My new course “Web Content Management” is taking off. Almost at mid-semester, my students are building an appreciation of what content management for the Web means and what helps automating most of it.
Students have built:
Each have installed a WP copy on their own servers (free, courtesy of http://www.000webhost.com/ 🙂 ) under each own’s personal domain (free at http://www.co.cc/) – (they do appreciate your inspiration, Reverend Jim Groom!). Thus, this is the first site to enact the prophetical Syndication Bus at STEMmED, and we are quite proud of it. Students post on their own blogs and through the magic of FeedWordPress, their accordingly tagged posts appear on our class portal -which they manage, too.
The wiki doc site is growing, and includes for now some important documentation which will help them compare the various CMS‘s available. This week they are going to install one CMS each (the most popular ones, like Mambo, Drupal, Joomla, etc. -they already have WP running and a Wiki Media install) and begin distilling a set of primary features they think one cannot live without. Later we’ll compare this list of features with the most comprehensive one they got from the literature.
The will also add an XML chapter to the wiki-doc site: XML is the structure which allows for automated data inter-exchange, thus they’ll have to deepen their knowledge of Web publishing inner-working if they want to understand how CMS works.
The course and the Web sites associated with it grow and are built day by day. At semester’s end we will have a solid documentation system which hopefully can be used beyond our class. In fact, we explored the Wikipedia entry on CMS and found it needs help. Which we are going to offer, at least by enhancing the article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_management_system and its References (none at the moment).
Last, one last assignment: on Saturday, March 6th I will be attending the incredible TEDxNYED summit in NYC: An unprecedented gathering of exceptional minds ranging from Larry Lessig to Mike Wesch and George Siemens, whom I’ll be able to meet together for the first time. It will be a time of strong reflection on the roles of technology and knowledge in education… so I asked my students to watch the conference through the streaming session (6 March 2010, from 10am to 6pm, www.TEXcNYED.com). They will have to write down a little report of one talk each.
Let’s start workin’, fellas!