It used to be a real pain to teach students WordPress development, but that is changing.
CodeAnywhere.com has completely changed the way I teach HTML and CSS. My students have access to a professional grade, syntax highlighting text editor that is available to them anywhere there’s an internet connection. Their projects are available to view online, not just locally in a browser, and perhaps best of all, CodeAnywhere.com is free and authenticates with Google Accounts. It’s really the perfect tool for students and teachers.
WordPress is relatively easy to set up if you’re an experienced “computer person” and have administrative access to your personal computer, but in the context of a school environment (with the heavy IT restrictions that come with that territory), WordPress is almost impossible to set up for yourself let alone for an entire class of students. PortablApps.com provides a solution, but invariably students lose or forget their flashdrives and then can’t really work on their project for an entire class – not to mention local development lacks the pinache of the real live internet. Recently, CodeAnywhere introduced DevBoxes, and my life changed.
A DevBox is essentially a virtual computer that you can set up to run a web application – like WordPress. There are a variety of development environments from which you can choose (most of which I don’t really understand), but among those options includes PHP CentOS – a stack that includes everything you need to run WordPress. View the slide deck below for step by step directions to set up WordPress in CodeAnywhere.