Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Papa Tech Class" - summer hacking with my kids

After completing graduate school, I'm taking the summer off with my boys, ages 8 (I) & 11 (Z). One of the things they asked to do this summer is "Papa Tech Class."

Today, on the first day of summer with just the three of us at home, Z asked to get a blog set up so he could write about one of his passions: soccer.

Z had previously asked about making web pages, and he learned how to do basic HTML by hand. He learned inserting images, creating links, and basic page structure. He could see the results by opening the HTML file locally in a web browser. We uploaded the file to a web server and he could see the page on the Internet. I think it's useful to at least see what's going on one layer down - though HTML and FTP are still pretty far above bare wire & bare metal!

To make the blog an ongoing concern, we signed up for a free blog hosted on WordPress.com. WordPress provides great blogging features like ready-made templates, WYSIWYG editing, and it's a very popular platform for blogs of all sizes. So it's got a great deal of room to grow, if Zeb wants to get fancier later on. So using WordPress lets Z focus on what he really wants to do: write about soccer.

I knew we wanted to have prior review & approval of anything Z wants to post, at least while he's getting started and learning the ropes. To set that up, I created one account for the parents to use, and created the blog during the sign-up process. So the parents' account owns the blog.

Next, I logged out of WordPress.com, and then created a second WordPress.com account for Z to use. During the sign-up process, you have the option to sign up for just a username without creating a blog, and that's what I did.

Finally, I logged back into the parental account, and added Z's account as a contributor to the blog. This way he can write articles any time he likes, but he can't publish them on his own. When he is done, instead of having a "publish" button, he has a "submit for review" button. This will send an email to the parents. We can then review the post and approve it, edit it ourselves, or discuss with Z what needs to be changed and why.

This isn't perfect; to make changes to the blog itself, like changing the theme or adding widgets, I'll need to log him in under the parents' account - but since I don't use that account for any other blogs, there's no worries there.

You can follow Z's blog at http://zebsoccer.wordpress.com.


  1. Do you have any video of that? I’d love to find out some additional information... Learn to Code

  2. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value. Im glad to have found this post as its such an interesting one! I am always on the lookout for quality posts and articles so i suppose im lucky to have found this! I hope you will be adding more in the future... Hire a Hacker

  3. Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Many thanks! สล็อตโจ๊กเกอร์

  4. nice post, keep up with this interesting work. It really is good to know that this topic is being covered also on this web site so cheers for taking time to discuss this! superslot

  5. Thank you for some other informative website.I found a interesting app at site.That is spy app. Cell phone spy apps are among the top solutions to catch a cheater. 

  6. The initial expectations by a wide margin, best ui ux design companies to a launch that went beyond what the network had hoped for.
    UI design agency

  7. I have checked this link this is really important for the people to get benefit from.
    best brand agencies

  8. You don't have to stay in a relationship where you feel nothing, are unhappy, or depressed. Here are tips to help you succeed in building a great relationship!
    A happy relationship requires a commitment to love and work together

  9. The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred were good. Thanks for sharing this.
    Private office for rent

  10. This is a great inspiring article. I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post.
    facebook marketplace automation

  11. Yes i am totally agreed with this article and I just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article. I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder. what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!!
    karachi food delivery

  12. I found that site very useful and this survey is very curious. I've never seen a blog that demands a survey for these actions. Very curious.
    Pos system in Islamabad

  13. I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that.
    grocery delivery

  14. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing great information that is actually helpful. Good day!
    point of sale software

  15. Instagram pva accounts are so easy to purchase now a days. Quickly buy as many accounts as you want and increase your business online presence on Instagram.

    1. Thanks for sharing the info. Keep up the good work going. I really enjoyed exploring your site. Good resource.
      Human-centered Design

    2. It is imperative that we read blog posts very carefully. I am already done with it and find that this post is really amazing.
      Buy Instagram pva accounts

  16. This is the first time I am visiting here and I found so much interesting stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. Thank you.
    halal multivitamin canada