Handout from O.A.G.C. Parent Day 2010 Tech session

Below is the handout from October 17, 2010 at O.A.G.C. Parent Day:
(printable PDF of original)

O.A.G.C. Parent Day Handout 2010

Web Presence for Parent Groups, … and More

Web Hosting, and some “lighter” options:

  • Dreamhost – www.dreamhost.com – free hosting for verifiable 501c3 organizations! Dreamhost has convenient 1-click methods to setup WordPress, and much more
  • 1and1.com – “Linux hosting” 1&1 Beginner inexpensive. 1and1 has a number of preloaded WordPress templates
  • others … see wordpress.org/hosting/ for some possibilities, Yahoo is expensive
  • WordPress, Blogger, etc also have possibilities – e.g. see www.blogger.com cahspta.blogspot.com // WordPress.com (vs. org) hosts blogs. None of these are on your domain.
  • Google sells Google Apps service where own domain is used with Gmail, etc. … appears might have a free option for 501c3 nonprofits!
  • Google Groups, Yahoo Groups – good for forums, but such can be subsumed into WP

Web Hosting particulars:

  • WordPress (WP) – wordpress.org – Is a blogging/CMS (Content Management System) platform that runs on a server with PHP and MySQL
  • Latest ver’s WordPress include automatic update of program and plugins
  • other CMSs are available:
  • Other items of note
    • phpBB – Forums, “Bulletin Board”)
    • Gallery Photo Gallery … can be integrated into WordPress
    • Moodle is the free! Open source version of Blackboard. (It is available or installable on web hosts, included in EdUbuntu, openSUSE Education-Li-f-e)
  • Akismet (Automattic Kismet) is a necessary WP plugin if you allow posting comments, to block spam. It is incredibly effective! You need an API key, see http://akismet.com/personal/.
  • Subscribe2 is also useful to allow people to sign up for email – see Open Source Apostle Blog (https://blog.osapostle.com/subscribe), or ColumbusPACE.org Subscribe pages to see Subscribe in action.
  • Other plug ins help obfuscate email addresses of posts and posters. There are many ways to fight the harvesting of addresses by spammers. Some of these may be included in the hosting services default setups of WP.

Other Items of Interest, and Privacy Soapbox:

  • Free and Open Source software can provide much of what our school districts spend endless dollars upon (possibly at expense of funding GT programs and staff), for lower total cost. The options are often cheaper, more efficient, greener, more versatile, and just better! Tools are available for just about any kind of computing activity, from basic word processing to programming and highly specialized scientific tools. Opportunities even exist for gifted students to participate and contribute to ongoing global projects. Visit my web site and drop me a line if you are curious. (This interest is why I call it Open Source Apostle.)
  • I know you wouldn’t send highly personal mail on a postcard, so why do people send email “naked.” I almost despair of encouraging people to use encryption as an “envelope.” Indeed, there are some rough edges in using it with popular web mail applications – though it is pretty seamless by now in traditional email clients as Thunderbird, using Enigmail. I wish we’d all use GPG/PGP.
O.A.G.C. Parent Day 2010 – October 17, 2010