Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Moving/Downloading your Google Site

You spent all that time making your amazing Google Site, but now you're moving to a different school. If only there was a way to download your Site, then upload it to your new account at the new school.

It turns out that Google's own Data Liberation Front has a tool to accomplish just that. What you need to do is

  1. Download the "Escaping from Google Sites" tool.
  2. Double-click on the downloaded google-sites-liberation-1.0.3.jar file to run the program. If the program doesn't start up, perhaps you don't have Java installed.
  3. In the Host: box, leave it as sites.google.com
  4. In the Domain: box, fill in the domain where you have your existing Site (e.g. eipstech.com) or just the word  site  if you are not using Google Apps.
  5. In the Webspace: box, fill in the name of your Site; this should be the part of the URL after the / (e.g. if your Site's URL is http://eipstech.com/misterhay then your Site name is misterhay)
  6. Feel free to check the Import/Export Revisions: box if you want that.
  7. Username and Password should be your account information for the domain that you are trying to download from (e.g. dhay  and  mypassword )
  8. Click the Choose Target Directory button and select where you'd like the backup of your Site to be saved.
  9. Click the Export button, and the program will download your Site to your local computer.

Restoring your Site to your new account is the opposite of this process.

  1. Choose Target Directory (where you previously backed up your Site)
  2. Username and Password for your new school
  3. Webspace on the new domain where you'd like your site to be
  4. Domain where your new site will be
  5. Host is still sites.google.com
  6. Click the Import button, and everything should get uploaded to the new place

Hopefully that works for you, it did for me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our Presentations are Posted

Just wanted to remind you that many of the presentations by the EIPS AISI Technology Consultants are posted at http://www.eipstech.com/presentations.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Podcasting Your Morning Announcements

There are a few schools in the district that record "podcasts" of the morning announcements for teachers to play from their computers rather than broadcasting them over the intercom or printing paper copies for teachers to read.

It's not as difficult as it sounds. Basically all you need is a microphone, perhaps one from Rock Band for about $20, and free software on your computer, such as Audacity. Click the record button, read the announcements, save it as an mp3, and post it on your webpage or "Staff News" folder.

If you want to get fancy, you can allow people to subscribe to your podcast (check out a previous post), or even record video like a morning newscast.

You just need a staff member or two, and perhaps some students, and you can have a daily (or weekly) announcements podcast.

Digital Signage Part 2

I mentioned before about schools setting up digital signs, and wanted to post an update. One school that I've worked with has two signs set up, both connected to regular PCs. One is a 24 inch monitor, the other is a 40 inch LCD TV; both are 1080p resolution.

The staff member who builds the "morning announcements" bulletin also makes a PowerPoint file that is set to loop on each screen. Unfortunately at this point she has to manually transfer the file to each computer using a USB drive.

This plan is still to set up more computers around the school, connected to 42 inch LCD TVs mounted on the walls, and use Xibo Open Source Digital Signage.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

All Staff Mailing List Creation (in FirstClass)

If you've ever found yourself wanting a list of all the staff at your school, there's a quick and easy way to make one in FirstClass.

  1. Go to your Address Book and under the File menu click New then New Mailing List.
  2. Name it whatever you'd like, then in the Members: field type your three digit school code (e.g. SAL) and wait for the program to load the list of all names containing those three letters.
  3. Hold down the Shift key and the down arrow key on your keyboard until all of the contact names are selected.
  4. Press the Enter key and all of those contacts have now been added to that mail list.
  5. Scroll back up if necessary, press the OK button, and you're done.
If you'd now like to have a staff contact list in another format, such as an Excel document, you can right-click your newly created mail list and choose Summarize Selected. This brings up a window where you can select and copy the list of members, allowing you to paste it into your program of choice.