Monthly Archives: November 2009

StudyBar: Good for website owners, as well as users

Two weeks ago we rolled out a beta version of StudyBar to a select few Beta testers.

During this testing period we have fixed many bugs, and improved a lot of the core features of StudyBar. I would like to thank everyone that has participated in the Beta testing, and encourage them to continue submitting bugs!

Today I would like to announce a new feature that will be available in StudyBar – the ability for website owners to launch StudyBar for their webpages. Without the user having to have StudyBar installed.

How it works

If you operate a website and wish to integrate the features that StudyBar provides without having to re-invent the wheel, or requiring users to install software, you can now include a piece of HTML code in your webpage which will produce a launch button. Once the user clicks this link, StudyBar will be launched for your website. Including a piece of JavaScript on each of your pages that you want StudyBar to work with will allow it to launch for these pages.

Also of note, this functionality is useful as well to users. By dragging the link below into your bookmarks, you can launch StudyBar on whatever web page you are currently on. We’re calling this StudyBar Lite, as it does not require you to have anything installed.

There are some drawbacks – StudyBar will not launch when you open or refresh a page, only when you click on the button. In FireFox, it will be marginally slower than using the installed version, and it may not work on some installations of Internet Explorer on locked down machines. However, no installation!

Why not give it a go? Either click the link, or drag it to your favourites for use later – StudyBar.

Synote and LexDis cross the Atlantic once again!

Both Mike and E.A are heading off to the States this week to talk about the Synote, LexDis, and Web2Access.

As the press release says, Mike is “going to present the latest developments in his award-winning web-based Synote at a symposium at the IBM TJ Watson Research Centre, New York on Monday 9 November.

It will be the first time Synote will be shown with its additional ability to “synchronise live notes taken using Twitter with synchronised lecture recordings and transcripts created using IBM’s speech recognition software.”

E.A. is off to the 12th Annual Accessing Higher Ground – Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference in Colorado on Thursday 12 November to show how Seb Skuse, Russell Newman and Chris Phethean have developed a suite of accessibility tools that can help to make access to the web easier. This work has come about as a result of the findings of the JISC funded LexDis project which, as someone said “refuses to die!” Students are still coming forward with new strategies for the way they cope with their “Technology Enhanced Learning” (to include e-learning and mobile learning) environments and E.A. is keen to continue with this work so that the database can be kept up to date with the latest ideas.

The press release ends by saying: “In her presentation, E.A. will highlight the need to enhance the knowledge of a wider network of ‘informal experts’ and academic staff to enable them to introduce disabled students to the many web-based tools which are currently emerging. This would allow disabled students to further develop their skills and perhaps in time also become informal experts who would be willing to share the strategies they have developed with others as can be seen on the LexDis website.”