This DFS Site
This DFS website (ds.lclark.edu/dfs) was maintained during 2012-13 by Anneliese Dehner and Jeremy McWilliams of Watzek Library Digital Initiatives and Prof. Jim Proctor of the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis & Clark College, and hosted on the same server as Situating the Global Environment, an initiative sponsored by The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
The site was built on WordPress: introduced in 2003 as a open-source blogging platform, WordPress has evolved into a widely used, highly flexible content management system, and as such can be readily adapted to a variety of educational contexts. We selected WordPress as an integrative solution alongside more specialized applications related to digital field scholarship, as suggested in the diagram at right. Of key pedagogical significance is the ability of WordPress to weave together the entire learning process, from preliminary work to final documentation.
Here are some key features of this WordPress instance:
- It uses a responsive (mobile device friendly) theme called Nexus. Themes govern the look of a WordPress site; there are thousands to choose from.
- Field use of this site is accomplished either via the responsive theme, or a device-specific WordPress mobile app that automatically adds geolocation to field-based posts.
- The site is enhanced via a variety of plugins, such as MapPress Pro for geolocation. Plugins allow you to add all sorts of functionality to a WordPress site; WordPress boasts over 20,000 of them.
- The all-important entry and display of content (text, data, imagery, etc.) is enhanced by a variety of WordPress custom post types, allowing one to design custom forms for particular learning/data needs. See here for a diagram summarizing the custom post types on Lewis & Clark’s SGE site and how they constitute a “resource pyramid.”
- We run WordPress on a standard Ubuntu LAMP server at Lewis & Clark College.