the intention to improve the setup of e-portfolio blogs by improving the setup, improving how posts are organised and how the profiles are produced from those posts.
It hoped that this work should be completed by March 2015
The main advantages with moving the set up of blogs and e-portfolios away from Sharepoint to the WordPress server itself will be:
- We will be able to keep the WordPress install a lot more up to date. This will allow users to benefit from new features as these are added to WordPress. With the old glow blogs it seems that it was to hard to upgrade WordPress.
- The setup of e-portfolios will be shortened. currently I find it takes around an hour to go through the setup with a class of pupils assuming each pupil has access to a computer/device. Removing the Sharepoint element of the blogs will speed things up in the short term.
- In the medium term the new blogs should let us develop new functionality which will speed things up even more and reduce the opportunities for making mistakes.
- We should also be able to develop the portfolio functionality of the blogs though plugins. This could make the organisation of posts and production of the profile snapshot simpler.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about the glow blog migration.