News from May 2022
Every month's an exciting one with Reclaim, but May's had some special standouts! We've got announcements, blog posts, support documentation and staff picks all ready for you as we cap off the spring and splash into the summer.
Instructional Tech & the DoOO 101-201 Workshop
This May marked the official start of our Instructional Technology subscription offering, with all the sparkle that entails! We launched our community Discord for people to come together to talk about their projects, trade ideas and ask for advice, not to mention hosting our Domain of One's Own 101 & 201 workshop!
The workshop was a great time – two days of getting to explore not only the technical systems of Domain of One's Own but also what DoOO can be to an institution, and how they can learn from each others' experience. It was wonderful to get to sit down with DoOO admins and think through underlying challenges they're facing, share helpful tools and strategies, and plan for upcoming goals. We're grateful to everyone who took the time to join us, and hope to see you all again in the future!
And somehow, among all this, we found time to put out a new Reclaim Today. That's right, we even made a podcast! This episode is an immediate post-facto unpacking of our Domain of One's Own 101 & 201 workshop, talking about both the tech setup that we used to make a smooth hybrid event pulling in team members in two timezones, and the experience of putting on the event. If you came to the workshop (and let's be real, even if you didn't) and want to take a peek behind the scenes, check this episode out.
Flex Course: Gravity Form of an Awesome Series! with Tom Woodward
Coming this June to a flex course near you, it's Gravity Form of an Awesome Series! Featuring Tom Woodward, this flex course on Gravity Forms will be running throughout the month. If you haven't heard of it before, Gravity Forms is a super-powerful form-building tool that works with WordPress and lets you transform all sorts of creative ideas into reality! The course will consist of weekly live sessions (and asynchronous participation also available) starting with the basics and moving to increasingly more complex “forms of awesome” – all the way up to a form-driven database of D.C. comic super villains!
If that sounds exciting, you can find more signup information on our Events calendar here. The first live session ("The Basics of Gravity Forms") will be happening on June 9 at 3pm Eastern Time, but the recording and chat will be available to attendees immediately after for asynchronous participation.
June Community Chat - WordPress, Beyond Blogging!
Spinning off of that, June's Community Chat will be "WordPress, Beyond Blogging!" We're hosting a show-and-tell style Community Chat about all the things you can do with WordPress outside blogging – forms, presentations, community sites, the whole nine yards. This is a chance to show off your favorite tools for creating on WordPress (yes, Gravity Forms counts) and what you've done with them. We're willing to bet you've got all kinds of tricks we've never even thought of, so come join us!
This Community Chat will take place on June 15th at 12pm Eastern Time, and you can find more information about it on our events calendar here.
May Community Chat - "Instructional Technology Q&A"
In keeping with a theme that you may have already noticed, our May Community Chat was our Instructional Tech Q&A. We wanted to give you all the chance to ask us questions about Instructional Tech at Reclaim – what it is, how it works, why we're launching it – and this was our public forum. We want to thank everyone who joined us and took part. (Here's a secret: this was as much for us to hear your feedback as it was for us to hear yours.) That said, if you missed it, no worries: we recorded it! You can sit in on the conversation and hear what was said.
WordPress 6, Coming Now to an Installer Near You
And finally: WordPress 6.0 was released last week on May 24, 2022. Late last week it rolled out across Installatron on Reclaim's servers, and it should now be available to you. It includes a lot of expansion and refinement for the block editor, including patterns, options to transform blocks, and the ability to preview what styling a given block would mean for the chunk you're considering applying it to.
Recent Blog Posts
It's been a busy, busy month, but we've still found time to blog. In fact, in a bit of self-reflexive blogging, Jim started out the month with a retrospective: "Reclaim Roundup Four Months On". In it he goes through the technical challenges we've faced setting up and maintaining Ghost, the tool we use to make and distribute the newsletter. He also reflects on the role the Roundup has come to fill in how we communicate about our work, both internally and externally.
At OER22, Lauren got the chance to co-present with Maren Deepwell on a topic they've both been discussing lately: how to build connection when your team is virtual. She and Maren discussed how to create a culture of caring and connection over an online workspace, and what their strategies are in an online workspace. Lauren's blog post on the subject explains more in depth, and even includes links to their presentation and conversation.
The Reclaim EdTech Discord is hopping! This month, Tim Clarke was helping a faculty member get set up with Ghost (you know, the tool that we use to bring you this Roundup?) and started a conversation around Mailgun settings and environmental variables. Jim set up our mailing settings initially, so he naturally hopped in the conversation, and additionally documented his findings in this blog post: "Adding Ghost Config Variables in Reclaim Cloud".
At Reclaim, we use Asana to organize our work all. The. Time. And Lauren's got her workflow down to a science, so this past May she wrote up the process in a blog post, documenting the Asana tricks and tools she uses to keep Reclaim running smoothly.
Following up on that Ghost conversation from earlier, Taylor used that as inspiration to develop a custom installer for Ghost on Reclaim Cloud that suits Reclaim's needs a little better. Jim then migrated the Roundup from our old Ghost installation to a new one with the new installer, and recorded the process here.
And finally, as we mentioned in the announcements above, we hosted our Domains 101 & 201 workshop this month! It was a huge effort that we're so proud of, and none moreso than Jim, who documented his experience with the workshop in his blog post, "Reflecting on the Domains 101 & 201 Workshop".
New Support Documentation
This month, our Support Team has whipped up some brand new guides just for you.
You may remember last month that Gordon and Paul wrote guides to installing ownCloud and Cantaloupe IFFF Image Server on Reclaim Cloud. This month they're bringing you sequels: from Gordon, Getting Started with ownCloud, and from Paul, Getting Started with Cantaloupe IFFF Image Server. These guides will answer the question of, "Well, I installed this... now what?" and give you a great jumping off point for these tools.
Meredith's put together some great documentation on using third party SSL certificates. When using a third party SSL certificate, you'll need to set that up manually in your cPanel, so this guide is offering a quick and easy step-by-step on how to make sure your site is safe. And on the topic of safety, Paul has written Moodle Site Config and HTTPS, a guide on Moodle's config files and how to get into them to modify various settings, including the URL. Go forth with the knowledge that your site is HTTPS-secure!
When it comes to helping users build accessible websites, there's lots of information out there, but it can be hard to synthesize. This month, Lauren is sharing Utah Valley University's Web Community Resources page about Web Accessibility, which lays out core principles and beginner steps in an approachable way. If you're looking for ideas on how to set up something similar at your institution, check it out!
DockerCon 2022 took place earlier this month, and Meredith wants to make sure that if you haven't seen it yet, you have access to their replay! Why not take some time to splash around in the world of containers and check out anything you might have missed?
Highlights from Zendesk Relate 2022 are also now available. Zendesk is the ticketing system Reclaim uses to organize its support, and if you want to check out the hits from their convention this year, it's all available on demand.
And finally, if you have trouble remembering what all the different HTTP codes mean, you are definitely not alone. But Chris has a site to help mew out with that. Sorry, did I say mew? An honest meow-stake, I paw-mise... It's http.cat! Check out all the HTTP status codes helpfully illustrated with hilarious cat pics (or, if you're more of a dog person, they've got a sister site over at http.dog/ that'll have you... howling).