Using WordPress (Grumpy of Cambridge)

I haven’t found WordPress a particular good experience overall. I know that I am not 100% at the moment but normally I enjoy working on new software. However I have found it difficult to navigate both as a developer and as a reader on the different platforms I use it on. 

It is in part perhaps that it offers so much and if there was a option to strip it down to a much simpler offering (WordPress Light) it might be better. I had thought that the use of WordPress as a static site could be an option for our U3AC tutors but I am rethinking this. The group who have set up sites have used NetObjects Fusion Essentials and the most difficult part of that has normally been the one off setup of their webspace (FTP, directory etc). I thought WordPress could alleviate that step, which it would, however personally I find the building of the pages much simpler in NOF than WordPress. But of course this may not be the case for others.

My static website is a hidden private one which I am still playing with, nothing to really see there anyway. 

I should perhaps fess-up that I am not going to be very reflective of the learning experience in the way I know the rest of you will be. The main driver for me participating is to keep up to date on the technologies being used; I will of course be reading and absorbing the reflection from other participants.

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Hanging in there. Just.

I will hope to do some on my site and catch up with L5D5 posts tomorrow but have been too unwell since last weekend to manage anything. Just posting this to show I haven’t given up.

Cough choke splutter sneeze. Can’t believe how poorly a uncommonly bad cold can make you feel.

How was it for me? Experiences before and after WordPress

I enjoy using technology, especially those that involve communication. I felt years ago that women in particular should benefit from using the new web media as, in general, we like communicating. I wonder what the stats are for gender on WordPress?

I am not now part of the delivery of HE. I have recently been involved in the delivery of a U3AC course for tutors to get their courses on line. It has been pretty successful delivery for the 8 or so participants we had who have enjoyed it. It was disappointing for a least one of the tutors though. He promoted his site before the start of the course but found only a small number of members had accessed it, because ‘the technology was beyond them’ He was amazed, even remembering that U3AC member are of mature years. His comment was

‘I know that Caxton invented the printing press about 300 years before the punters could read but this is ridiculous!
 I will persevere, I will only put the forward programme on the web site and cajole them to read it there.’

I will catch up with him later in the term.

I have been a Twitter users for over 5 years, this is my first tweet, as you can see I was on my way to the first event I attended where Twitter was used.

First Tweet

I get most of my breaking news via Twitter, I learn more about areas of interest via the feeds of astronauts, digital map makers, education, there are the fun aspects (Queen_UK), and following a hashtag along with events.  I recently read that a high % of Twitter users check their feed within minutes of waking up. Check!

I had set up a WordPress site, entirely via my iPhone the post reminds me, I think it was when I first heard about it 5-6 years ago. But having no real use for it I had forgotten this when I started the first LD5D Module. Having come back to use it I did find some of the site maintenance interface confusing. I enjoyed playing with the Themes and the Widgets. I am not sure I have gone for a format I would want to use if I were delivering material; this is very much a blogging site, which is I take it what we want for this module but perhaps something more like the Module site itself for delivery.

I have just plunged straight in (rather than RTFM which I may have to resort to given that I can’t get the insert picture to work at the moment). I have just clicked the Show/Hide Kitchen Sink (love it!) button to find lots more formatting stuff. Oh Colour … But Help seems blank, unhelpful. Also Preview does work from the new post screen, but does when I come back in to edit a draft, though the edit screen is now different with more options (Add media, Add Poll, Add contact form). So some things to get used to

At the back of my mind is the possibility of using this course to run at U3AC, if there was a demand for it. However I think it would be a minority sport given the quote above!

Added the picture now – looks like it didn’t work first time as it was a TIFF Image, but it didn’t tell me what the error was from the screen I used first (new post). From the Edit post screen it listed the file types which of course was helpful.

I will perhaps post later on identity but I see there are new posts from participants so I will away to read those

But Why the Title?

Anyone who has children or grandchildren will know.

It is the start of the enquiring mind.

I have always loved learning, I am curious. Over my lifetime I have gathered quite a range of qualifications, (‘Hello Jason Isaacs’) across all of the fields of, Science (first degree), Teaching, IT, Business, and Humanities (MA in Victorian Studies).  Whilst the first four areas were career-based they were no less enjoyable. I continue now, via the LD5D modules,  U3AC (University of the 3rd Age in Cambridge) and up and coming FutureLearn MOOCs.

So where was I before life (work) got in the way

An ex colleague from Anglia Ruskin posted something on Twitter last week about the Digital Things for Learning Developers course she was going to do. That looks interesting I thought. I don’t currently ‘develop learning’ (well just a little bit, more of which later) but I am a learner and I like to keep up to date with all kinds of online media. So I have signed up for the LD5D course to make sure I know what is happening and how to use it, and use it well.

The first step was to set up this WordPress blog. I used the helpful namechk to see what usernames were already taken. It said nickymorland was in use at WordPress. Umm, there aren’t many of ‘me’ about in the digital world that I have found so far, I think that is me. After a short exploration I tracked down that this was something I set up years ago, under an old email identity, I even found I had put one post into it, but had then left it sadly neglected.

In the next post I will be reflective on the experience, but it is always very exciting to see your creation, so I am going to post this and come back tomorrow.