Steve Boneham's blog

Helping people learn to use technology in education

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Category: HowTo (page 1 of 2)

Better event streaming with Hangouts on Air

Google Hangouts on Air offers an easy way to stream live events. The difficult part is setting up multiple sources for audio and video capture to ensure a good viewer experience. That’s something I got chance to experiment with recently.

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Commons in a Box

A review of Commons in a Box – the free, easy-to-install package that turns WordPress into a powerful community site. These are my reflections on installing and testing it and what I think it could offer education.

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Cloning a large WordPress multisite network for local development

Using XAMPP and Apache virtual hosts to allow local clones of WordPress sites and sub-domains to be accessed via the live site URL, meaning less need to faff about with database & config changes.

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Sweet child of mine

There are lots of great WordPress themes out there, but I always find something I’d like to change. Being open source, that’s pretty easy to do with a bit of CSS, HTML and PHP. However, when a theme is updated by the author, you risk loosing your hand-crafted customisation. That’s where child themes come in. They offer a simple, but flexible way to create a customised theme that inherits the style and function of it’s parent, but can be customised independently. And as any parent knows, their kids are always way cooler than their parents 😉

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bit.ly – bundles of fun (well, links)

To support a screencasting workshop I ran for Newcastle University library I wanted participants to explore and evaluate a range of screencasts. As this as a custom course, I had a bit of freedom to consider the alternatives to a page on our site. I looked at using delicious with custom tags and a diigo list, but neither offered quite what I wanted – something quick, simple, that I already used, that didn’t need registration and looked stylish. Enter bit.ly bundles.

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WordPress excerpts, featured images and <more>

How to customise a WordPress blog to show more of your posts on the front page using the more tag, manual excerpts and featured images. Shows how simple changes to a standard theme can make significant changes to how a blog is presented.

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IPA Online – building a site to teach phonetics

IPA online helps students learn the International Phonetic Alphabet, a visual representation of the sounds produced by the vocal tract. This required presenting hundreds of video clips of male and a female speakers producing the same individual sounds from the chart a logical and usable way. The site also has self-text exercises where speakers produce a range of nonsense words for students to transcribe

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Podcasting (JISC RSC-NW)

This is a slidecast produced for participants in an online training session on podcasting for JISC RSC-NW. The idea is to give participants the opportunity to come up with ideas for what formats and approaches would work for their podcast before the event, so that the time online can focus on the practicalities of producing a podcast. …

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Explaining emergent technologies (with PowerPoint)

I’m working on a JISC project to produce guides to how emergent technologies like social media, RSS and wikis can enhance the practice of staff in research, teaching and administration. One output of this will be a series of icon-based videos explaining the key concepts of these technologies. Unable to find suitable icons in stock image sites, I started to make my own – with PowerPoint. This post is an attempt to justify that and retain some credibility!

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Twitter badge without @replies

I was looking for a way to display my tweets elsewhere on the web – such as on the sidebar of this blog. However, I wasn’t happy with the standard Twitter badge, which mixes tweets on ‘What I’m doing’ with ‘@replies’ intended for individuals. Don’t get me wrong, I value @replies, I just didn’t want them on my badge. If you don’t either, here’s how to filter them out using an RSS feed and Yahoo Pipes.

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