Friday, 12 November 2010

Make Firefox display sites like an iPad

Came across this gem today. I've lent my iPad to colleagues (I don't think I'll get it back), and needed to test a website for iPad compatibility.

Mashable has instructions for changing your Firefox user input string to that of the iPad:

Type “about:config” in the address bar, click the right mouse button, select New – String, and name it “general.useragent.override”. Then enter the value “Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B334b Safari/531.21.10″.

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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Check in multiple SharePoint documents

When using SharePoint it's handy to add multiple documents to a library at once.

I either use the Open in Windows Explorer feature to achieve this, or Upload Multiple Documents from the Action Menu on the Document library.

If there are meta-data columns in the library which are required to be completed, and no default value is set, SharePoint uploads the documents, but marks them as checked out, so they're not available to other users.

Checking in each document from the contextual menu on each document in the library is painful.

However, there is a better way.

First, from the Actions menu, choose Edit in Datasheet. Use this spreadsheet-like view to complete those meta-data columns

Second, from the the Site Actions button is in the top right hand corner, click  Manage Content and Structure. This will let you browse the site through to your library. When you've found the library, select all the documents, then use Check In from the Actions menu to check the documents in.

Voila, one library of checked in documents!

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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Types of wikis

"In the Flow" and "Above the Flow". 

Reading this blog post on two approaches and types of wikis,, is a useful guide to the reasons why wikis may succeed or fail in their implementation.

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Friday, 21 May 2010

SharePoint SUSHI

One of the challenges with a SharePoint environment is managing the security. Who can see what? Can a person see what they're supposed to see?

SharePoint's out-of-the-box interface is limited in this area. Sure, you can tell which SharePoint groups or Active Directory groups have access to a resouce, but there's no easy way to find out who belongs to those groups from within SharePoint.

SharePoint Sushi (love the aconym - it stands for SharePoint Utility with a Smart Helpful Interface) is a great free tool which lets you view your SharePoint permissions from the user perspective. for the download and docs.


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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Measuring Technology Adoption

One of our schools is nearing the end of an 8 week term which culminates in every student out of 230 producing their own ePortfolio.

The school is using the Google Apps suite to host these ePortfolios. From year 1 to year 6 the approaches range from constructing a PowerPoint document from the work samples inside a pre-set template which is uploaded, through the students constructing a PowerPoint document which is uploaded, to a process where each work sample is uploaded to its own page inside the ePortfolio site.

It's an interesting project, and I'm looking into ways to now evaluate the process, to identify the areas of strength and weakness, and to develop methods which can be employed over the next 10 week term when the next termly ePortfolio is developed.

Dr Helen Barratt links to these two older pieces of work:

Being in an international school which an have a high turn over of teachers, one focus will need to be to identify potential leaders in this area.

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Thursday, 20 August 2009

From BBC News - the problem with PowerPoint

I have to agree with this article completely. The best PPT I've seen is in the opening scenes of the movie 'The Da Vinci Code' where the slides are used to zoom out from images, and so presenting different views of the image to the audience and challenging their assumptions.

The article does miss the advantage of a bullet-point format that for someone reviewing a presentation later, the bullet-points can be useful.

Perhaps PPT should be thought of as providing the framework for a discussion, a vehicle for content it you like, rather than containing the actual content.

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Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Academic Colleges Group CEO shortlisted for International Business Leader of the Year award from NZTE. Pretty good stuff

I received an exciting internal email today. NZTE (New Zealand Trade and Enterprise) are running their International Business Awards for 2009, and our CEO of Academic Colleges Group, Ian King, has been selected as a finalist!

It's been a long journey for ACG from its beginnings as Senior College of New Zealand in 1994, Since I joined the company in 2001 the growth has been pretty spectacular. There have been challenges along the way - SARS, the Asian financial crisis, the issues with the quality of English Language providers (do we remember Carich and ModernAge) to name a few, but ACG has been well-managed through all of these issues, with rolls constantly growing and more importantly, the quality of the teaching and learning increasing.

Maybe the group doesn't promote itself and its achievements enough - to manage 4,500 students across six schools operating out of eight campuses in three countries is quite an achievement.

Personally I'm feeling quite proud to be able to work with someone such as this, and I hope that Ian progresses to win this award.

If you're interested in reading more about ACG's schools, visit

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