Efurbishment Ltd specialises in community web content, offering consultancy, technical leadership and development services.

Welcome to Efurbishment Ltd

Welcome to Efurbishment Ltd. My name is Mark Leicester. I can offer advice, guidance and solutions to help you manage your web content and build your online community. Have a look at the Efurbishment client list to see how my solutions might help you please your customers. I’m also good for a few random thoughts.

Teachers TV website wins 2007 Japan Prize

Efurbishment Ltd is proud to have helped Teachers TV win first prize in the web division of the 2007 Japan Prize. This “International Educational Programme Contest was established by NHK in 1965 with aims of contributing to the advancement of educational programs around the world and the promotion of international understanding and cooperation.”

From the Jury comments:

The winning website Teachers TV gives this generation of teachers an online & on-air world that helps them stay cutting edge in their classroom which in turn helps them understand the online world their students are immersed in.

The jury found this site for teachers contains a wealth of information delivered in a refreshingly simple interface. The site architecture, including the overall organization of the content, internal and external cross-linking allows the users to find needed information effectively with multiple entry points. Teachers TV allows teachers to share best practices of teaching and to utilize over 2,000 videos and ancillary materials. This site allows teachers to create an extensive online community through comments, feedback, and rating in order to share best practices. The Teachers TV Associates program allows 700 teachers to play an ongoing role in development of the site, having dialogue with the site producers. Beginner teachers can watch videos that role model classroom techniques and then post feedback on whether it actually works for them while older teachers can use this site to update their current teaching practices.

The challenges for teachers going into the digital age are enormous - not only do teachers need their own awareness raised with regards to the web but they all need to easily access the digital tools that help create an online community of their own. Teachers TV gives an educator easy access to videos, podcasts, RSS, and social network tools. These are the tools used everyday by their students and when a teacher logs on and uses Teachers TV they can access an online site whose depth and wealth is outstanding and yet simple and easy to use. For that reason we are pleased to present them the 2007 Japan Prize Web Award to Teachers TV.

Teachers TV website wins 'Highly Commended' at the 2006 BIMA awards

Efurbishment is pleased to have helped Teachers TV win a 'Highly Commended' award in the Government and Information category of the 2006 BIMAs (British Interactive Media Association awards). The Teachers' TV website was also shortlisted in the Education and Training category.

Teachers TV website a finalist in the 2006 Japan Prize

The Teachers TV website was selected as a finalist in the 2006 Japan Prize. This “International Educational Programme Contest was established by NHK in 1965 with aims of contributing to the advancement of educational programs around the world and the promotion of international understanding and cooperation.”

Nominating Drupal for the Packt Open Source Content Management System Award

Why do I think Drupal is worthy of the Packt Open Source Content Management System Award?

“Excellent feature set, clever code, great community. Drupal is a modular solution with a large, active community providing modules for almost any web content problem. Drupal’s taxonomy system makes easy the management of large amounts of multi-faceted content. Taxonomy driven RSS comes as standard. Community features are a breeze. Throw in a bit of AJAX and you have a very solid platform for your Web 2.0 applications.”

Efurbishment helps Victoria Real win “Best Public Sector Service” award for the Teachers TV website

Efurbishment is pleased to have helped Victoria Real (now part of Endemol UK) win “Best Public Sector Service” award for the Teachers TV website at the 2006 Revolution Magazine Awards. The ceremony was held in the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London on March 17th: a great night out celebrating with the VR team.

Why go open source?

It is an exciting time for any of us doing business on the Internet. Business is conducted quickly and globally. Quite often it is also free. We communicate at no cost using email. We search for information at no cost using Google. Now, many of us are using free business software too. Government organisations, motivated both by cost and by political factors, are experimenting with free software. You may have heard of these free solutions being described as “open source”.

What do I mean by "free"? Open source software is free in that it often costs nothing. However, there is another even more important way in which open source software is "free". Anyone can view, modify or redistribute the source code that was used to build the software. A legal licence protects this. Open source software might be created by many independent developers (even me), donating their time freely in the pursuit of better software. Companies who understand that software is a service, not a product, make money by selling support for open source software.

So how can open source software help those of us who are running a business? The obvious advantage is that it doesn't cost anything. But there is more. Imagine your consultant has supplied you with a traditional “closed source” solution. What happens if you experience bugs, or you need further customisation work done? You must go back to your original supplier. This will cost you money. What happens if your supplier goes out of business? You are on your own. Your solution is no longer supported, and you may not even be able to retrieve your important business data from it. Open source software mitigates these risks. If you have the source code then you are in control. A consultant supplying you with an open source solution must be able to supply you the source code too. Possessing the source code is like possessing the negatives to your wedding photos. You may not be a photographer yourself, but if you have the negatives, and need reprints, you can always find another, perhaps cheaper photographer to do it for you. Sure, open source may not suit everyone, but it certainly suits those of us who want to be in control of our IT investment. If this sounds like you, then Efurbishment is here to help.

Efurbishment is a consultancy. Efurbishment has the knowledge, experience and expertise to consult with you, make recommendations, and then assist you with implementing the software solutions your business needs. Efurbishment is different because its solutions are based on open source software. By reducing the cost of the software, Efurbishment gives you more value-added support and advice for your money. By supplying the source code, Efurbishment gives you control of your solution.