February has rapidly arrived and Semester 1 feels perilously close to starting again for another year. 2014 looks like it is shaping up to be an exciting year with the Lecture Recording upgrade rapidly underway, and upgrades to Blackboard, Otago Blogs and Otago Podcasts already complete.
To start the year off smoothly we have come up with a short list of things to check off, hopefully there are a few items that jog your memory before classes start.
- Are you teaching with Blackboard this year? If so, is your paper ready to teach?
- Request a rollover or get a new paper registered (http://www.otago.ac.nz/its/services/teaching/otago028342.html)
- If you’re using Otago Blogs or Otago Podcasts this year you’ll need to give your sites a bit of a clear out. Make sure you download any files you want to keep before you delete them.
- Have you thought about running online tutorials? Have a look at Otago Connect for a Skype-like solution (http://www.otago.ac.nz/its/services/teaching/otago023671.html)
- Want to know more about the Lecture Recording upgrade? Check out the blog to keep up to date: https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/lecturerecordingupgrade/
Lastly, we have spruced up all our eLearning help sites over summer and you’ll now find them at http://help.otago.ac.nz – make sure you pop along, have a look and brush up on a few new tricks before the students come back.
We have recently applied updates to some of the plugins on our Blogging and Podcasting service: Subscribe by Email and WordTwit These aren’t new plugins but updates to existing ones which brings some new functionality to the service.
Subscribe by Email
This updated plugin now allows for a more customised email to be sent when users receive updates from your blog. This is an improvement upon the text only email that was available before.
The update to this plugin now allows more than one Twitter account to be connected to your blog site as well as modifications to the security and verification procedures to connect your blog to Twitter. If you have been using WordTwit you will need to obtain verification tokens from Twitter to continue to use the service.
We hope these updates help you make the most of your blogging experience.
You might have noticed recently that the podcasting plugin looks a little bit different. There are now a few more boxes on the screen (don’t panic, it is still easy to use). You’ll notice a couple of new features, you might even recognise them from writing posts.
- Categories - A category is a broad grouping for your posts/podcasts, for example a bread recipe may be in a cooking category and a baking category.
- Tags - A tag is a more specific grouping for a single post/podcast in the bread example from above it could be tagged as wholemeal and rye.
As well as the new features, the description field has had a bit of a makeover as well and now includes a visual text editor. But wait, there’s more, you are now told how much space you have left in your site (have a look in the Instructions box).
If you haven’t seen the changes and you have an Otago Podcasts site drop by and have a look.