Archive for ‘News’

What’s New this Fall 2010

0 Commentsby   |  08.28.10  |  News, Updates

This Fall a significant amount of our work on WordPress was getting ready for the new Cornerstone Portal.

If you’re using the ACU Blogs theme and have forgotten where some of the settings are, here is an ACU Blogs Cheatsheet that Dr. Chris Willerton suggested for new and returning users.

Here are a handful of other details you may have noticed:

  • Most noticeably, a new feature of the Cornerstone theme is the addition of author avatars in the upper-left hand corner of posts or pages. *If you want to turn this off, go to Theme Options in the Dashboard and turn off page or post avatars there.
  • One new feature that came with our WordPress update is the ability to add post or page thumbnails. These thumbnails can appear in two places. If you have turned on author avatars in posts/pages on the previous note, thumbnails (if they exist) will appear in this same location.
  • The other place that post or page thumbnails can appear is in the new mobile interface of WPtouch. If you’d like to see this working, check the Cornerstone Portal where the calendar icon has been replaced by post thumbnails. To turn this feature on, go to the WPtouch settings in the Dashboard.
  • Embedding videos from YouTube and other sharing sites has also gotten much easier. Just copy and paste the URL of the video onto its own line in your editor and you’re done. Here is a list of all the video sites that now work this way. (*If you’re already using the WP Video plugin shortcodes, then you can continue with either option.)
  • The Image Widget plugin makes adding images to the sidebar simple.
  • Finally, the Google Analytics plugin makes tracking weekly usage of your blog or individual content possible.

Add User to campus blogs

0 Commentsby   |  09.30.09  |  News

Much of the work integrating WordPress MU into campus systems this summer was focused on managing users. Just as with Blackboard or Class Folders/Drop Boxes, this integration draws student lists from Banner and makes sure students are added or dropped from your blog automatically.

Picture 40However, a growing number of users on campus manage campus blogs for sharing announcements with a department or media with a multi-section course. For these “Unmanaged Blogs” (not tied to Banner), there will be situations where you want to add student editors, guest authors, or others on campus without opening the blog up to the web. All blog owners should now see the Add User button on the left menu under the Users section. When you select Add New, type in the ACU username of the student or employee you want to add and select an appropriate role. (For more information on WP roles, see the Advanced Tips page.)

*Please be aware that this does not work for Class Blogs. Just as with Blackboard, adding a user to a class blog with this method is temporary and will be deleted during the next Banner update. To add a student editor or TA to a class blog, go to the wrench tool in MyACU.

One other option for making your blog semi-private is simply to change the Privacy level (go to the Privacy panel under Settings). Making your blog available to “registered members from blog community” will keep it behind the MyACU login but accessible to any campus user you give the address.

We are currently investigating the FERPA implications of private and public class blogs, but for now this should give you a range of options for managing access to your site. Feel free to

ACU Blogs now available

0 Commentsby   |  08.09.09  |  News

Update

This week class blogs on WordPress MU will be opened up to all faculty for the fall semester. In these first weeks it may be helpful to think of yourself as beta testers of a new product. Though much testing has gone on this summer, we expect to bump up against a few issues in the weeks before school starts so please send questions and comments along through the ACU Blogs Comments page in the sidebar. We will continue to monitor issues and respond to questions in a timely way.

To begin, follow the directions on the How Do I Get Started? page and then review WordPress terminology and tools in the how-to pages below. The WordPress.tv screencasts should be helpful in walking you through common questions as well.