Using WordPress as a blog teaching tool

This is the long version of my notes for the presentation that I gave, along with Jennifer Romig, at the 2016 CALI Conference on June 16, 2016.

This is an overview of the way that we have configured WordPress at Emory Law for our Advanced Legal Writing – Blogging and Social Media Course. The course was taught in the spring 2015 and spring 2016 semesters. It was co-taught by Professor Jennifer Romig and myself. Each time, we had approximately 20 students in the class. Here’s an outline of the steps that we followed.


There are also some slides for the presentation: Slides – Using WordPress as a blog teaching tool .

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Attributing Flickr Creative Commons content

What is the proper way to attribute content from Flickr that is available under a CC license? Here’s a summary, based on CC-recommended best practices for attribution. We are going to do it manually, without the aid of plug-ins, bookmarklets, or other fancy tools so that you can see how this works. You may be able to use other tools like photopin to reduce the amount of work required.

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Creating a Gravatar (and a account)

This article shows you how to create a gravatar – a “globally recognized avatar,” as well as a WordPress account. Gravatar is a free service that displays your photo on WordPress-powered sites. Given that 25% of the web uses WordPress, this is a neat feature. If you are a developer, it’s also easy for you to access gravatars from your own site.

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Upgrading an aging Macbook Pro

My middle-aged MacBook Pro

I have an aging MacBook Pro. It has a Core 2 Duo processor. I’ve upgraded the RAM to the maximum 8GB that it supports and last year I upgraded to a 240GB SSD from Other World Computing. Battery life doesn’t compare to a modern laptop; even with a good condition replacement battery I don’t think it will run more than a couple of hours on battery. However, it still does what I need to do. I have it on a Griffin Elevator stand and I love the still-beautiful 15″ 1440 x 900 display.

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Quick Tip: Encrypt a zip archive in OS X

This is just another reminder that OS X works just like other UNICES.

Imagine that you have a folder full of files. It’s called “grades.” You want to create a password-protected zip file of everything in that folder to send to your co-instructor.

Open a terminal window and navigate to the folder that is one level “above” the one that you want. For example, if your grades folder is located in /Users/bchapman/Spring Semester/, navigate to that folder.

Once in that folder, enter “zip -er grades/” and  hit enter.

This will prompt you for a password. You will need to enter it twice. It will then create the encrypted archive that you can mail to your co-worker. They don’t need to know any fancy terminal kung-fu.

All of this comes from this article right here, where it’s explained better and with pictures:

This is a great way for you to practice your Terminal skills.

Tip: My phone is encrypted; why is Office 365 still complaining?

I’ve been getting an annoying message that Exchange/Office 365 requires me to encrypt my Android phone when I know that it is already encrypted. The issue turns out to be this one. If you have an app enabled (like LastPass in my case) that uses accessibility services to insert data into text fields, then Android is unable to provide “enhanced” encryption and that triggers the warning from Exchange. Re-encrypting the phone multiple times, as I did, will not fix the issue.

The issue is discussed and a solution is provided here. To see whether you have the same issue, go to Settings > Security > Screen lock. Click on PIN. If you see this screen, you have this issue:


As you’ll notice, turning on accessibility services interferes with the phone’s ability to provide enhanced encryption. This is what is triggering the confusing warning from Office 365. Figure out what app is using accessibility services, turn that off and re-enable the “PIN to start phone” setting. After that O365 is happy.

I hope this saves you some time!