Offdanet

Offdanet  (for content creation see subpage)

The main configuration  of Offdanet is a teacher’s computer working in conjunction with a standard domestic router. 
The router is used to provide Wi-Fi access to the connected devices. 
The teacher’s computer runs a webserver program with a pre-formatted template set of webpages. The teacher changes the pages by drag and dropping material into the template (after some simple customisation). 

The student devices access the webpages by Wi-Fi using a browser only, requiring no Apps.  As with all devices in a classroom, headphones for audio content is preferable to having the whole class hear an individual’s device. 
splitter
Headphone splitters for multiple access to a single device is also recommended as an economical addition.  Teacher’s material in the form of Word documents, PowerPoints, PDF’s and quizzes are converted to HTML5 pages and loaded into the template. Podcasts are recorded and saved as both MP3 and OGG formats to provide compatibility with different browsers.   

Offdanet provides the teacher with the opportunity to leverage BYOD or school devices by connecting to an offline network run from the teacher’s own computer.
net

The teacher can provide teaching material to the students ranging from presentations, quizzes, readings, podcasts, and images. The students can work individually on small form factor devices or collaboratively on larger screen sized tablets/ iPads/ computers. The teacher can update and distribute material to provide a wide ranging educational technology experience with extremely low cost.  

Creation of material is relatively straightforward and requires little specialist knowledge.  Being off the Internet actually has advantages in avoiding school policy restrictions and the inherent internet distractions! 
Costs of this system are minimal.
  • A teacher’s computer is needed to create the material and/or host the webserver. A high spec computer is not needed, but as with all computing the more modern the better. The windows version has been run on a 2008 Netbook using XP, and version has even been successfully trialled on a Raspberry Pi3.
  • The Webserver software is freeware.
  • Conversion of most content to HTML5 is either by a free plugin for PowerPoint, or by Word/Excel themselves.
  • Recording of podcasts is done with Audacity (freeware) and exported directly into the template pages.
  • A domestic router (either new or second-hand) is very cheap but paying a little extra for a unit that can handle of full range of devices is worth considering. Probably up to us$50 is all that is needed.
  • The Offdanet template is available for free download and adaptation.
  • Headphones/earbuds are recommended for each device to control sound interruptions. Most phones came with earbuds.
  • Headphone splitters for shared access to one device are a useful cheap addition (us$2-3)
    headphones

If specific internet websites are desired it is possible to download the pages for offline viewing. A single page can be saved directly from within a browser and placed in the template for views (off course its links won’t go anywhere).  A set of pages from a site can be download with software such as GetLeft or WinHTTrack and made available for viewing.
Certain reference material can be stored and offered this way.

For instructions presented in a course format you can use my Blackboard site on how to set up Offdanet. You can find it www.coursesites.com 



Try a demo
 check out Offdanet. Since it is on the Internet instead of Off it, it is called Ondanet :-)
You can find it at http://qt.50webs.com   
 

You can get a copy of the template in the file list below. It is the raw template into which you can drag and drop your content. 

To use the template, read the setup instructions PDF below. 

I recommend using USBwebserver http://www.UsbWebserver.net
Instructions for installing this free program come with it but I will post a tutorial video shortly.

You can test out your system without running the webserver,  just by clicking on the index.html file. This will open the site and the links should work. However, most of the buttons are just place holders waiting for you to drop some content into them. For a button, each folder is looking for its own index.html to replace the one already there. For a podcast you need to drop in a narration.mp3 and narration.ogg file. You need one of each to be compatible with the different browsers.

It is better to convert PDF's to html (use Word 2013 to import the PDF then save it as HTML.  PDF's often don't display on tablets natively but must be downloaded first and opened in an app. Best to stick to HTML5 if you can.

Word and Excel files can be saved as HTML files in the normal save as window. Just remember to add the "l" to the end of htm  to make the extension html.  Save it with the name index.html or rename it as that to transfer into the template.

To put in PowerPoint files you must first convert them. Use the iSpring  converter plug in for Powerpoint (free) or upload to zamzar.com. 




What is Offdanet?
Offdanet in a nutshell.
Getting started.
Working with folder structure.
Getting material back from the students.

Configuring a router.

Plugging in the cables

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twictnet,
13 Sep 2016, 07:10
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mysql readme 1st.txt
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twictnet,
13 Sep 2016, 06:56
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offdanet-mysql.zip
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twictnet,
13 Sep 2016, 06:55
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offdanet-root.zip
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twictnet,
13 Sep 2016, 06:54