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Practical Use of Technology in Web Pages

blue arrowUse technologies that help get your message across.

Just because a technology is possible doesn't mean that you should use it in your course. Use technology wisely. Design to the lowest common denominator both in terms of technical assess and technical skills.

If the technology does not contribute to the learning experience in a way that no other technology can, don't use it. A technology is useful only when it enhances your message. If students are concentrating on the technology they will not be concentrating on the content.


blue arrowUse technologies that students can use.

Yes it is possible to provide streaming audio and video of forty of your lectures. But how many students will have sufficient bandwidth to receive it, the hardware to hear it, and the money for forty fifty-minute sessions with an Internet Service Provider?

The same lectures can be produced as HTML pages and printed with only a few minutes of online time, or as Acrobat files viewed with the Adobe Acrobat Viewer. Another type of example is that sound files can be large and produce a long download time if they are not streamed. Provide alternative technologies whenever possible.


moving eyeball

blue arrowUse animated GIF files only if they serve a purpose (Distracting, isn't it?)

  1. Animated GIF files move. Eyes are are drawn to movement. If the animation is not educational, students will be drawn to a part of your web site that provides no educational value and not concentrate on the material.
  2. Animated GIF files tend to be large files. Remember that animated GIFs contain not one image, but all the images needed for the animation in one file. If they do not convey information about your course, they should be avoided. Students will waste time and money downloading a file that serves no useful purpose.

An example of an animated gif file that could serve a purpose would be one that draws attention to changes or updates to your course that students must know about (such as, in the syllabus, new reading materials, or other important information).


blue arrowReduce image size, quality and number of colors.

Experiment with your images and learn the capabilities of your image editing software so that you can reduce file size while maintaining image quality.

  1. Reduce your image sizes so that they are as small as possible to convey the information.
  2. Reduce the quality of a JPEG file. The image will contain less information so it will be smaller. You can often reduce image quality while still delivering your message.
  3. Reduce the color content of your image and you will reduce its size. Changing the color palette of some images from 16 million colors to 256 colors does little to change the quality.

 

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