Working Connections 2015

I had the great honor of teaching at Working Connections in Springfield, Illinois during the week of May 18 – 22. This is a great event for community college faculty and staff. You have the ability to network with peers from throughout the state. I renewed friendships with many and met a number of new friends and colleagues. There were 4 different tracks available at this event:

  • Building web pages with Adobe MUSE and web analytics
  • Computer forensics and ethical hacking
  • Inspiring creativity and innovation in the classroom using technology
  • Designing websites with Dreamweaver CC and Windows 10/ Office 16

Each class provided a “deep dive” into specific aspects of technology and potential uses in the classroom. There were also a number of opportunities to network with peers. I put together a short overview of some of the highlights of the week in this video. If you teach at a community college in Illinois or surrounding states, you really should consider attending this event. It happens every May in Springfield, Illinois.

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Creating a new WordPress site

Some time ago, I posted basic information about securing your WordPress sites. Given that post has not been updated since 2012, I thought it was time. Rather than just re-hash the existing information, I decided to take a slightly different approach. I recently saw the need to create a new WordPress site and did so. I thought it might be helpful for readers of this weblog to review my thought processes as I developed the site.

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Professor – would you please do my work?

As we conclude this semester, I thought it might be appropriate to continue my discussion from the beginning of the semester (see Issues > Concerns > Problems). Frankly, I do not see the situation improving. Those reading this should pause and consider what they are asking in various classes. As a general rule, I do things for very specific reasons. Towards the end of the current semester, I was asked to provide a complete overview of the course by a student. Here is a slightly modified version of my response.

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2015 Illinois Web Design Contest – the code

I previously discussed the Illinois web design contest at a high level. I thought it would be important to also focus a bit on the code and related design aspects of the sites. Note that these comments are my own and do not represent the observations of any judges in this event).

In reviewing the code, I congratulate everyone in not having any “Untitled Document” pages. I also congratulate everyone on not trying to give the judges a virus. This is the second year in a row that we have not encountered any virus (yes, we did in almost every year in the 13 prior years). Now, let’s examine some of the more technical aspects of the entries submitted (as you may anticipate, I will not name specific teams nor will I share the content of any team submission as that would violate the rules of the competition). Read more »

2015 Illinois Web Design Contest

I had the great opportunity to supervise the Illinois Web Design contest in Springfield on April 23 – 24, 2015. As always, our contest focuses on

  • professionalism (we are after all),
  • current web design job skills,
  • and industry best practices to help students be better prepared to enter the workforce as web designers and developers.

Students also gain recognition for their efforts and personal satisfaction knowing they have done their best.

This represented the 15th (and last) year that I have run this competition. I am also involved with the national web design contest (held in Louisville, KY this June) and the international web design contest (held in São Paulo this August). Frankly, I lack the bandwidth to be heavily involved in all three levels. Therefore, Jon Worent will be taking over the Illinois web design contest in 2016. Read more »

What I like about Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe recently released a significant update to Acrobat. When I first opened the tool [viewing a PDF document], I saw the following (and felt a bit overwhelmed). Note the changes to the interface, particularly the options on the right for the given document.

View of a PDF document in Acrobat DC

Wow. There are a lot more options. As I started to investigate, I noted there is a tools tab (see above).  Read more »

Adobe Slate

Adobe recently released a new iPad only app focused on creating content. One can then view this content in browsers on any Internet connected device. The content is displayed in a manner appropriate for that device. The app is called Slate (I placed the logo below). The tag line “Make your words and images move” sums up the purpose of this app.

Adobe Slate Logo

In a nutshell, I find this app makes writing fun (and makes me want to write more and more about various topics). I find this app very easy to use. For those who create newsletters or need to publish announcements, this seems like an ideal app. There are a number of pre-built themes and most include various animation capabilities. Let’s investigate the app a bit more. Read more »

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