Blog

Exploring and Building Open [Source] Software for Learning Ecosystems

EXPERIENCE DESIGN / EDUCATION / MULTI-DEVICE / GRAV CMS

Based on some discussions with my fellow educators at the inspirational Festival of Learning in Burnaby, BC last week I’ve added experimental support for multiple courses (i.e. blogs) within one course hub. Don’t worry, the code behind the scenes is fully-tested - I am using the term ‘experimental’ to indicate I am still refining this approach and testing various use cases as I hear of them from other instructors.

With a single hub containing multiple courses you can now selectively not only share content/elements between different pages of one course, but also between one or more courses. And just like a single course hub, all course materials can be shared on GitHub/GitLab for collaborative editing.


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Here is the list of resources for participants in my Moving Beyond the LMS with Grav workshop (URL of this page is bit.ly/1Y6Aiso):

Grav Skeleton Downloads


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The upcoming Festival of Learning (June 6 – 9, 2016) is shaping up to be quite the event, with nearly 400 registrants at last count. I am really looking forward to attending, and will also be sharing lots of open source Grav goodness at both the Maker Faire and my Studio session ‘Moving Beyond the LMS with Grav’.


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Once you start using Grav you will also (more than likely) start using Markdown more than you used to. Wouldn’t it be great to apply your new Markdown skills to other aspects of your work? Well, recently I was introduced to the Markdown-based slides Web app swipe.to (thank you Bryan!) and I’ve really enjoyed using it so far.


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I recently updated the list of problems that Grav has solved for me as an instructor/educator who facilitates a blended course, and I thought I would share them here:

Like any other Grav theme, both of the included Course Hub themes (‘Course Hub Bones’ and ‘Course Hub Bootstrap’) can be visually customized using CSS and/or altering their Twig template files. However, if you make changes directly to the Course Hub theme these will be overwritten when that Course Hub theme is updated. So, what to do?


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With Grav being a flat-file (no database) CMS tech-savvy educators have a wider range of possible development and deployment options for their Grav Course Hubs than most other database-driven systems. Recently I’ve been exploring an on-line alternative to my currently preferred local development approach, so I thought I would share both together for easier comparison. Both approaches will let you safely develop and test your Grav site before deploying changes to a live production server.


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In this article, we will look at how to use Grav with GitHub Desktop and GitLab. Unlike GitHub, you can install GitLab onto your own server, which is an attractive option for many higher education institutions. A locally hosted version of GitLab is used in this walkthrough.