Tag: advanced techniques

WordPress and Beer: Homebrew web applications with WP (DPA1)

WordPress is an incredible platform for building full-featured, customized web applications. Every beer on the planet is made from the same four ingredients: hops, water, barley and yeast. Similarly, WordPress is built around a small feature set (posts, pages, media and tags), but from these you can build anything from a single blog to a major news network. We’ll look at how to take it a step further - adding and removing features to create web applications that act in entirely new and surprising ways. In this 45-minute session we will to look at the similarities between everyone’s favorite blogging platform and everyone’s favorite alcoholic beverage. Together, we’ll explore what makes these items so versatile and extendable. Using examples, Nagmay hopes to show how WP can help you create web applications better and faster than traditional platforms.

Node.js + Higher Ed = Awesome! (AIM3)

Such Node.js, much happy, wow! You might think that Node.js is a newcomer in town, but it has been around for for about 5 years now! Very prominent companies such as LinkedIn, Paypal, Walmart, and Yahoo! have adopted Node.js and are paving the way for it to become the next major platform. Node.js will make your developers happy and your Rails, PHP and Java developers jealous. Node.js is quickly becoming a highly performing, efficiently coded, happy-developer platform and it fits right into the Higher Ed community. This talk will explore the advantages of using Node.js in Higher Ed. We’ll discuss several use-cases ranging from powering a mobile application to a full-blown web application and how to start the conversation to start using Node.js! Getting started is easy and the power of the Node.js community shines a light on the endless possibilities.

Own the Second Paragraph (MCS3)

Faculty are an institution’s most important asset. At a fundamental level, the academic reputation of a college or university is the aggregate expertise of the faculty. Unfortunately, most campuses have done a poor job of showcasing their faculty, especially in the age of the real time newscycle which demands a steady stream of expert content. There is a great opportunity for colleges and universities to own the second paragraph, which is where the “why” of a story gets explained. In this session, Greenfield will explore how to use faculty expertise as the cornerstone of content marketing, how to uncover invisible campus experts, how faculty reputation influences college rankings and impacts both student and faculty recruitment, and ultimately how to improve media outreach by owning the second paragraph.

Automate all the things with Yo, Grunt and Bower (AIM5)

Yo, Grunt and Bower are new ways to help you streamline you site/app building process. Grunt is a task manager that can do lots of cool things like compile you SASS into CSS, move files around, compress files etc. Yeoman is a site/app generator. Do you want the scaffolding for a new angular app? Just type a few easy commands and it is generated. Bower is a dependency manager that maintains a list of libraries needed for your site. Need the latest JQuery? JQuery UI or Angular? Just add it to a json file and you will always have the latest.

What Does the Web Say? Thinking about Sound and the Internet (UAD5)

When you hear the phrase “sound on the web,” do you immediately have flashbacks to mid-90s Geocities sites with auto-playing MIDI files? The profession of web design has suffered a hangover from those early abuses of audio for a long time, but the clouds are beginning to lift. This presentation will look at the past, present, and future of the aural web, and will make the case that responsibly done sound design can actually enhance user's experiences.

Beyond the Buildings: A New Generation of Campus Maps (DPA6)

Campus maps are often monolithic and confined to a single page or section on your web site, and sometimes are even just a link to a PDF. Lee and To will talk about rethinking the whole idea of the campus map, and how to go from a single stand-alone map to a modular, extensible map system, that you can use throughout your web site and build/layer other types of location-based content on top of. For example, a self-guided mobile walking tour of historic buildings, a virtual tour of sustainability features around campus, a landscape/garden tour showing how the landscaping of the physical campus enhances the academic experience. Also: event, parking, and accessibility information; department and office locations. The session will cover strategy, process, challenges, opportunities, and touch on adding HTML5 geolocation for mobile use, empowering campus groups to make their own simple maps, using available community-generated data, and open-source tools.

Don't like your Google Search Interface? Make your Own! (AIM7)

If you use a Google Search Appliance (GSA) or the Google Custom Search Engine (GCSE) sometimes you can find it limiting to have it not well integrated with your web site. Both of these tools have an XML API that will allow you to build your own front-end and still leverage their power. Search can even be integrated into your 404 (Page Not Found) handling, so when an old URL doesn't work, it gets used as the basis of an automated search! Old URL is reported as bad to search engines, while user sees the most likely pages that replaced it. Everybody wins!

Mapping the Interior Landscape (UAD7)

The sheer size of campuses and their buildings can be intimidating to new students and visitors. Campus maps have been used for ages to simplify reality and make people more comfortable with finding their way. It’s time to bring that thinking to our interior spaces with interactive maps. Unlike campus maps which depict the environment as a single layer, buildings frequently involve multiple floors. Learn about techniques for addressing this challenge and about designing interior maps for mobile and desktop devices. Explore options for creating maps with technologies such as Google Maps, HTML5, SVG, and more. Presenters will show examples of interior mapping projects using a range of tools from open source applications to proprietary mapping suites.

All 'Growed' Up: Social Media Matured (MCS9)

By now, we’ve all drank the proverbial Kool-Aid and understand the importance - and requirement - of social media in marketing for institutions. There have been a variety of creative appeals from admission, to student engagement to annual giving. But how can social media be used across an institution at the highest level, and what is an institutional social media strategy? Krywosa will provide a way forward by investigating integrating the best of discrete social media strategies (informative, fun, engagement and transaction focused) to a brand enhancing platform, as well as defining "best practices" specific to an institutional social media strategy. She will also examine the difference between campaign and organic social media strategies, while discussing means of collaboration to build a consistent brand message from content with social media in mind.

Multi-headed Drupal (DPA9)

A common challenge for large universities is IT's desire to have a single, centrally-managed web presence while academic departments want to maintain their own individuality, both from a design and management perspective. That leads to an inevitable tug-of-war between "one big site" and "lots of little sites". One of the strengths of the Drupal CMS platform is that it has several tools for managing "companion sites". Those could be entirely separate sites with some commonalities or one "site" that appears as distinct sites to visitors. Each approach has its own set of benefits and trade-offs. This session will explore several leading ways to build and manage a multi-headed Drupal installation, including Domain Access, Organic Groups, and Multi-site, including examples of organizations that have done so. It will also ask the question of whether a multi-headed Drupal is necessary in the first place; often it is not. Attendees should come away better-armed to evaluate how, and if, to roll out Drupal for a multi-part site at their institution.

Taking the Web Offline (AIM10)

Let's face it. There more devices out there than you can support with dedicated native apps. And except for very specific cases, most of what you'll want to do with your app is available through web API's. And yes, this includes offline support. During this presentation we'll take a look at your options for storing data in the client browser and how you can leverage it to speed up your websites. We'll also spend some time looking at how it was implemented on 2014.highedweb.org.

Moving to the Client - Writing Full Applications in JavaScript (AIM11)

JavaScript has moved from providing minor interaction to a full scale development platform. Major application such as Gmail and Google Calendar have hundreds of thousands of lines of code all written in JavaScript. Mobile browsers have full featured browsers but performance and memory constraints become major considerations. And then there is the whole world of single page applications. This session will look at how to write code that can be maintained as well as developing build processes to catch common errors before deploying to production.

Your Website is the Next Social Medium (MCS11)

Imagine a university website with content tailored specifically to the individual viewing it - a site where nobody has to hunt to find information relevant to them. Sound like a pipe dream? Maybe, maybe not. Social media has fundamentally changed the information gathering process. People want to be social anytime they consume media. According to social media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk, “This means that you need to fold a social element into all of your creative… and into every interaction with your customers…. From now on, every platform should be treated as a social networking platform.” Now, considering websites, if it's not social, it's not relevant. Fortunately, there are many ways to leverage the big data of social networks to an institution's advantage. A few key facts about users (such as age, location, and personal interests) can take content from “generic” to “extremely relevant.” Thankfully, social media APIs make this fairly simple to implement. Anglea will explore the possibilities that exist for integrating the secret sauce of social media into a website. He will also discuss everything from big ideas to small actionable steps to begin enhancing the social relevancy of content.