I WORK WITH a wide range of creative students on three campuses of the Limerick Institute of Technology. This year, I'm taking a page out of my 1998 notebooks as we share techniques about making rich media content that shows up in less than two seconds on mobile phone screens.
I'm following Google's initiative about Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).  It's a tough challenge, trying to convince people to adopt AMP code and even tougher to convince groups in charge of web standards to adopt technology inspired by its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework.
I'm teaching several groups of students how they can tweak their online content to load within two seconds, how the AMP Framework ensures their rich media elegantly distributes on multiple platforms, and how they can get very prominent placement on Google properties. This is truly high quality business intelligence.
I'm asking students to write short notes about their experience, using a Classroom OneNote section called "Business Intelligence". In many ways, the feedback I read in 2018 is very similar to the discoveries my webmaster students were making in 1998, when Yahoo and Hotbot and Excite reigned supreme.
I remember the days when I told novice webmasters that they needed to create pages with a total weight of 50 kb. Then they went to work for major companies and members of the management team loaded up requirements for pretty imagery, heavy videos, and uncompressed audio segments. Things got worse in the early part of this decade when you couldn't load a mobile page quickly unless you pulled its content from a clever server such as Opera. 
Because people needed speed on their new smartphones, they migrated to apps that would deliver fast, responsive service. Now we have Instant Articles, well-designed news apps, and other proprietary formats that actually hurt publishers who lose control (and revenue) when they have to use these apps.
Now, because of the imperative for speed, students are interested in what AMP can do. When they publish their web pages, their content can here’s what is impressive about AMPbe served from any caching server. And because of how the code works on an AMP page, much of a site's content is instantly visible because AMP code ensures it preloads in the background. And yet, despite that preloading, your single view does not register you as a multi-page visitor. Publishers don't get to set any cookies or do any tracking until you click. And because of how HTML works, you get the correct, cached, and instantly loaded page that’s sitting inside Google search or Twitter because web standards are faithful to canonical sources, even if those sources updated after initial publishing.
In the back of my mind is a lingering hesitation because AMP isn't a W3C standard--even though I hear Matt Cutts (pictured) telling me not to worry. But it has a much stronger imperative than Instant Articles because it creates content that can live in the open and reach billions more people. AMP content I see looks well and many AMP sites are ones I've had in my RSS reader for years. So I feel I'm on solid ground getting started with teaching AMP code to the third level students in my classrooms.
Check back in April and I'll share some links to content my students have created. One of the first links should be the front page of the ICT in Education Conference, annually presented on the Thurles campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology. Or search for "AMPing up practical skills" and the result should appear on the front page of the Google's results.
- amphtml -- "Standardizing Lessons Learned from AMP", March 5, 2018.
- Nilay Pitel -- "The Mobile Web Sucks", Verge, July 20, 2015.
Previously on Inside View:
"An Irish Web 1.0 Huddle", November 25, 2013.
"Four Takeaways from Matt Cutts in Dublin", May 24, 2010.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business in the Limerick Institute of Technology.]