Tag Archives: Web Application Development

Posts related to the the Web Application Development work-group.

New GO Feature, Add or Remove Admins from Multiple Shortcuts

A little feature has been added to GO today, the ability to add or remove an admin from multiple GO shortcuts.

You’ll find this feature under the “View/Edit” tab of the self-service admin interface. There is now a field for entering a single admin username. The user will be added or removed as an admin of any codes you check before hitting the corresponding submit button. A handy “check all” box allows you to make an addition for all shortcuts that you are an admin of.

You are not able to remove yourself as admin from a shortcut if you are the only admin via this feature. Instead you are prompted to add another user as an admin to discourage the orphaning of GO shortcuts.

I hope this feature makes the administration of your GO shortcuts easier and more enjoyable!

WordPress Upgraded to version 3.4

The Middlebury and MIIS blogging communities are now running on WordPress 3.4. This introduces three new features.

  • A theme customizer that lets you change your site’s settings and styles in one interface.
  • Automatic Twitter embeds. Paste the URL of a Tweet into one of your posts and it will automatically show up in the post, like the example below.
  • HTML Image Captions. When writing an image caption you can include some HTML tags like <b>, <i>, and <a> to add information to your caption.

Here’s a video that highlights these features.

There is more information available about WordPress 3.4 in their official blog and developer documentation.

New Media Consortium Summer Conference


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

I attended the 2012 New Media Consortium’s summer conference located in Boston at the MIT campus for the first time, accompanied by Joe Antonioli. It was an invigorating several days of talks around new technology and education. I want to introduce you to some of the great speakers and ideas that I encountered. The embedded videos are short but get to the core of many of these ideas. Please take at least a few minutes to scan them and watch further if you find them interesting.

I began the conference with an entire morning session with Dr. Jeff Borden of Pearson called “Personalization : How Far Can (Should) We Go?” He advocates encouraging creativity, giving students safe places to fail but holding them to mastery. He cautions that too much personalization can be a bad thing, when “filter bubbles” over-personalize our experience, but data can provide invaluable feedback to both educators and students. He covers a lot of the same material in the following short video from a different conference. It’s worth watching.

This video, clips of which were shown during Kaltura’s presentation “Enhance Your Online Learning Environment with Video”, highlights the profoundly transformative effect that technologies as simple as YouTube can have. Just the first 7.5 minutes of this video will get this point across:

Several of the talks I attended were about game based learning and gamification as powerful tools for engagement and active learning.

In “Just Press Play: A Unified Game Layer for Education” Andrew Phelps (Rochester Institute of Technology) introduces “Just Press Play” an achievement/badge based system which provides a scale of accomplishment for students to engage in a range of activities and track what they have experienced.

Brett Bixler’s 20+ ways to Add Game-like Elements to Your Learning Designs

During “Which? The Academic Technology Card Game” David Thomas put forth the simple idea “Time is valuable. Entertainment values your time.” We played a card game that “inadvertently” got us talking about academic technology. It sparked inquisition and discussion and it really was fun. The following video is his short TEDx talk “What Makes a Place Fun?”

Helen Keegan urges us to take risks to get people curious. She used a “pedagogy of deception” when creating a fictional person whom the class followed via social networks.

My takeaway was that there really are opportunities to do things in new ways now, genuinely new ways that don’t simply transplant old practices into new technology, that are worth exploring. The message seems to be, take risks, encourage creativity, and get students engaged in learning by leveraging the new social, mobile, visual, storytelling, and gaming technologies.

More to engage with:

New Media Consortium Summer Conference presentations playlist Includes Joichi Ito’s opening keynote.

Tweets (Some top tweets from our own Joe Antonioli!) (click the all link for the full list)

iTunesU contains many of the talks

Sit back and watch our homepage

For the last two and a half years, College Communications has picked a set of one to a dozen stories that are “featured” at any one time on our homepage. When you visit http://www.middlebury.edu, one of these stories will randomly open. Now, another featured story will open after eight seconds, until all of the featured stories have been shown at least once, at which point they’ll start over again.

If you would like to pause this and explore the stories on your own schedule, just click to open one of the story bars. This will stop it from advancing to another story, giving you time to read the title and caption.

New Plugin for WordPress: Show Thumbnails in the Posts List

If you use Featured Images for posts in your WordPress site, you can now enable a plugin for your site that will show these images to you on the All Posts page in the administration interface for your site. This can help you quickly identify posts in the list. The name of the plugin is “Midd Post Thumbnails”. Simply activate it on the Plugins administration page and your posts list will now look something like this.

Easy Navigation Links For On-Campus Browsing

If you are browsing our website on-campus through an ethernet connection or connected to the midd-secure or midd-standard wireless networks, you should now see three links in the top-left corner of any page on www.middlebury.edu. If you are browsing from off-campus, you can log in to the site to have the links show up. These links will let you quickly get to WebMail, BannerWeb and the Portal.

If you’re on-campus you can also get to these resources by typing mail, go/mail, go/email, go/webmail to get to WebMail; go/bw or go/bannerweb to get to BannerWeb; and portal, m, students, facstaff, staff, faculty, go/portal, go/m, go/facstaff, go/students, or go/faculty to get to the Portal. Searching for any of these terms will also bring you directly to these sites and the links to them remain in the site footer. You can also customize how and whether they appear for you in the Portal.

Thanks also to Adam Franco for setting up Edge Side Includes so that we can show custom content to on-campus people while still delivering a cached copy of the page to make your browsing experience faster.

New Portal Customizable Links and Feeds

We’ve just finished adding some new features to the portal and mobile site. You can now add to, and remove links from the links module. In addition, there is a new module “My Feeds” which will generate an aggregate (combined) feed of any feeds that are added to the module. Details are available in the documentation that is available on the wiki.

WRMC added to the Portal and Mobile site

You can now listen to WRMC 91.1 FM on the go, anywhere in the world on your mobile device and computers. Both the High Quality (192k) and Low Quality (96k) streams are available by clicking on the WRMC logo on the mobile dashboard or hovering over the icons at the top of the portal to see the WRMC option which appears in the second row. Remember, you can use the portal customization features to move it up in the list if you want to make it even easier to find.