December 1, 2016 — In higher education and non-profits, we are expected to produce and maintain enterprise-level websites with extremely limited resources. Throughout this session, we’ll discuss methods to prioritize tasks that need to be accomplished, manage your resources, delegate those tasks that can be delegated, and when you simply need to say “no”. Using these methods, it is possible to maintain that enterprise website on your shoestring budget.
August 14, 2016 — The HBS Digital Initiative, in partnership with Reaktiv Studios, has been building a networked classroom blogging tool, called Open Knowledge. Our goal is to make Open Knowledge the destination to create, share, discover and engage in discussions about the future of business within the classroom and beyond.
Implementing such a platform within higher education requires specific technical and social considerations. What about FERPA? Do students feel comfortable doing work publicly and digitally? What back-end tools are need for grading and curation? How can conversations remain civil while also remaining public?
We will share our findings from the last year of design research, user testing, and iterative development. We’ll discuss the ways WordPress might be customized for use in a classroom setting, and then spend as much time as possible for Q&A. Our findings are incredibly compelling for broader implementation, and we are excited to help other schools figure out a similar roadmap!
August 14, 2016 — If you work with or within universities, you know that building applications to support higher education is not for the faint of heart. We’re dealing with legacy systems, homegrown access management and of course limited resources and endless demands from the academic community. But I’m not here to scare you! Instead we’ll talk about how to defeat the higher-ed hydra with WordPress features like multisite, roles and capabilities, theme frameworks, and the REST API. All of these were used and abused to wrangle formidable foes like Boston University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In this talk we’ll go through some strategies and examples that might work for you.
August 6, 2016 — WordPress has increasingly become the communication tool of choice for educational institutions large and small. From primary web properties and publications to course catalogs and digital signage, institutions need to create cohesive, integrated experiences regardless of the channel.
Designing for integrated experiences involves unique considerations for UX, UI, and accessibility across campus. In this session, Travis will cover important questions to ask during the design process, how design elements impact cohesiveness and branding between stakeholder groups, and challenges you may face on campus throughout the project.
August 2, 2016 — This one’s for everybody! In this talk, we’ll cover the organizational and technical benefits of running a multi-network, multi-site WordPress as the primary CMS at Boston University. We’ll highlight specific strategies, including organizational policies, development workflows, and team structure that allow us to serve over a million users per month. We’re here to help dispel the notion that a centralized approach to WordPress can’t successfully be implemented in Higher Ed.
March 28, 2016 — Much like online businesses or blogging, higher ed is a world of its own with unique challenges, content, stakeholders, and target audiences. In our world, we don’t worry so much about which eCommerce plugin is best. Instead, we’re more concerned with how to manage a large-scale network of faculty blogs, abide with FERPA regulations, and implement Active Directory single sign-on. This talk will showcase how WordPress is used in the world of higher ed and how we’re a great candidate for utilizing WordPress to its full potential, whether it’s using the powerful CMS to stretch limited resources or using its new API capabilities to share information and break down silos.
December 13, 2015 — Educational technologists often find themselves in the unenviable position of tech-change communication at their institutions. While there came be a lot of enthusiastic educators advocating for such change, there can be just as many who regard a school’s adoption of new technologies like learning management systems as an imposition on their profession. A WordPress blog can serve both audiences as an information resource and training tool. This session will look at the University of Pennsylvania’s use of a WordPress blog as a case for serving such functions, as well as discuss how to apply this type of blogging to other tough tech-change-communication contexts (business, NGOs, etc).
December 11, 2015 — According to some statistics, WordPress is used on nearly 25% of the entire World Wide Web; and is the content management system (CMS) of choice for nearly 2/3 of websites using a CMS. While the numbers within higher education may or may not match those, WordPress is heavily used within that vertical.
Many institutions are using WordPress to present their whole public-facing websites; some are using it to build large commons for their students and communities; some are using WP as a tool to help students build digital portfolios; and some are even building living textbooks with WordPress.
Within this talk, we’ll take a look some examples of WordPress as it’s used in higher ed, we’ll discuss some of the contributions that higher ed has made to WordPress over the years, we’ll explore some of the challenges faced in higher education, and we’ll look toward the future of WordPress usage in higher ed.
November 2, 2014 — So much good work is done at universities and while that work is often done with open source software, it can also be a forgotten tool. Promoting the usefulness of open source software and the responsibility of universities to contribute back to open source projects can only help the community as a whole.