Category Archives: Online course

WordPress for Noobs course offered in Sept., both F2F and online

Freeland Web DesignTim Freeland

It has an image optimizer called that will drastically reduce the file size of an image, while not reducing quality.

In mid-September, I’ll be collaborating with fellow Northfielder Tim Freeland of Freeland Web Design to teach the WordPress for Noobs course.

Tim’s been working with many area organizations on their WordPress-based websites. I’ve gotten to know him from his many years of community engagement, some of which he chronicles on his personal blog.

I just met with Tim about this today so we have more than a few details to work out. But this much we know:

  • There will be an online-only version of the Noobs course, much like I offered last year.
  • There will be a face-to-face version of the Noobs course, offered in downtown Northfield at the new co-working center, The Spur.  This course will meet once per week over a 2-3 month period.  Participants will also have access to all the online materials and services. Class size will be limited and of course, it will cost more than the online-only version of the course.
  • There will be a special offer for those who took the Noobs course last year. If you want a unique and memorable customer oriented space for casino online gaming, visit for more information.

If you want to be alerted to the details, subscribe to my Your Thick Skull email list or follow me and/or Tim on Twitter.

Leveraging Your Influence: An online course for MN K12 Education Leaders on using social media

Charlie KyteMy conversations and work with fellow Northfielder Charlie Kyte, Executive Director of the Minnesota School Administrators Association (MASA) and Voice of MN Education blogger, have led to discussions about a course in leadership blogging/social media for members of MASA, MESPA, MASSP, and MASE.

Those are Minnesota-based associations of K12 school leaders: superintendents, principals, and other education program managers.

We had planned to offer the course this spring but that’s now been pushed back to fall.


Tools and services used for the WordPress for Noobs online course

WordPress for Noobs - forum

I launched my WordPress for Noobs online course this week.  Over 30 participants have registered and paid thus far, with a few more expected by week’s end.

All’s working well with the integration of two big WordPress plugins to make the course happen:

  • Wishlist Member which handles the registration, integration with PayPal, and membership management
  • Simple:Press which provides the discussion forum for the course (screenshot on the right)

I’m using GoToWebinar to host a live Q&A webinar for the class each week, and Camtasia Studio to produce two screencasts (how-to videos) each week, hosted at

All of this is a result of my taking the Teaching Sells course a year ago, with ongoing support from Third Tribe Marketing.

I’ve got more online courses (AKA Integrated Learning Environments) in the works. Next up: Blogging for Leaders.

WordPress for Noobs begins January 10. Get it through Your Thick Skull

In late October, I hosted (with a little help from my friends, Tracy Davis and Sean Hayford O’Leary,) two WordPress Q&A webinars for Northfield area WordPress users. A few days later, I attended my first Minneapolis-St. Paul WordPress User Group meeting. And two weekends ago, I presented two sessions at WordCamp MSP in Richfield.

All of which served to convince me that A) the popularity of WordPress continues to grow; and B) the demand for help in using it continues to grow.

So I decided to create an online course called WordPress for Noobs, and have it be the first course delivered by my new interactive learning platform:

Your Thick Skull

Your Thick Skull; Griff Wigley, instructor

I’ve been coaching adults on the use of internet-related technology tools and services since 2002. Many adults feel intimidated by these technologies at times, and it bugs them when instructors talk over their heads. But just as often, it bugs them when instructors talk down to them, as if they’re little children.

Over time, I’ve learned that an approach which combines plain English with a little irreverent humor works well when teaching adults. Looking a frustrated adult in the eye and saying with faux exasperation, “Come on, get it through your thick skull!” invariably brings a smile and a sigh of relief. (For those who might not be familiar with the English language, to ‘get something through someone’s thick skull’ is an idiom which means ‘to manage to get someone, including oneself, to understand something.’)

The name Your Thick Skull is similar to the Complete Idiot’s and For Dummies reference guides in that it is not meant to be insulting and the instruction is designed to be non-intimidating.

Unlike those reference guides, however, Your Thick Skull will not offer books. Rather, I’ll use it to offer online courses that are best described as interactive learning environments or communities of learning. Big diff!

My initial online courses will be technology-related (WordPress for Noobs starting January 10; Blogging for Leaders in early 2011). In the near future, I’ll be branching out to offer a wide variety of online courses, partnering with others who have an expertise (teachers, authors, consultants, coaches, etc.) but who need help in sharing that expertise in an interactive learning environment. (Contact me if you’re interested in exploring that type of partnership.)

‘Nuff said for now.  I’m pleased to announce:

WordPress for Noobs

begins January 10.  Get it through Your Thick Skull.

WordPress for Noobs - screenshot