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edUi – a conference for web professionals serving colleges, universities, libraries, museums, and beyond – was held in Richmond, VA this year, having moved from its original location in Charlottesville. It was a good move – many first time attendees – and an incredible conference. From the plenary on the “Googlization of Everything” – where University of Virginia media studies professor Siva Vaidhyanathan (who wrote the book) discussed how Google has become the custodian of the web, how algorithms are not value neutral, and how we still need to be intelligent, critical re/searchers – to all the sessions and finally to the keynote by Jeffrey Zeldman, “King of Web Standards” – where he talked about universal smart defaults, content and mobile strategy, and the future of web design, edUi proved to be an exciting forum for exchanging web ideas.

Some session highlights include:

  • an in-depth look at writing better WordPress plugins;
  • a data ninja versus data squirrel view of Google Analytics;
  • an extended discussion about the mobile web, ubiquitous learning, the geosocial universe, and the prospects for education;
  • a prototyping primer using html5, css3, jquery;
  • a reflection on design sophistication including the creative use of negative space and new web typography;
  • and many others.

It was a great conference that addressed an impressive range of web issues. Many thanks to the STEP (Summer Technology Exploration Grant) program for providing the opportunity to attend.