This is a simple webpage that substitutes for a magnetic letter board for phonics teaching. Infinite letters. Phonics Board. Nothing much to it. I’ve made a few pages like this for use in class. As per the gif above my pupils use it on iPads.
The other day I took the opportunity to test out my new Shure MV88 mic (Christmas present) with it’s dead cat. It was not a particularly windy day but there was a stiff breeze higher up the hill whee I recorded this.
I think the mic worked very well I would have expected it to be too windy without it. I am not sure how much is down to the Shure and how much to the dead cat.
Using the mic you need to use the Motiv Audio app if you want to set the mic. I used the Mono Cardioid pattern with the gain turned up. I left the wind reduction off.
I think that microcasts should really be one take rather than multitrack, but keep getting tempted to edit. The Motiv app allows you to pause audio and then record more, but I wonder if that would be lost if there was a large time lapse, other apps switched to etc.
Map and a few photos: Glen Douglas Trio 4-1-2018
fn1. Ferrite only supports 3 tracks in basic version. ↩
I do like a gif. I like to make them in all sorts of ways. Recently I’ve been messing about with Live Photos. The mac Photos app will export gifs from these but they are huge. To my mind a gif should be as small as possible. The other problem wit Live photos is my hands tend to move. Today I tried the iOS app Motion Stills:
Motion Stills is an app from Google Research that uses advanced stabilization and rendering to turn your Live Photos and videos into GIFs
The only problem is that the files are pretty big. I took a photo of a squirrel in the botanic gardens this morning and ran it through the app. The stabilisation was great but the file size for the image was 8.7MB for a 480 × 360 image!
I decided to see if I could shrink it a little and got it down to 331kb. This is how:
- I opened in the Gif in FireWorks
- The gif had 54 frames at 3/100 of a second and one at 6/100 of a second. I deleted every second frame and doubled the length of each.
- The gif was set to have an exact pallet with 256 colours, i changed that to Adaptive and 128 colours.
- I set the loss to 20%
- I made a new layer which was shared across the frames. copied the first frame to that layer and cut out a space for the squirrel in the top layer. This froze most of the image except for the squirrel.
The featured image of this post is the shrunken gif.
Scratch is now at version 3.0. I’ve been looking forward to this as it will now support the iPads my class uses.
I gave it half an hour or so on my iPad and am delighted to say that it does what is says on the tin. The iPad I am using is an Air 1 so a good few years old. It was a little laggy now and again but nothing that I worried about.
I was especially delighted to see that old scratch embeds still word and now work on iOS too the Scratch Embed example on Glow Blog Help just worked.
I also tried exporting a Pyonkee project and then importing it into scratch 3 on the iPad that worked too. Pyonkee is an iOS app that is based on scratch 1.4 that my class have been using.
I look forward to introducing the class to scratch on iOS in the new term.
Here are a couple of useful links:
Since I have an on this day page on my blog I’ve been finding old me interesting.
Yesterday I notice quite a few end of year reviews published on the last day of the year1.
Blogging highlights 3, followed 1 & 2 in 2006 but focused on the blogging my pupils (primary 6 ~10yr olds) carried out that year.
The links go to the internet archive now. Images and some links were broken but I enjoyed reading them.
I was surprised at the comments on the posts, from adults, pupils at other schools and classmates. At the time the idea of an audience and conversation was one of the main reasons I had pupils in my class blogging. We were posting photos, video, microcasting and writing poems.
It seems harder to get comments on pupils blog now. I admit I’ve not commented outside my own class lately.
This was the year before I was on twitter. A lot of the online conversation about what happens in classrooms has moved to there. While a lot of this is interesting and valuable it has mostly removed pupils from the publishing process 2. This is I believe a loss.
- I was thinking of writing one for 2018 but got lost in following these old posts. ↩
- see also ‘School social media has been terrible at engaging parents’ | Tes News by Susan Ward ↩
...There are loads of issues linked to the poverty gap, health and well-being issues and attainment, but I’m not convinced that school is always the place to solve them...
I am not convince either. Kenny has, as usual, a lot more intelligent things to say on the matter. A good end of year read.
Kenny goes on:
And we need to find a balance between thinking that Scottish Education is going to hell in a handcart and those who refuse to acknowledge that and believe that all is a shiny brochure and a Twitter feed.
A short video on using tools to search the WordPress core code for filters and actions. Tips and tricks for WordPress development with Github and grep.
A nice WordPress video from Micro.blog’s @ross. Just the right depth and length for me.
I went a little early this year:
I’ve updated the script (gist) to handle a couple of new problems.
- Some of my iphone photos were upside down in the video as ffmpeg doesn’t see the Rotation EXIF. I installed jhead via homebrew deal with this.
- I installed sox to duplicate the background track as I took more photos and slowed them down a bit this year.
I have great fun with this every time I try it, I quite like the results but the tinkering with the script is the fun bit. I sure it could be made a lot more elegant but it works for me.