An order is now being processed for an upgrade to the edubuzz server. This will mainly provide :
- more disk space, mainly needed for storage of uploaded files such as images, audio and video
- more memory capacity, to handle increasing numbers of users
Disk space on the current server is being used up at an ever-increasing rate.
There’s an ongoing education job to be done in reminding people not to upload huge, high-resolution image files just to illustrate blog posts. This is all part of the process of learning about using the web in the classroom, though, and perhaps to be expected at this stage.
It’s not unusual to find image files of 2MB embedded in blog posts, even though these will take over 5 minutes to load on a typical dial-up connection. This is something we maybe should have spent time on in training sessions, where we’ve tried to concentrate on using the tools, and have probably tended to avoid discussion of file size issues. We’re not alone, though: it’s clear from discussion forums that other WordPress sites have the same problem.
If you’re reading this and wondering how to avoid the problem, our advice is to avoid creating a big image in the first place. You can do this by setting your camera to take a low-resolution image. For class web use, a JPEG (.jpg) image file will usually be around 20KB to 50KB, depending on what it contains. About 400 to 500 pixels wide is adequate.
If you’ve already taken a large image, web sites like www.resize2mail.com offer a free, easy-to-use resizing service. You just browse to the image on your computer, upload it, choose the size you want, and download the resized file.
Today after-school I ran a 90-minute CPD session on creating dynamic school web sites using WordPress. Until I arrived, I was expecting around 5 people, and had prepared, just in case, for up to 10. In the event, there were 13 on the latest list, and everyone made it. There was great enthusiasm, and I went away convinced the group will be making full use of what they learned.
The course outline is here as a Word document: It covered: ECS371 Making Your School Website Dynamic – outline Continue reading “Making Your School Website Dynamic” is a popular course!
One of the biggest hurdles we’ve got in the edublogging community is bridging the RSS chasm.
- If you’re an edublogger, chance are you’ve got at least a basic idea of what it’s all about. You’ll probably use an RSS reader, or aggregator, such as Bloglines, to keep track of the blogs you read. You maybe even use an RSS feed or two to provide some content for your blog, such as news headlines.
- For most people in schools, though, RSS is just another bit of jargon. The potential benefits of RSS tools in education can’t be obtained. And because – if you’ll pardon the Rumsfeld-ism – they don’t know they don’t know it, let alone what the benefits might be, there’s no demand for training…
What has to happen for people to “get it”? In my experience, demonstrating a feed aggregator is a key step. I usually use Bloglines for this, as it has a good user interface. But if you want to try to explain RSS in your blog, as Tess does here, you’re at a disadvantage – you can’t so easily show a live feed in the context of your writing.
But what if you could put a little RSS feed reader right inside your blog post? Continue reading firstRSS: In-Post RSS Aggregator
A sign of the times: a book on RSS has appeared for the first time in my local Borders bookshop. The book is Secrets of RSS by Steve Holzner. Continue reading First-ever sighting of a book on RSS
Update 10/1/07: Tess Watson was present too!
Here are notes from Monday’s meeting. Comments welcome. (Word doc: Notes of Exc-el Meeting No.1, 8.1.2007)
Exc-el Board Meeting
EAST LOTHIAN EDUCATION & CHILDREN’S SERVICES
EXC-EL DEVELOPMENT – www.exc-el.org.uk
Notes of Exc-el Board Meeting No.1, held in John Muir House on Monday 8th January 2007
Continue reading First Exc-el Meeting of 2007