BuddyPress: A Social Network for your Classroom


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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.

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BuddyPress: A Social Network for your Classroom

  1. 1. A Social Network for Your Classroom
  2. 2. Justin Shreve Code Wrangler automattic.comjustin@automattic.com blog: http://justin.gstwitter: @justinshreve
  3. 3. Live collaboration during the session•  Twitter –  #etechbpress•  Collaboration can continue after the session and even after the conference is over
  4. 4. Before we begin…You may need to download some software.
  5. 5. XAMPP XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL,PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use - justdownload, extract and start.http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html
  6. 6. Choose your operating system & download•  Mac –  XAMPP Mac OS X 1.7.3 Universal Binary•  Windows –  Installer
  7. 7. BuddyPress Is...•  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 software)•  Completely in your control •  Change the look •  Add new functionality
  8. 8. Features Fully customizable profiles. Allow your students to fill in whatever fields suit your class. (Grade Level, Interests, and muchActivity streams (Facebook Wall ), more!)commenting, liking and @mentions (likeTwitter) Allow groups or students to collaborate withAllow students to become friends. They can each other privately with a full messagingcollaborate, share and follow each others system.activity.
  9. 9. FeaturesFull WordPress Blogging! Allow students topublish their thoughts and work with theirvery own blogs. Fully powered discussion forums built allow for more conventional in-depth conversations.
  10. 10. You can use it to enable students to...•  communicate and work in groups •  Bring communication to a Facebook-like format that students are familiar with.•  blog and publish their work •  Classes can post papers as blog posts and students can leave comments. •  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.
  11. 11. The Academic Commons of The City University of NewYork is designed to support faculty initiatives and buildcommunity through the use(s) of technology in teachingand learning…..Creating networks and support systems that areenabled by easy access to quality digital resources willnurture faculty development through sharing replicable - About CUNY (City University ofmaterials and best practices. New York) Academic Commons
  12. 12. •  People•  Groups•  Forums•  Blogs•  Wiki•  News & Information
  13. 13. 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.
  14. 14. WordPress.com recommends o  Blue Host o  Network Solutions o  GoDaddy.com o  MediaTemple o  DreamHosthttp://get.wp.com/hosting/
  15. 15. Long Term: •  Your school may provide hosting resources
  16. 16. Today..•  You can setup a server for testing on your own computer. o  XAMPP
  17. 17. Q&A•  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.
  18. 18. •  Windows –  Install and start Apache and MySQL
  19. 19. •  Mac –  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.
  20. 20. Test It•  Open up your favorite browser and type http://localhost/ into the address bar.•  Questions? Need Help? Let me know.
  21. 21. Create a databaseFrom http://localhost/ click English and phpMyAdmin under Tools Type wordpress in for the database name and click create.
  22. 22. WordPress WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautifulwebsite or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free andpriceless at the same time. – WordPress.org http://wordpress.org/download/
  23. 23. Drag WordPress into your XAMPP s Web FolderC:/XAMPP/htdocs/
  24. 24. Mac Only:•  Control + Click and Select Get Info on the WordPress folder.•  Set everyone to have Read & Write access under Sharing & Permissions – needed for the installation.
  25. 25. Installing WordPress•  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)
  26. 26. •  Click Log In•  Enter your account information and hit Log In again.
  27. 27. Configuring WordPress•  Basic Settings•  Title, Description, Timezone, etc.
  28. 28. Adding the BuddyPress Plugin Drag into your WordPress folder s wp-content/ plugins/ folder.http://buddypress.org/download/ Depending on your host and configuration, you can also try adding the plugin with the Add New button and searching for BuddyPress.
  29. 29. Basic Social Network Configuration
  30. 30. Switching to your BuddyPress Theme
  31. 31. Take a break…•  Take a break from all this technical stuff to see what your BuddyPress site looks like.•  Visit http://localhost/wordpress/
  32. 32. Congratulations!Your very own social network!
  33. 33. Q&A•  Feel free to ask any questions now before we jump in and set up the finer details.
  34. 34. Posting InformationYou will be able to post announcements and information forothers to see on your social network. •  Posts •  Pages
  35. 35. Hover over an entry to bring up an edit link. Select edit tochange an existing post or page.ORClick the Add New button to create a new entry.
  36. 36. Creating Groups
  37. 37. Each group gets an activity feed where they can post updates.Members of a group can also see other group members andcommunicate with them.
  38. 38. Creating Forums
  39. 39. From your groups homepage select the Admin tab.Select Group Settings and checkthe Enable discussion forumcheckbox.
  40. 40. Your group now has a discussion forum!Feel free to post your first topic!
  41. 41. Adding Users / StudentsSet role as member
  42. 42. You can also allow students to register themselves. This creates a Sign Up link and form on your site.
  43. 43. 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 pluginsinstall ( drag and drop or add new ).•  BuddyPress themes can be installed like plugins (into wp-content/themes/)http://buddypress.org/extend/plugins/
  44. 44. (in development)
  45. 45. So what can I do with my social network?•  Anything! –  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!
  46. 46. Resources•  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/
  47. 47. What if I need help?•  Feel free to email me anytime: justin@automattic.com•  Find me on Twitter @justinshreve•  http://justin.gs/contact/•  Grab my business card before you go!
  48. 48. Questions?
  49. 49. Thank you for coming!