Category Archives: News of Note
Posted in News of Note
I’ll be teaching a one-credit online course this summer (beginning June 2016): CSE 698: Publishing in the Digital Age. This will be a fun class, focusing heavily on all the changes in how information and entertainment is distributed — not just with the printed word, but with music, video, and even comics. While it’s part of the Educational Technology Master’s program here at WOU, you don’t need to be in that program to take it. Here’s the description from the syllabus (which is still being fleshed out):
CSE 698: Publishing in the Digital Age (1) covers the profound technological changes affecting the world of publishing, not just with the printed word, but in the arenas of music, video, and elsewhere. Before the invention of the Guttenberg Press, publishing as we know it today did not exist, and yet now anyone with an Internet connection can reach a potential audience of millions with the click of a button. Self-publishing ebooks, uploading videos to YouTube, recording music in a garage and uploading songs to iTunes—for today’s creator, the options are nearly unlimited. What does it mean to publish? That Latin root of the word publish means “to make public,” but is it more than that? Is a potential artist or scholar better off today going direct to his or her audience when possible, or is there value in using traditional gatekeepers? What do all of these changes mean for the reader, the listener, and the viewer? What role can the technologist play in helping creators navigate the confusing array of choices? Through readings, discussion forums, online investigations, and individual projects, this course will attempt to answer such questions. The technology used in direct publishing will also be explored and evaluated.
Posted in News of Note, Workshops
Need a faculty or staff website? All the cool kids are now using WordPress, a fantastic website management tool that’s easy to learn and powerful to use. You want to be one of the cool kids, don’t you? Of course you do.
Drop me a line and I’ll create a WordPress site for you. Even better, attend one or both of the two WordPress workshops I’ll be offering next week, open to all faculty and staff. If you don’t have a site yet, please RSVP so I can create one for you ahead of time. If you can’t attend these sessions, I’m also happy to set up a time to work with you one-on-one. More info below.
WordPress Level 1
Location: UPCC C130 computer lab
Date: Wednesday, September 23
In this one-hour workshop, participants will learn how to customize a personal WordPress site, how to set a static page or a blog page as your homepage, the basics of posts and pages, how to work with media, password-protected pages, and some best practice suggestions. What’s a plugin? What’s a widget? Find out all of this and more in this hands-on workshop. Though the emphasis is on using the WOU-themed WordPress site hosted on our own servers, we will also discuss the pros and cons of using external web hosts.
WordPress Level 2
Location: UPCC C130 computer lab
Date: Thursday, September 24
Not entirely comfortable with WordPress yet? This is a great chance to review the basics and delve a little deeper. Some of the topics briefly touched on in the first workshop will be discussed in more detail: customizing the look of your WordPress site, how to use categories and tags, how to add multiple users, enabling or disabling comments, working with pictures, videos, and other media, and tips on how to give your site a little more visibility on the Internet. While the level 1 workshop was packed with a lot of info to ensure people could get up to speed quickly, this workshop will allow for more time for practice and questions.
Posted in Digital Media Center, News of Note
WordPress Level I (Faculty and Staff)
Instructor: Scott Carter
Dates & Times:*
- Thursday, April 10, 10:00am – 11:00am (1 hour)
- Monday, April 14, 4:00pm – 5:00pm (1 hour)
Location: HL 108 (the computer classroom)
As Clay Shirky famously said, publishing in the modern world has become a button. And one of the easiest ways to publish these days is to use WordPress. Whether you want a simple static website just for your contact info, or a robust blog loaded with links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, WordPress can do it for you. And it’s easy!
In this one-hour workshop, participants will learn how to customize a personal WordPress site, how to set a static page or a blog page as your homepage, the basics of posts and pages, how to work with media, password-protected pages, and some best practice suggestions. What’s a plugin? What’s a widget? Find out all of this in more in this hands-on workshop. Though the emphasis is on using the WOU-themed WordPress site hosted on our own servers, we will also discuss the pros and cons of using external web hosts.
If you haven’t jumped on the WordPress bandwagon, drop me a line and I’ll create one for you. A WOU WordPress site is required to attend this workshop, though you may certainly choose to delete it later. But why would you? WordPress makes creating and updating a website a lot more fun and easy than it used to be. It can also be a great complement to Moodle.
Price: Free Event for Faculty and Staff
Though walk-ins are welcome if space is available, please RSVP to reserve your spot in the workshop.
* On our campus, it’s always tough to find dates and times that work for everyone. If these times don’t work for you, or if you want more customized individual help, I’m also happy to set up a one-on-one session in the Technology Resource Center (HL 124) or in your office.
Posted in Digital Media Center, News of Note
Big changes have come to the Technology Resource Center. At the end of August, a decision was made to move the entire Technology Resource Center operation into Hamersly Library, including myself. We’re located in the northwest corner of the first floor. My own office is just outside the TRC, in HL 123. The general purpose of the TRC should remain much the same — to empower faculty, students, and staff in the use of technology, whether it be editing a digital video, creating an effective PowerPoint presentation, or even creating an ebook. Basically, we see ourselves as the link between technology and learning, in whatever form or process that technology or learning entails.
However, because we’re part of the library, we’ll have the support of the greater library infrastructure behind us, which will mean our equipment will be available far more hours than before. Although the equipment will be available for self-service during all the hours the library is open, training and tutoring will be available during posted hours, or by making an appointment by emailing us at email@example.com. Stay tuned for more details on this front as we get things worked out.
The equipment for checkout — digital cameras, laptops, and other devices — is now handled at the library front desk. This ensures that the equipment is available far more hours than they were when housed at the old TRC location.
As for me, my role as an instructional technologist here at WOU will also evolve, though the central purpose will remain the same: to help our WOU community use technology tools to improve teaching, learning, and productivity. The last few years, most of my time was swallowed up supporting Moodle, which in five years has seen its use on campus grow from about 70 course shells to 420 in spring term. Partly because of this, we’ve changed to a Moodle Support Team approach, in which the Division of Extended Programs will play a much more central role. Basically, what this means is that if you want the fastest response to any Moodle issue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the support line at 503-838-9300. The appropriate person (and it still very well may be me) will respond as fast as possible.
The hope is that by alleviating me of being the sole support person on the user side for Moodle, it will also free me up to focus on other growing needs, namely assisting in the creation and distribution of information in all its forms, whether that be websites, ebooks, digital video, or something else. The nature of libraries in the twenty-first century is evolving, from being a repository of information to being a conduit to it. I hope to play my own part in assisting Hamersly Library — and WOU in general — as it adapts to the needs of a wired world.