News from April 2022
April's been a huge month, so get ready! We've got major news left and right, tasty blog posts about our internal projects, some sharp new documentation just for you, and staff picks for your perusal. Come on, let's dive right in.
Right off the bat: we're hiring! Reclaim is looking for an Instructional Support Specialist to join our team. We've always prided ourselves on our ability to support you in the absolute best ways we can, and Instructional Technology is growing every day, so naturally we want to bring on new talent.
The role will be half Support, half Instructional Tech, and if you or someone you know is into web hosting, helping people out, and teaching and learning in equal measure, put your application in!
Instructional Tech in May
Instructional Tech is absolutely hopping this month, you guys. For starters, we have two events planned – our Community Chat, and our upcoming workshop, Domain of One's Own 101 & 201. Join us! To sign up for the workshop, you can go right here, and attendee details for the May Community Chat are right below in the next section. And you can always keep up to date on what we're up to with our events calendar right here.
And now, the big news: as of May 01, 2022, our Instructional Technology Professional Development is in full swing! We're bringing high-quality professional development and community networking for educational technologists in higher education, and there's a whole Reclaim Today episode with more info. We've got upcoming workshops, special events including flex courses scheduled out to April 2023 (like I said, check out the events calendar), and plans for bringing institutions together to learn from each other's strategies and methods.
If this is sounding good to you, you should reach out to us! And hey, whether you're in the program or not, stay tuned for a link to Reclaim's new Discord server, where we're inviting you to share resources, chat about each other's projects, and maybe even collaborate.
Reclaim has always worked to provide our clients with the resources and support they need to flourish and grow, and we’re so excited to be able to take that support to a whole new level. Our goal is to listen, to hear what you need and then to provide that for you. Like Kurt Waldheim said, we're aiming, "to teach if we are called upon, to be taught if we are fortunate... it is with humility and hope that we take this step."
May Community Chat - Instructional Technology Q&A
All right, you've waited long enough: it's time to talk about the May Community Chat! Since we're launching Instructional Technology this May (see directly above for the details if you missed them), the Community Chat is going to be an Instructional Technology Q&A. Catch the chat on Wednesday, May 11th at 12pm Eastern/11am Central/10am Mountain/9am Pacific, and bring any questions you have about what we've got planned and how it's going to work – we're ready! There's more details here on the events calendar, you can chat about it on the forum, and register here to attend.
April Community Chat - What We Talk About When We Talk About WordPress
Our April Community Chat, "What We Talk About When We Talk About WordPress", was a great experience. Admins from tons of institutions came together to talk all things WordPress, especially what strategies they use to introduce WP to first-time users, the challenges around what's essential to include without overwhelming newbies with information, and what starter themes and plugins they recommend. If you want to check it out, here's the video, and all the resources mentioned during the chat are available in the forum thread here.
Reclaim EdTech takes the “Form of Awesome” in June
It is with distinct pleasure that we get to announce that Tom Woodward will be running a month-long flex course on Gravity Forms throughout June. Gravity Forms is a powerful form-building tool that works with WordPress, and this course will consist of weekly live sessions that will move from the basics to increasingly more complex “forms of awesome” that I understand might culminate in a form-driven database of D.C. comic super villains!
We will make sure you have everything you need to get up and running with Gravity Forms as part of the course, and you can actively participate in real-time on a weekly basis during the live sessions or asynchronously throughout the month in Discord. No worries if you cannot make one or more of the live sessions given both recordings and chat will be available on-demand immediately after each session, and the Discord channel will be constantly active for questions, concerns, and show and tell.
Jupiter's Growing... (The Jupiter Theme, That Is)
There isn't too much news on the cPanel Jupiter theme front, but we want to keep you updated nonetheless. This month, cPanel's been working on adding features people have requested – namely, load averages in the homepage as well as a filter bar. cPanel users also have the option to try the new theme, though we're working to keep Paper Lantern available through Summer of 2023.
Recent Blog Posts
We've been blogging at Reclaim this April, because when are we not blogging? Take a look at what we have to share (you may notice a frequent theme).
To kick it off, Jim started the month with his thoughts on our Instructional Technology announcement – what it is, what we've been keeping in mind while developing it, and (most importantly) why we're so excited.
Lauren also shared her feelings about the launch, and how she designed the Reclaim site's EdTech pages to be as informative and useful as possible, in this blog post. It's a great dive into mindful designing and making your site accessible and informative, keeping your audience in mind the whole time. She also has a post covering our EdTech themed Reclaim Today episode for this month, which featured Lauren, Jim, Taylor and Pilot chatting about the new offerings.
In related news, Lauren also got to sit down with Brian Lamb of Thompson Rivers University to talk about Open EdTech. Brian is working with Anne-Marie Scott to develop an Open Educational Technologies course at KPU, and what with Reclaim's recent excursions into the EdTech field, naturally they had a lot to talk about. You can find more details about the course, along with a recording their conversation in this post right here.
Meredith recently reflected on the evolution of her workspaces while with Reclaim, and how she's upped her Work-From-Home game since transitioning back from the former Reclaim offices (now Reclaim Arcade!). Thinking about the balance between flexibility and stability in a working environment is key, and Meredith is killing it on that front – her new space is gorgeous! Plus, there's some sweet corgi pics as a bonus.
Meanwhile, Taylor's been experimenting with Reclaim Cloud. This month he's blogged about how to access the Cloud quickly through SSH, as well as his experiences with Kasm Workspaces, which is a self-hostable Desktop-As-A-Service platform. He also wrote up how he created an Alfred workflow to grab just the domain name out of a long URL and then copy it to your clipboard. If you're an Alfred user, check it out.
Recently Reclaim has seen an uptick in people wanting to run their WordPress sites in Reclaim Cloud, especially high-traffic sites that want to be able to flexibly scale resources. Jim's been working with some of these cases and wrote up his experiences with them, so if you'd like to read a bit more about how Reclaim supports WordPress in the Cloud as well as a few case studies, take a look at this!
New Support Documentation
Another great month, another round of awesome documentation from our incredible support team. Take a look at what they've put together, just for you:
Paul has put together a backstage pass for Installatron with "Installatron "My Apps" Settings and Config Files", covering how to get into the more advanced settings of an app and even modifying your config files for WordPress and Omeka installations. Another article of Paul's does a similar deep dive, this time for mySQL cPanel databases, in "Create Databases and add Users in cPanel > MySQL Databases".
Paul and Gordon have both been diving into Reclaim Cloud, putting together documentation on common scenarios and installing marketplace apps. In the blogging section, Jim wrote about case studies for WordPress in the Cloud, and Gordon's article "Migrating a WordPress Site from cPanel to Reclaim Cloud" explains exactly how you might go about moving your own WordPress site if you're interested.
Regarding marketplace apps, Paul's guide "Installing Cantaloupe Image Server on Reclaim Cloud" covers Cantaloupe IIIF Image Server, an open-source dynamic image server that you can install yourself for all your image management needs. Meanwhile, Gordon has written "Installing ownCloud on Reclaim Cloud", which is all about setting up ownCloud, an open-source storage alternative to DropBox, Google Drive, and Box that lets you self-host and manage your data.
We've been talking an awful lot about Reclaim Cloud today, and how it allows you to flexibly scale resources to make sure your sites are running quickly and smoothly. Our Professional Services option has some similar perks, but the two are quite different and depending on your needs, one may be more appropriate than the other. Meredith's put together a guide on the differences between the two, where you might want one versus the other, and how they work: "Reclaim Cloud vs Reclaim Hosting Professional Services".
And we're going to cap off the support documentation section with the solution to a classic problem: what do you do when you add a user to a site, but their activation link/password reset email never arrives? Meredith has you covered with her new article, "Activating Omeka User Without Password Reset Email", which will show you how to bypass that issue in Omeka.
Hey, you made it to the end of the newsletter! How about rounding it off with some staff picks? (Or should we say... round-up-ing it off? No? No, probably not...)
This month, Gordon is sharing AppCleaner, a small application which is designed to completely uninstall applications from your macOS device – no more lingering sneaky files taking up space on your hard drive. Unarchiver is another recommended tool, one that can extract files from any archive format, including niche or old ones, in a jiffy.
Pilot recently attended OER2022, whence they discovered Liberated Learners, a series of course modules designed to help students (or anyone, really) not just learn better, but learn how to learn better. And if you're curious about Pressbooks, the course site might be a good case study in and of itself.
And from Tim, we have the article "A Web Renaissance", by Anil Dash. It's partially a reflection on Wordle: its popularity, and how it's unusual for something popular these days (it's not an App Store app, it doesn't have ads, it doesn't harvest your data). But it's also a meditation on what people want from their internet experience these days. How can we build online communities that are oriented towards users, not towards profits? How can we take ownership of our own experience out of the hands of major tech conglomerates and regain our digital agency?
Those are some big concepts to end on, so we'll leave you to sit with those for a minute. Catch you next month, and until then...