Friday, July 20, 2012

The Little Details ...

I am at the stage with my Wordpress site where I am just tweaking things until I go live with it and get feedback and suggestions from my students.  I am looking at two aspects right now to wrap up before deciding I am ready to open it up to my classes in August:
  • Making it mobile
  • Linking it to our current database system

Making It Mobile
I am having a hard time with this.  I had installed Wordpress Mobile, as I wrote about in a prior post.  But despite working with ODU's digital space coordinator, I cannot get the mobile site working.  I kept getting a 404/Not Found error.  Dr. Rodrigo sent out my plea for help to some of her colleagues, and they recommended I use WPTouch.  So, I uninstalled Wordpress Mobile and installed WPTouch with their assurances that it would just work.  Not for me.  Now I am getting a different error message, this time that there are too many redirects for it to work. I went back to Dr. Rodrigo's brain trust and hope to get some things to try from them.  I will come back here to tell you when I have it working!

Linking to Our Current Database
Per Dr. Rodrigo's suggestion, I asked a former student and a current colleague to give me feedback on my site.  The student loved it -- no suggestions, just love!  My colleague also really liked it, particularly the timeline and the world maps in the headers.  She wondered about whether I would use the school's database Veracross still (this is where we are told to put syllabi and digital handouts) or if I would use my Wordpress site exclusively.  A great question because she and I have found in our years of teaching in a laptop program that students do not like having to go to different sites when fewer sites would work just as well.  So I am left with the question: Will my students want my assignments and handouts in the same place where they get them for other classes or will they want all of my course stuff in one site so they do not need to decide where to go for different aspects of my course?  I have decided to ask my classes this at the start of school because I can easily go either way.  This will also be a great way to show them right off the bat that they have control over our class site since I will do whatever they decide.

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