After the whinge a couple of entries ago about the difficulty I have in reading and organising blogs and feeds, I found, in the depths of my Applications folder, Vienna.

Vienna is a freeware, open source RSS and Atom newsreader for Mac OSX 10.3.9 or later.

Vienna has a ton of features I like: Folders of subscriptions, Webkit view of pages, import of OPML (got the scots-edu-blogs from my lilina page.), flagged articles are reflected in the Marked Articles smart folder.Links can be opened in Vienna in a tabbed interface(displayed with WebKit) or in Safari

There are quite a few great looking features to play with later: Smart folders, AppleScript support and css styling.

I’ve move Vienna to my Dock in the hope that I will not forget about it again.

Found this via Tim Lauer

As Tim says Lots of interesting possibilities, Tim and I talked about using flickr for a joint school project, flickr is banned by Glasgow city filtering.

But bubbleshare is I think even more exciting with the easy to add audio. Tim had problems with adding audio in Safari, but I managed that alright. I did have trouble clicking the add image button to upload a file, but found it works if I click the bottom of the button.

I’ll be interested to see if this works on the school network in January.

technorati tags: , BubbleShare

Following Tim Lauer to Inward / Outward Aggregating on CodeDogBlog got me thinking about aggregation and reading my regular blogs again.

I am not convinced that Scottish Education Blogs on Suprglu works in the way I want it too.Ewan’s feed and other typepad feeds don’t seem to work the way I’d expect. It seems there are 3 feeds for Ewan’s blog Atom, RSS 1.0 and RSS 2.0 plus a feedburner one.

The rdf file (RSS 1.0) andthe feedburner one seem to have all the entries dated as today, this seems to confuse Suprglu and me, I think this really should be simpler.

Anyway the Inward / Outward Aggregating post and its comments lead me to NetVibes:

and goowy:

Both are content presentations tools where you can add rss feeds etc, and a fair way to while away a holiday morning.

But stll not really the way I want to read blogs.

I like the idea of just seeing new content in an aggregator or in Safari where you can see the number of unread new items, but I like the idea of reading blogs on a page the author designed and to read comments, at the moment I have my blogs in a bookmark folder:

Maybe I should remake this to hold feeds where I could see unread ones and then switch to the web view, I’ll keep that for another holiday morning.

If you are a mac user like me you might want to switch to Firefox for NetVibes, goowy is a flash app so works fine in Safari. NetVibes say Safari support is coming.

I always think that the end of term will allow me to squeeze in some extra ict lessons and activities. As usual this year I was wrong forgetting how busy Christmas is. I’ve hardlt had time to post here at all.

The December Radio Sandaig podcast is out at last. Lot of trouble with this one and I ended up doing most of the editing myself. Audacity managed to lose all the children’s edits.

After enquiring on the Podcasting-Education mail list and searching the audacity-users list it seems that Audacity can have problems with losing data if you move the original files.

This seems related to the file format preferences, and how Audacity imports:

Make a copy before editing(safer)

Read Directly from the original file (Faster)

The second, which is AFAIK the default, is what I use and seems to be a problem.

The solution seems to be to use the safer import and save a wav file at the end of each editing sessions as a backup.

Anyway the December podcast doesn’t even have background music due to lack to time and having to redo the whole thing.

An other interesting ict activity we did was a little experimenting with Comic Life. This is a wonderful app to quickly create comics, I’ve read a lot about it on the web recently, but just got round to trying it out.

Emma B in primary seven produced this comic of the Radio Sandaig Christmas Boys Vs Girls competition for the Sandaig Otters blog.

Not really any connection to my classroom, but I just love this idea.

PARK(ing)

PARK(ing) is an investigation into reprogramming a typical unit of private vehicular space by leasing a metered parking spot for public recreational activity.

and it is a lot more fun than the quote sounds at first reading.

Great comment on Getting Heard by a teacher on the benefits of blogging

Getting Heard is an exciting project by Anne Davis linked from Anne’s post Turned a corner! where she talks about inappropriate comments on student Keithel’s Blog.

Keithel’s Blog turns out to be very interesting but one of the comments I read was way over my line.

Secondary school is obviously a different environment than primary, I wouldn’t even start a conversation with children on some of this stuff in my class (We do talk about comments). I am rethinking my position on moderation, again.

At the moment I pre moderate the posts by my class, not heavily, just a quick spell and sense check, for the same reasons as I would make suggestions and corrections to a piece of work that was going on the wall.

I post moderate comments, (I’ve very rarely had to remove anything, mostly spam) we want to encourage comments which moderation might discourage. I check comments several times a day, but if we started getting the kind of comment Keithel received I’d move to pre-moderating comments pretty quickly.

The whole idea of opening a primary classroom to the world is powerful and scary, I really want blogs to be in my classroom for all the reasons in the comment lined above, to keep using them I need to keep them a safe place for 10 year olds. If blogs are going to spread to other classrooms and maybe teachers who don’t spend the early hours reading blogs they need to be demonstrably safe places.