Judson WebTeam ~ 1995-2004

Here is a beautiful interactive graphic: Evolution of the Web.

 The World Wide Web arrived in Marion, Alabama, at Judson College in Fall 1995.  With the blessing of the administration, a small group of faculty, staff, and students began to explore the possibilities of this fascinating new world.  We learned HTML, javascript, and image editing; and soon we had HoTMetaL  and Adobe Photoshop to play with.  We used the Netscape FastTrack server running on a Win NT workstation.  At that time, when the server went down, someone had to drive to campus, run up the steps, and confront the “blue-screen of death.”  Happily the NT workstation always recovered with no damage after a cold boot.  We later moved to Apache on a Linux box – which NEVER crashed.

webteam6By the 96-97 academic year we were happily established in our WebCenter located upstairs in Jewett Hall.  At that time, we were designing our pages with tables and learning how to write scripts to make our website more interactive.

We were so proud of our website in November 1996!  We had already added Perl scripts to send form data to email and had begun giving web presence to other organizations, such as MMI and the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame.

In 1998 we created the Webspinner, the first college “webzine” in Alabama, and continued publishing articles until October 2004. By  Fall 1999 the Judson website was looking a lot better!

ceclogo

We established the Judson Center for eCommerce in the fall of 1999 and opened a brand-new, specialized computer lab on the first floor of Jewett Hall.  The City of Marion was one of our first our first CeC websites,  and we added clients and pro bono sites until we were maintaing 19 websites that the Judson WebTeam had built.  The Lincoln School website was one of our early pro bono websites.

Judson WebTeam members were so thrilled when  Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, founder and president of the North American Butterfly Association, signed a contract for us to reformat his pictures for placement on the Web.  Many people worked on this project, but Megan Pilarczyk, lead designer on the butterfly team, saved the day by spending many hours making changes when the official system for naming the butterflies changed mid-project!   I am so happy to see that our work from 2000-2002 is still live on the NABA websiteThat was a project well worth the effort!

Here is a WebSpinner article from the Wayback Machine describing a butterfly count led by by Dr. Glassberg in Marion, Alabama:

Mitchell’s Satyr: An Endangered Butterfly Species Found in the Oakmulgee National Forest

createdbyhm6_anWe were also a SoftQuadcertified training center for HoTMetaL, with classes held in our CeC Lab.

We helped to pioneer a very early online certification exam on October 23, 1999.

We invited members of the Judson community to visit our WebCenter and create some webpages of their own.  In 2000 Martha Williams created a page to save Memories of the old King Science Building before it was demolished in order to make way for the new Lowder Science building.


lab1The WebCenter and CeC moved to the Armstrong Computer Lab in the basement of Blount Hall in the summer of 2000, and the WebTeam grew to include 15  members.  Now we had the WebShop, CeC, and WEB classes in one location! wowdisplay2

Our Center for eCommerce was very active during this time, and we added a WEB Minor that included two levels of Java programming to our course offerings.  We formed a Judson Chapter of WOW (World Organization of Webmasters) at this time to explore future job opportunities. We were happy and  very productive in our Blount Hall location until Fall 2001 when the floor suddenly exploded leaving the computer lab unusable because of the high dust concentration.


lowderlab
MarionTriad Club Visits Ford Lab
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Online in Ford Lab

 We were ecstatic about our new home in the Ford Lab, which was designed for beauty combined with maximum efficiency.  In short, it was everything we had ever dreamed of – an airy, light-filled student computer lab with our WebShop and CeC computers along the side wall.  My office was at the back, and I was there normally from 7:30 am until 5 pm during the week (except when I was in class), so I was able to assist computer users, clear paper jams in the printer, etc.,  most of the day.  WebTeam students took over managing the lab on evenings and weekends, and it quickly became a very popular, user-friendly  computer lab for all students. The 2002 Judson WebTeam members were able to get input across all disciplines in the Ford Lab, and they worked daily to make the Judson website and intranet as perfect as possible. 

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Dr. George Williams and Ed Mansouri, CEO of UCompass, in Ford Computer Lab.

We adopted UCompass Educator as our course management system (CMS) in Fall 2002.

Here is what the  Judson intranet looked like in Spring 2003.

We were able to remain in the Ford Lab until Fall of 2003.


The WebCenter moved to the newly restored Jewett Hall in Fall 2003, and we established the Judson Center for Teaching/Learning & Technology.  One of the last archived home.judson.edu/judson.html pages that I have found is April 4, 2004.

 My former student, Melissa Reh, became Assistant Webmaster in Summer 2003 and Webmaster in  Summer 2004.  To all of the faculty and staff with whom I worked and especially to all my students:  We truly learned a  lot together and accomplished much!  Thanks so much for the memories that I will always cherish and that are now preserved (forever, I hope) on the Wayback Machine.

I am putting together a timeline from what I remember and will be adding links from the Wayback Machine as I find them.  This is still a work in progress!

Contact Ruth Kastenmayer