Archive for the ‘staffordshire’ Category

Mission Maker tutorial – Adding Simple Questions (Pt 2)

December 5, 2008

Or visit the tutorial link

Stoke on Trent City Learning Centres – 01782 591040

Updating your website. (Part 1)

April 21, 2008

Teachers often ask me a number of questions about school websites, and the best way to go about getting one. In this article I’m going to present some information about why Schools might want to make the shift from a static website to a dynamic website

Keeping your website upto date is a task. However, it is an important task that someone should be doing every week, maybe even daily.

Keeping your website updated is a massive task. It’s usually something no one wants to do. However, keeping your audience up to date with all your recent developments is incredibly important if you want to engage with them.

For years now many schools have had a static website, that is to say that someone designed and built it uploaded it to the server and then it just sat there. Every time the school wants an update, some external person has to be phoned to add new photos or stories.

More recently though, database driven (Dynamic) websites that allow teachers the ability to log in and write their own articles, add photos and events have come along. Blogs or weblogs where the whole website management is taken care of by a 3rd party company are also popular and you don’t have to worry about costs or technical issues.

So, which is the best solution? No option is absolutely foolproof unless you have a member of staff who is specifically dedicated to maintaining the website.

What are the pro’s and cons of blogs and Dynamic sites?

If faced with the choice of a static and a dynamic website, the dynamic one would win hands down every time for me. The reason is mostly workload based. With static pages each and every new article written for the page needs a new page creating. It needs naming properly and linking to from all the other pages. A dynamic site on the other hand whilst being more complex and time consuming to put together, creates multiple pages without users needing any knowledge of computer programing. You can add pages easily by simply logging into the site and entering data into a series of text fields. Images and files can be uploaded easily to accompany the articles.

Providing you back up your server regularly, every article ever written fro the website is retrievable for other purposes, making it an excellent repository of your successful work.

Downsides of dynamic websites are that they cost more to develop and you need the full participation of your staff to make them work effectively. A dynamic website that is never updated will lose visitors unvisited and can then become as impotent as a static website that is never updated.

Blogs and dynamic websites are essentially the same thing. However, a blog tends to me more of a diary site, with snippets of useful information as opposed to a full blown corporate website. One of the main benefits of using a blog is the use of RSS feeds. RSS feeds are really just a text file which is updated each time new articles are added to a website. Users can subscribe to a websites content via the RSS feed. Whenever new content is added to the website users can see this via the feed and are often emailed a notification as well. RSS feeds are also great for improving your search engine rankings

The downsides of using blogs are that you are reliant on third party servers. If the server goes down , so does your site and if you use a free blogging service, you cannot complain. There are paid services out there though, but this is where you will need technical help as you will need access to a server to host the site, and some knowledge of programming to get your site up and running.

In Part 2 of this article we will examine some of the popular blogging platforms and how to choose the type of site you want.

Exciting Science Days blast off!

December 5, 2007

October Saw Secondary Science advisor Nick Hackett bring his Exciting Science days back to the CLC’s.

Sandon High came in on 2 days to take part in a number of experiments.

Magic Planet
Quizdom Vote Pads

Pupils evidently enjoy interactive teaching approaches and the quiz was an outright favorite in this respect. Interacting with PCs and carrying out experiments also feature highly.

After adjusting the delivery of the Magic Planet session following the evaluation of the first session it’s popularity improved measurably.

The blogging session, where the students recorded the activities they took part in did encounter some problems again however the students did manage to record their experiments successfully.

Exciting Science Day -blog

Getting Started with Edublogs – A Teachers Guide

March 26, 2007

If you have been reading recent posts you will know that we have been looking for a suitable blogging platform so that classes can keep a blog that is moderated by teachers.

Although we liked blogger for its style and features we recognised that not all teachers have the technical know how to set up a blog on their own server. If you dont host your blog on your own server then blogger blogs link to other blogs on the network, some of those may contain material unsuitable for minors.

So we found Edublogs a much safer option. Edublogs however, proved rather tricky to get started with. I have created this tutorial to guide you through the set up process. Although it is a little tricky to get started, once the job is done you will have a brilliant and flourishing blog that provided a safe environment for teacher and students to interact.

You will need Flash Player 9 or higher installed to view this tutorial

Video Tutorial – How to Get started with Edublogs
Video Tutorial – Getting Started with Edublogs

Some Fun things… You can make at the CLC

March 22, 2007

If you wondered where all the fun had gone from lessons? Here are a couple of things I made this week in my spare time. Part of the fun of learning is playing.

1. Photobooth slideshow.

This just shows some of the grotesque characters you can create in Photobooth. Not everyone is as ugly as me, but you can use these images to create slideshows or characters for your movies, comics and photostories.

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2. 3D tours

A couple of years ago we employed eyerevolution from London to come and create some 3d virtual tours for us. Now with the aid of some niftylittle tools such as “Pleinpot” and “Cubic Converter” we have joined the tours up, See our cut down version before the main one appears on the website.

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If you are interested in using technology to raise attainment in your classroom, or even for a bit of fun, get in touch with us at either Longton or Haywood City Learning Centres.

Harpfield Animators Get busy

February 28, 2005
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Harpfield School create their stop frame animation

February 28th saw an Animation workshop from Harpfield Primary school. Children and teachers worked alongside CLC staff to produce unique animations in the one day session.
The models were made from paper, foam and pipecleaners. A range of films were produced and distributed to the school.

Document share activated

February 22, 2005
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Document share

The City Learning Centre website now allows Staff members to share documents quickly and easily.

Staff need to simply log in and then proceed to upload their shareable documents straight into our document repository on the website.

This should enable the near instant sharing of files if email isn’t available to you.

iLife 05 Now installed

February 14, 2005
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iLife 05

All our Macintosh computers are now running the New Version of iLife. The improved programs allow you greater control over your projects.

The new iLife includes Garageband,which lets users create their own music tracks, using loops, or real instruments.

Fancy making a video diary? Why not ask at reception. We can provide you with the tools and the know how. Using iMovie, it’s easy to make a film project and create your own DVD too.

Poser to be trialed for content creation

November 2, 2004

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Phil is looking into Poser 3d modelling software for the creation of Website avatars, 3D art and Animation.

Poser 5 is the award-winning 3D character design tool for artists, illustrators and animators. Easily create 3D figures from ready-to-use human and animal models.

Poser adds realism, maps facial photos, grow and style dynamic hair, or add dynamic cloth that flows. Quickly output movies and images for use in any project.

TV Studio nears completion

October 10, 2004
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CLC TV studio nears completion

The new TV Studio at Longton High CLC is nearing completion. Workers from Confetti Studio, Nottingham have been working long hours to transform CLC 8 into a state of the art Mini TV studio.

The flooring has been laid, the partition wall, door and screen window are in place. Now the engineers are adding the hardware and wiring the room. Watch this space for more news over the next 24 hours.