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"Should I Use the Latest Technology?"


Whether you are designing a new online resource to use in your class or just putting together a new homepage, you will need to make decisions about what kind of content to include. Will you use standard HTML or something newer and more powerful? Will you include some pictures to break up the text or will you go all out with movies and audio and wing dings and whiz bangs? The end products of fancy new media types can be exquisite. Well implemented site designs can be stunning examples of the latest functionality. But there can be drawbacks to using the latest thing. (Low-End Media for User Empowerment (more info) )

On the other hand, resources created for specific audiences (such as a class of students) have a bit more flexibility in what they can realistically ask of their users. As long as you ensure that your students know what they need, it is likely that they will tolerate even lengthy downloads and installations or complex site interaction. These are not random visitors but stakeholders in the resource you have created. (Web Style Guide (more info) )

If you decide to use multimedia as a significant part of your educational resource, there are ways to minimize the impact of bandwidth on its usability. Check out the Web Style Guide: Web Multimedia Stategies (more info) .


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