Web tools are awesome.
The other day I decided to launch a project that I thought might be fun for me, might benefit my community and--and who knows--maybe more.
It's the University of the Internet, aka Internet U. The idea is to create a portal for online learning and connect it to my community, Blue Hill, Maine. And make it open, so other people can do the same.
The first course is one I was already signed up for: Harvard's "Science of Cooking" course, delivered through the edX platform. The second one will be self-referential. It's a course on how to set up a site like Internet U.
It took me a bit of time to figure out how to use some of the tools that I'd picked to do some of the things that I wanted. But now that I know how, I could do it all in a little over an hour. Here's the recipe--and an outline for the course.
1. I bought a domain: internet-u.org through Google Domains. Cost: $10.00
2. I created an email alias for myself on the domain through the Google's email forwarding tool connected to Google Domains. Cost: zero.
3. I created a Google account for that alias. That let me keep my Internet U projects separate from my personal projects. Cost: zero.
4. I made some web pages using the new Google Sites tool: a home page; a page was for my "Virtual Campus" in Blue Hill; and a page for the cooking course, and a couple of pages (Courses, Campus) to link them. Cost: zero.
5. I created some sign-up forms using Google Forms and attached them to my site. Cost: zero.
6. I used Google's Subdomain Forwarding tool to redirect www.interenet-u.org and bluehill.internet-u.org to the right pages. Cost: zero.
Some of the pages are lame. There's a lot of missing content, but I went live, and it's a start. And I've got a hosted site that looks really nice, with email for the "site administrator" and an automated registration process for $10.00.
I'll update this post once I've put up the "How to build a site" course.