Day 7

A bit over a week ago I got a tweet from Athole

The premise is simple enough, for 7 days you take a B&W image, tweet it and ask someone else to join in.

I did:

Day 7 is the featured image of this post.

What is interesting about this project is that there is no hashtag. You get mentions from the folk you invite, if they take the invite up and perhaps from some of their invitees.

An enjoyable experience, I though a bit about photography (or at least my phone snapping) and enjoyed seeing other folks images. It felt a little more relaxed than hashtag type collaborations. More meandering perhaps…

Thanks to Athole and the folk who I pestered to join in.

I am finding micro.blog a really interesting community.

From an educational POV the most positive experience and the one that I would like to see replicated (in Glow and elsewhere) is #DS106.

DS106 influences the way I think about ScotEduBlogs and the way I built two Glow Blogging Bootcamps 1.

In particular these sites aggregate participants content but encourage any comments and feedback to go on the originators site.

Micro.blog is making me rethink this a little, there you can comment on micro.blog (the same as the blog hub in DS106) and that comment gets sent as a webmention to the originators site. This makes thinks a lot easier to carry through.

Micro.blog also provides the equivalent of the #ds106 twitter hashtag but keeps that in the same space as the hub/rss reader.

Manton recently wrote:

Micro.blog will never be that big. What we need instead of another huge social network is a bunch of smaller platforms that are built on blogs and the open web.

from: Manton Reece – Replacing 1 billion-user platforms

Which made me think.

Firstly it reinforces how Manton really thinks hard about making micro.blog a brilliant place, avoiding the pitfalls of huge silos.

Secondly it speaks to idea of multiple social networks. Imagine if DS106 and ScotEdublogs where both platforms in this sense, I could join in either or both along with others using my blog to publish. I could decide which posts of mine to send to which community, and so on.

It is the same idea I’ve had for Glow blogs since I started working with them 2.

Class blogs could join in and participate in different projects.

It would be easy to start a local or national project and pull together content and conversation from across the web into one learning space. Although I’ve spoken and blogged a lot about this idea I don’t think I’ve made it stick in the minds of many Scottish educators. I wish I could.

  1. Blogging Bootcamp spring 2015 & Blogging Bootcamp #2 Autumn 2015 . I believe the potential for these sorts of educational activity is much underused in primary and secondary education. I wish I was in the position to organise and design more of these…
  2. For example:

I’ve ben using DuckDuckGo on all my devices all this year. Not found a reason to return to Google yet.

Reposted DuckDuckGo on Twitter (Twitter)
“We are proud to have a profitable business model that doesn't rely on collecting personal data.  Our Founder and CEO explains how we make money and why companies like Google and Facebook could still be wildly profitable without invasive tracking: https://t.co/mkxTEvCdEe

WordPress 5.0 could be as soon as August with hundreds of thousands of sites using Gutenberg before release.

Source: Update on Gutenberg — WordPress

Although GlowBlogs will not be getting this until later in the year and after much testing I am still watching and occasionally testing Gutenberg.

From a selfish POV (my class uses iPads) I am still seeing some of the same issue on iPad as I mentioned before: Gutenberg on iPad. A lot better now, but the active text still goes behind the keyboard on occasion. I hope to do a bit more testing over the summer break.

Bookmarked Update on Gutenberg (WordPress News)
Progress on the Gutenberg project, the new content creating experience coming to WordPress, has come a long way. Since the start of the project, there have been 30 releases and 12 of those happened…

I found this really useful in helping me understand webmentions. I’ve been using them for a couple of years or so but avoided reading specs or trying to understand how they work. This tutorial was at exactly the right level for me. It is my ambition for the summer break to sort this blog out a bit. This was a good first step. My Webmention test.

Replied to Sending your First Webmention from Scratch by Aaron PareckiAaron Parecki (Aaron Parecki)
Webmention is one of the fundamental indieweb building blocks. It enables rich interactions between websites, like posting a comment or favorite on one site from another site. This post will walk you through the simplest way to get started sending webmentions to other sites so that you can use your ...


Recently I’ve been thinking that grasshoppers are a lot less common than they were in my youth. This might be true. At the end of term when my class were hunting bugs in a burn 1. Some of the pupils got distracted hunting grasshoppers. The reported lots of singing from a field.

Today at Ardinning I caught this wee fellow. my wife could hear more singing. I heard nothing. It is a strange feeling listening and hearing nothing when others report sound.

1. Nice poem here. The Biggies (my class are very keen bug hunters)

Microsoft acquires Flipgrid, makes it free for education.

I’ve not used Flipgrid, it might be a struggle with our bandwidth, but it looks interesting. A bit late for this term, but I might look at it next session.

Given you can sign on with an O365 account I wonder if this will be considered part of Glow? You can sign-on with a google account too.

Flipgrid is where your students go to share ideas and learn together. It’s where students amplify and feel amplified. It’s video the way students use video. Short. Authentic. And fun!

from: Flipgrid – Video for student engagement and formative assessment

Bookmarked Flipgrid's Next Chapter by Joey Taralson (Flipgrid.)
We are proud to announce that Flipgrid is now a part of Microsoft, sharing a mission to empower every student to achieve more. And just like Office 365, Flipgrid is now free for all educators and students.

Firstly; I’ve removed most of the post formats leaving the 2 I actually use here. Standard goes to the front page, status to the status. I organise kinds with the post kinds plugin. My Format box now looks like this:

add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'childtheme_formats', 11 );
function childtheme_formats(){
add_theme_support( 'post-formats', array( 'status') );
}

I added the above to my child themes function.php

Based on Post Formats Formats_in_a_Child_Theme in the WordPress Codex. Standard Format is formatless, so you just add the ones you want in addition.

Secondly; I’ve moved the quote and content generated from the Post Kinds plugin to below the post. This is in the Post Kinds setting so was simple. Having them above my remarks meant that the quote was going to micro.blog and twitter rather than my comment.

I hope to have a bit more time over the summer holidays to rethink and rewire the blog. Some of the decisions I’ve made were perhaps not the best.

Most of the functions that have do with micro.blog and microblogging that live in my child theme’s functions.php in a gist.

I was watching spring watch out of the corner of my eye as I did some prep last night. There was an article about making your own Wildlife cam. It looks a lot simpler than others I’ve seen and used a Raspberry Pi Zero. The BBC site had a link to My Naturewatch where you can get instructions.

This looked like something my class would enjoy using. My zero is busy taking gifs of the clouds (>70000 to date Gif Cam), so I decided to try to use a Raspberry PI 3 instead.

The instructions were really good, simple and worked first time! No soldering involved. You don’t need a monitor for the PI or any logging on through ssh in the terminal. All you need is a PI, a camera module for the PI and a power supply. I used a £2.99 phone charger. You need a plastic box and an old plastic bottle too. This is bargain basement stuff.

The way it works is the then the pi starts up it becomes a network. You connect to this with a computer or other device. You are then on that network and not the Internet. I forgot about this when showing the class and couldn’t project from an iPad;-) You then open a browser and connect to a local website on the PI. There you can start the camera and view or download the pictures.

Once the camera is started it takes a photo every time something moves in front of it.

It was raining fairly heavily this morning so we waited till about 10:15 before putting the camera out on the playground with a handful of peanuts in front of it. After 15 minutes we collected it and had a look at the photos. I am impressed. We need to think a bit about placing the camera, perhaps finding somewhere with smaller birds but the camera worked a treat.

I think this is a really useful tool for the classroom. I hope we can use it to catch some butterflies on sunnier days too. I have had a few failures with hardware Raspberry PI projects. I prefer software ones but this is certainly the most impressive for the least about of work I’ve tried. I’d recommend it highly.