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The blogging and social network worlds are quickly growing in industries all over and education is no different. This session will allow attendees to learn how to safely set up an environment for both students and teachers to blog, communicate and learn. Attendees will be able see the setup and configuration of BuddyPress, hear use cases to take back to their classrooms and learn about new plugins that can really allow communities to take off.
A Social Network for Your Classroom
Justin Shreve Code Wrangler automattic.com
blog: http://justin.gs twitter: @justinshreve
Live collaboration during the session
• Twitter – #etechbpress
• Collaboration can continue after the session and even after the conference is over
Before we begin…
You may need to download some software.
“XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use - just download, extract and start.” http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html
Choose your operating system & download
• Mac – XAMPP Mac OS X 1.7.3 Universal Binary
• Windows – “Installer
• Social networking in a box
• A plugin for WordPress (leading web software that you can use to create a beautiful website or blog)
• Completely free and open source • GPL (Users are allowed to copy, modify, and redistribute GPL
• Completely in your control • Change the look • Add new functionality
Activity streams (Facebook “Wall”), commenting, liking and @mentions (like Twitter)
Fully customizable profiles. Allow your students to fill in whatever fields suit your class. (Grade Level, Interests, and much more!)
Allow students to become friends. They can collaborate, share and follow each others activity.
Allow groups or students to collaborate with each other privately with a full messaging system.
Full WordPress Blogging! Allow students to publish their thoughts and work with their very own blogs.
Fully powered discussion forums built allow for more conventional in-depth conversations.
You can use it to enable students to...
• communicate and work in groups • Bring communication to a Facebook-like format that students are
• blog and publish their work • Classes can post papers as blog posts and students can leave
• Share videos, pictures and recaps of different classroom activities/experiments.
• Students can journal their thoughts allowing for the tracking of progress throughout a semester.
• have a central hub for exchanging information • List all the resources and communication in one clean place.
“The Academic Commons of The City University of New York is designed to support faculty initiatives and build community through the use(s) of technology in teaching and learning… ..Creating networks and support systems that are enabled by easy access to quality digital resources will nurture faculty development through sharing replicable materials and best practices. ”
- About CUNY (City University of New York) Academic Commons
• People • Groups • Forums • Blogs • Wiki • News & Information
So how do I get started?
• BuddyPress needs WordPress
• BuddyPress and WordPress (and other web software) require a webhost - a service that allows you to make your website accessible to the Internet.
o Blue Host
o Network Solutions
• Your school may provide hosting resources
• You can setup a server for testing on your own
• Feel free to ask any questions before we begin configuring our own test server and BuddyPress installation.
• You will need the file we downloaded at the beginning of this talk.
– Install and start “Apache” and “MySQL”
– Open the DMG-Image – Drag and Drop the XAMPP folder into your Applications
folder. – Start XAMPP by opening the XAMPP Control Panel and start
Apache and MySQL.
• Open up your favorite browser and type http://localhost/ into the address bar.
• Questions? Need Help? Let me know.
Create a database
From http://localhost/ click “English” and “phpMyAdmin” under “Tools”
Type “wordpress” in for the database name and click create.
“WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.” – WordPress.org
Drag WordPress into your XAMPP’s Web Folder
• Control + Click and Select “Get Info” on the WordPress folder.
• Set “everyone” to have “Read & Write” access under Sharing & Permissions – needed for the installation.
• Visit http://localhost/wordpress/ • Click “Create a Configuration File” • Click “Let’s go!” • Click “Run the install”
Your database connection details: • Database name: wordpress • User Name: root • Password: (nothing)
• Click “Log In” • Enter your account information and hit “Log In” again.
• Basic Settings • Title, Description, Timezone, etc.
Adding the BuddyPress Plugin
Drag into your WordPress folder’s wp-content/plugins/ folder.
Depending on your host and configuration, you can also try adding the plugin with the “Add New” button and searching for BuddyPress.
Basic Social Network Configuration
Switching to your BuddyPress Theme
Take a break…
• Take a break from all this technical stuff to see what your BuddyPress site looks like.
• Visit http://localhost/wordpress/
Your very own social network!
• Feel free to ask any questions now before we jump in and set up the finer details.
You will be able to post announcements and information for others to see on your social network.
• Posts • Pages
Hover over an entry to bring up an edit link. Select edit to change an existing post or page. OR Click the “Add New” button to create a new entry.
Each group gets an activity feed where they can post updates. Members of a group can also see other group members and communicate with them.
From your groups homepage select the “Admin” tab.
Select “Group Settings” and check the “Enable discussion forum” checkbox.
Your group now has a discussion forum!
Feel free to post your first topic!
Adding Users / Students
Set role as “member”
You can also allow students to register themselves.
This creates a “Sign Up” link and form on your site.
Adding Plugins / Themes
• BuddyPress supports plugins just like WordPress. • You can expand the functionality of your site very easily.
• BuddyPress plugins install the same way WordPress plugins install (“drag and drop” or “add new”). • BuddyPress themes can be installed like plugins (into wp-content/themes/)
So what can I do with my social network?
– Install plugins, post information, change the site all you want! – Allow students to post their work, communicate, get to know each other, and have a central hub for your class. – Replace older systems like Vista or Blackboard.
• Do you have any ideas for using BuddyPress in your classroom?
– Please share!
• http://buddypress.org • http://buddypress.org/extend/plugins/ • http://buddypress.org/extend/themes/ • http://buddypress.org/support/topics/ • http://wordpress.org/support/ • http://commons.gc.cuny.edu/ • http://thecorkboard.org/ • http://justin.gs/
What if I need help?
• Feel free to email me anytime: [email protected]
• Find me on Twitter @justinshreve
• Grab my business card before you go!
Thank you for coming!