Interview with Jennifer Daly: College Art Instructor

A portrait photograph of Jennifer Daly.

Jennifer Daly is an art professor who teaches at both Shasta College and Butte College in Northern California. She also co-owns a nonprofit consulting business called Daly Professional Services. She has incorporated WordPress into both her career and life.

When and how did you first start using WordPress? Since then, how long have you used it?

I started using WordPress in 2007. I had been using Blackboard and WebCT to provide students information online for a couple of years. Neither one was really designed for art students. They are very rigid in the layout and format, and not very visually appealing. While in grad school, one of my professors, Byron Wolfe, was using Typepad and a blog format for communicating with his students. I really liked the simplicity and elegance of the system, but being in grad school, I couldn’t afford to pay for a blog, and found WordPress. I have used it every semester since then. I started out with a site and then migrated to a self-hosted site about three years ago.

What was the appeal of WordPress? Why do you use it?

I loved the ability to completely customize my courses and the flexibility that comes with the Plugins.

What is your job title and career focus? Do you use WordPress in your job?

I teach photography at Butte College and Shasta College in Northern California. I am also the co-owner of Daly Professional Services, a nonprofit consulting business. We use WordPress for all of our websites.
Home page of Daly Professional Services consulting business.

How does WordPress affect your job tasks? For example, is course planning easier or more complicated?

I think course planning is much easier on a WordPress site compared to BlackBoard and Moodle. The format is much more flexible, responsive and is much easier to navigate on a smartphone or other smaller form factor.

With your photography courses, is WordPress ideal for photography work? Why or why not?

I think that WordPress is perfect for photo classes. It works well for collaborative work and sharing. I can easily add slideshows for assignments or to help illustrate readings. It also allows me to add menus that are relevant for my classes.

Do you feel that anyone in any field can use WordPress successfully without being intimidated by it?

A tintype self-portrait of Jennifer Daly.

Yes. I often have students add content to the website. Many of them have limited computer skills and they have all found it easy enough to add posts and comments.

Has WordPress helped branch out your technological expertise? Is it worth the time and effort to use it?

I’ve done some web design work but it’s not my first love. WordPress simplifies so much of the design work for me and lets me do the work I want to do. I think WordPress has been pretty easy to learn and it isn’t a lot of effort to set up a site and manage it, even with rapidly changing content.

Daly’s current WordPress sites and websites include:

Daly’s past WordPress sites and websites include:

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