It's Gonna Be May

It's Gonna Be May
Photo by Arno Smit / Unsplash

News from April 2024

Welcome to the Roundup! April's been a big month, and May promises to be just as big as the school year starts to wrap up. Let's hit it!


New Offering - Custom Professional Development Resources

Digital capability is key in higher education. If you're looking to develop a new vision or champion the power of open-source tools and platforms within your institution, we can help.

We announced this on the blog earlier this month, and we're announcing it again here because we've realized people may not know: Reclaim offers tailor-made professional development resources and custom projects to help Educational Technologists, faculty and staff keep up with the fast-changing tools and technologies that are core to digital education.

If you've enjoyed one of our flex courses and thought, "What we could use is more of that!" or come away from a workshop saying, "Man, that gives me a really cool idea..." then reach out. We're here for you, so the next time you invest in infrastructure, ask about how our expert team can help you and your institution find sustainable, cost-effective ways to support faculty and students with instructional technology skills development.

May Community Chat - Commons in a Box OpenLab

We’re big fans of the Commons in a Box OpenLab, so for May’s Community Chat we want to highlight the amazing work that’s driving the City Tech OpenLab, and the ways that OpenLab can create an open platform for collaborative teaching and learning. If you're curious about OpenLab, join us on May 15th at 12pm ET to learn more! Details, including how to register, are on the events calendar.

The logo for CBOX OpenLab, with a stylized open box in red, yellow and blue tilting to one side.

April Community Chat - Workshop Share-A-Thon

If you missed our April Community Chat, no worries! We sat down to chat through all the concerns and considerations that go into planning a great workshop, and we even recorded it for those who weren't able to make it. Catch the rerun here!

News from Infrastructure: Changes to Remote MySQL Access

If you missed the announcement: we've blocked remote MySQL access across our infrastructure due to our new cybersecurity compliance requirements. Domain of One's Own and Managed Hosting admins can choose to re-enable this access, but we want to make sure you're aware of the risks involved. This blog post provides details on the decision, the risks that come with allowing Remote MySQL access, what alternatives are available, and how you can work with us in the event that you do need to re-enable it.

A cartoon penguin in a hard hat building a brick wall. He spreads mortar, then places a new brick on top.
Live footage of the Infrastructure team building new servers. No, really.

News from Infrastructure: AutoSSL Rate Limiting on cPanel Servers

Another recent announcement from Infrastructure is that cPanel is ending support for Sectigo as their SSL certificate provider for the AutoSSL function, and switching over to Let's Encrypt. Because of Let's Encrypt's rate limiting functions, some servers are running into the limit cap when trying to issue certificates to new accounts, particularly post-migration. Check the blog for more information on the situation and what steps are being taken to mitigate it.

(Temporary) Farewell to Amanda

And finally, we're saying a (thankfully temporary) farewell to Amanda. She'll be on family leave for the month of May, and rejoining us in a limited capacity starting in early June. Thank you, Amanda, for all your amazing work. We'll miss you, but here's hoping you have a wonderful time!

A gif from the movie Monsters, Inc. A little girl in a pink dress hugs a large furry blue monster, who looks a little wistful.

Reclaim TV Guide

We kicked off the month with an April Fools fueled game show called Best Support on the Internet! We had a ton of fun putting this one together.

Then on the 12th, we chatted with Quinn Dombrowski about the DH RPG! We had a great time chatting about RPGs as a way to model how life's randomness can impact even the best-planned projects.

On the 19th, Taylor and Amanda chatted about the Arc Browser, as well as the ways Large Language Models are being integrated into web-related tools and services.

Then to round out the month, Taylor and Jim took a look at YunoHost, an interesting tool built on top of Debian Linux designed to make self-hosting easier. Think of it like a community maintained alternative to cPanel. We gave it a spin on Reclaim Cloud to see how it all works.

Finally, during the month of May, we ran a flex course called Newsletters with Ghost! In fact, it wrapped up today! You can check out the blog posts and associated videos here: Newsletters with Ghost – Reclaim EdTech.

Looking ahead to May, we've got quite a bit already on the calendar!

And you can see the updated schedule at any time by checking out!

Recent Blog Posts

Reclaim kicked off this month right with some reflections on OER24! In her post "OER24: Blogging is the way… open is the way", Maren celebrates her experiences with members of the open community. Meanwhile, Meredith shares day-by-day reflections in "Un-CORK-ing the #OER24 Thoughts," and over on Reclaim the Blog, they put together a compilation of highlights for anyone who wasn't able to make it to the conference!

GIF from the TV show ALF. An aardvark-like alien peers out from between the window blinds, captioned FOMO.
For all those with FOMO, Maren and Meredith want to give you a taste

Over on the Bava, Jim's post "100 Years of EdTech" is reflections on OER24 from afar – in particular, shining a light on Martin Weller and his 30 years contributing to the EdTech world. And in "Aggressive Technologies is Overvalued", he shares a fun moment getting to sit in on, where he and Paul Bond argued that's fictional company Aggressive Technologies has been valued too highly for its actual financials, only to be shut down by their legal rep Martha Burtis.

In more conference news, Taylor and Maren were able to participate in the SUNY Digital Learning Conference 2024! Their presentation, "Reclaiming Our Socials", focused on how Reclaim works to maintain open autonomy when the social media-sphere of today is becoming increasingly closed. Check out Maren's pre-conference pitch and Taylor's post-conference slide deck to see what it's all about.

GIF from the TV show Schitt's Creek. Two women look at a cell phone and celebrate as one of them says, "We have five likes!"
Aw, we like you too!

And finally, let's wrap the blogging with a post from Chris, "Toxitolerant – “Extremophile” (EP)", where he breaks down the process by which his band created their new EP. YEAH!!!

GIF from the TV show We Are Lady Parts. On a stage lit with red lights, a woman plays electric guitar while singing and headbanging.
Time to ROCK!!!

Staff Picks

That's right, it's time for the freshest Reclaim staff picks that we could find for this fine month!

Starting things off strong, Pilot shares Dracula Daily, a newsletter that delivers the classic novel Dracula, emailed to you in “real time”. It starts again in 2024 on May 03 - that's this Friday! They also shared XKCD's (Amazing) Machine. And finally, Pilot also wanted you to know about IANA's Root Zone Database, which basically is a list of every Top-Level Domain. It's always amazing seeing how many of these exist!

A vampire rises out of his coffin dramatically, only to bang his head on a low-hanging chandelier.
Dracula rises once more!

This month, Jim shared this post about Jack Kirby's comic book adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Extended Edition: Kirby meets Kubrick, from the outstanding blog 70s Sci-Fi Art!

Taylor had recommended a WordPress plugin that does object caching, called SQlite Object Cache. It might be worth a shot if you have a particularly complex site that is slowed down by certain types of database queries! He also has been playing around with the command line tool Gum, which can be used to add some visual pizzazz to your command line scripts.

A man in a mullet, glasses and a leather jacket turns to the camera. The word HACKERMAN flashes onto the screen.

Pilot and Taylor both highly recommend Honey Heist, which is an RPG where all the player characters are bears! If you are looking for a fast and simple (it's a one-pager for players) RPG to try out with a group of friends, in person or remote, this might be worth a look!

Winnie the Pooh hugs a giant pot of honey that's taller than he is.
No such thing as too much honey...

Finally, from the whole Reclaim team, we've got a playlist we created to celebrate the launch of ReclaimPress. It's definitely eclectic, but also a good listen:

Thanks for another great month, gang! We'll see you in May.

Justin Timberlake looks into the camera and sings, "It's gonna be May!"
I'm 100% sure we used this joke last year, too.

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Dr. Brian Oblivion