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Harvard Extension School offers Joomla! this fall

Written by | Wednesday, 22 August 2012 22:33 | Published in 2012 November
The oldest and most prestigious university in the United States is Harvard University. This autumn, it has expanded its offerings to include a class on content management systems—and half the session will be devoted to teaching Joomla! to the students enrolled.
Harvard Yard, the central campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States Harvard Yard, the central campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States By chensiyuan [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Harvard University, which celebrated its 375th anniversary last year, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Internationally, Harvard is ranked second in the world, behind only the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Community "should be proud that we write software that's worthy of being taught at a great university."

This autumn, students are participating in an online course at Harvard Extension School, a component school of the University. The course features the Joomla! CMS and is called "Introduction to Web Content Management Systems Site Development", course number CSCI E-30, and it may be taken for graduate credit.

The course will be taught by Rob Graham and Jen Kramer. Graham is a longtime Joomla user and educator, and he is a member of Joomla! User Group New Hampshire. Kramer has taught Joomla! in higher education before, both online with lynda.com courses and also for seven years in a classroom setting, and is the author of several books about Joomla. She has also run a business building customized websites with Joomla! for clients.

"It's exciting that Joomla! is being offered in a course offered at Harvard," says Kramer. "The Joomla! community should be proud that we write software that's worthy of being taught at one of the world's great universities."

Highlights of the Course

The course is being taught entirely online, and without any in-class or online meetings. This allows participants to take this course from anywhere in the world, without needing to change their personal schedules in order to attend a lecture during the working day or the middle of the night.

The first half of the course has been spent examining a new content management system almost every week. This year's course covers Wordpress, SocialGo, Wikimedia (which powers Wikipedia), Wix, and Moodle. The second half of the course then covers Joomla! in depth, from installing it on a server to building a custom template. The course syllabus (PDF) is posted online and contains more details about the instruction.

"This course is exciting because you can compare several content management systems quickly and easily," says Graham. "Then we pick the most flexible CMS, Joomla!, to cover in-depth. In this way, students get to try lots of CMSs, while also learning much more about one of them."

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Sully Sullivan

Sully Sullivan

Brian "Sully" Sullivan has been building corporate and non-profit organization websites for 10 years, and using Joomla! almost since it was new. He lives and works in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, where he is a Principal of Terrace Media Group, an independent website development firm specializing in information architecture, search engine optimization, enterprise search services and transaction data management using the Joomla! CMS.

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