“Making Your School Website Dynamic” is a popular course!

Today after-school I ran a 90-minute CPD session on creating dynamic school web sites using WordPress. Until I arrived, I was expecting around 5 people, and had prepared, just in case, for up to 10. In the event, there were 13 on the latest list, and everyone made it. There was great enthusiasm, and I went away convinced the group will be making full use of what they learned.

The course outline is here as a Word document:  It covered: ECS371 Making Your School Website Dynamic – outline Continue reading “Making Your School Website Dynamic” is a popular course!

Exc-el blogs: WordPress Flickr widget removed

This widget, from http://donncha.wordpress.com/flickr-widget/, has had to be removed as it hasn’t proved “user-proof”. If activated before the Sidebar Widgets Plugin is activated, we found that the blog would become unusable, displaying a blank screen.

System admins: The fix is to remove the plugin from the web server widgets directory /blogs/wp-content/plugins/widgets, then go to the now-accessible blog. This automatically de-activates the plugin for that blog. The plugin can then be put back – if you still want it. Because this requires FTP access to the web server, it’s not fixable by a student, or even a WordPress administrator – just what you don’t need in a classroom situation!

More details in the Education ICT News blog here.

Exc-el Edublogs – now with added Flickr Photo Gallery

Barges on the Water  Jim Lally having a laugh on the 08.11 Yesterday at Musselburgh Grammar, Ollie Bray, Robert Virtue and I we realised that the ability to integrate images, stored in Flickr, with the MGS CDT Department blog could increase the power of the blog. Flickr’s being used to store digital images of MGS students’ work. (Robert Virtue has ensured all the images have been tagged in Flickr with the tag mgscdt, so they are easy to find, a useful tip! See http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/mgscdt/)

We soon found the Flickr Photo Gallery WordPress plugin from Silaspartners. There are some excellent examples of its use on the Plugin page.

That’s now installed and this morning Ewan and I played about with his Flickr account to test it. This post, and the sidebar display of edublogger’s photos, show a little of what can be achieved.

To use it, first enable the plugin. Then you need to use your Flickr account to request a Flickr API key, a fairly straightforward process, and use that to configure the plugin. It’s just a way of embedding within WordPress the information it needs to be able to access your Flickr account on your behalf.

This appears to be a very high quality plugin. It was commercially developed by Silaspartners for a client, but has been generously made available to the open source community. Feedback welcome. Is this something teachers would manage to configure, for example? Or is it something we should arrange for them on request?