Wave Doesn't Even Do That

by Ethan Kershaw
May 31, 2011 2:39 PM

While our backchannel app is not meant to be competition for Google Wave (R.I.P.), we do think it has some features that it would have been nice to see in Google Wave. I guess its too late for that though.

Recently we added some pretty sweet enhancements to the backchannel app. We are excited to see this app coming together.

First is the drag-n-drop file upload component. As you are using this app, you may have a need to share a file with your classmates. It may be a diagram or a chart, or even a study guide you have so graciously compiled and decided to bestow upon your classmates. Whatever it may be, sharing it is easy.


Instead of having to browse around from a file upload dialog, you can just click and drag from Finder or Explorer and then drop the file inside your browser in the area where you would enter whatever you want to say. Automagical.

Our backchannel app is built around the modules it has, which are the individual components in the app. To alternate between these modules, we implemented a pretty slick slider that will allow the students to use different modules in a seamless fashion. An image corresponding with each module will be in a sliding menu that you can easily navigate with.

We want the backchannel app to be as user friendly as possible, and making file sharing and navigation simple with components like these will help to do exactly that.


by Michael Plyler
May 30, 2011 8:42 PM

With FHU's Project Development, one of our objectives has been to promote/facilitate innovation in the classroom.

Sometimes it is difficult to put into words ways/means on how to do this and get "non-digital native" users on board with innovating their learning/teaching styles with and without the use of technology.

Here is an interesting article stating Google's 9 Principle's of Innovation:

I can agree with and relate to several of these principles. It's great when you work for a company or institution that supports these ideals. In my opinion, FHU is quickly becoming such a place.

Innovation is not really a hobby.

Remember that famous quote by John Dewey? - "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."

Innovation is a habit and a lifestyle. Doesn't innovation by definition fall in line with one of the major philosophical tenets of most fields in academia?

What are you doing to help promote innovation?

Week 2 Development

by Michael Plyler
May 27, 2011 4:07 PM

Here is a brief overview of the project development items that we worked on/completed this past week:

  • New content was added to a few areas of our website
  • Dr. Kenan Casey continued work on our iPhone App - it's almost ready for launch...and looks sweet!
  • Work continued on our Alumni website migration plan
  • The Bell Tower site implementation is nearly complete
  • Our fhu.edu/connect page is receiving a few updates: content and functionality
  • Development plans for our backchannel app continues - our version one inclusions have been finalized

Next week, Lance will be back on campus and will begin work once again on the backchannel application. Look for a few updates on this in the near future. 

I found out this past week that our new web programmer, Michael Clark, will be starting on June 13. We all look forward to this new addition to IT Web Services.

"Summer of Code"

by Michael Plyler
May 20, 2011 8:45 PM

This past week, we kicked off our summer development projects. We hit the ground running and were able to accomplish quite a bit this week.

Some of the highlights:

  • Web Services gained a new Web Programmer (full-time)
  • Core UX functionality work continued on our backchannel application
  • Several new content areas of our website were implemented
  • Refinement work continued on our iPhone App
  • Initial approval for our emergency notification migration was given and plans are underway
  • Our Blackboard learning management system received upgrades

We have an aggressive task list and timeline ahead of us. It's gonna be a great summer. Check back periodically for updates. Happy coding.

Ethan Kershaw, Web Intern

by Ethan Kershaw
May 12, 2011 11:56 PM

I became a web intern under Michael Plyler in the summer of 2010 and quickly began to see that web development was a very promising field for me. The internship has been a great blessing to me and it was highly rewarding to see things that I had worked on be used by people on campus. Here at the beginning of the summer of 2011, I look back at how life changing the previous summer was for me and can't help but be overflowing with excitement for what this summer holds.

Last summer, aside from listening (and singing along) to countless hours of Pandora Radio with Lance in BK13, I got to work on multiple projects ranging in complexity and involvement from simple forms to a light content management system for faculty. Once school time rolled back around, it was nice to not be rusty from not doing much field-related activity in the summer as would have been if I had not been in this internship. As I said, I'm excited to see how much more I can progress this summer and can't wait to dive into some of the projects we have lined up. We hope you enjoy and benefit from our creations too!