Just when you though it was safe to go back into the water. These are my favourite posts by pupils at Sandaig.

  • Kieran Holocaust Poem Not a regular blogger Kieran wrote this in his spare time.
  • Twincas tn
    Twin Castles a great conversation.
  • So I am sitting in my class at lunch time when two girls burst in: we must have a camera, they really wanted to blog this:
    Tower tn
  • P6 TO P7 is the kind of post I do not encourage enough.
  • First Circuit Movie a first experiment making quick movies with a digital camera. Here is another movie Flick Flacks, I’d really like to streamline this sort of production. This one was valuable assessment without writing, I asked the children to set up a few second movie to show some of the aspects of how gears work.
  • Sandy in London
  • I love this picture
    Dance tn
  • this was a whole class blog and mini podcast, like the wee movies above I want to try more of this.
  • Over at Sandaig Poets bio poem by Kimberley-Jayne is one of my favourite all time posts, what a wonderful sustained conversation without any input from me.
  • This JAMES THE GIANT PEACH book review took Shannon weeks to get finished.

I see Ewan had taken up this meme, I guess it is self indulgent but fairly harmless, I am having a good time anyway reviewing my years .
Next year, if I am here, I will not need to do this: ’cause I’ll have tagging of posts working properly. A lot of the post I write are more of notes to myself and at the moment often lost in the archives, hopefully next year they will be all lined up by tag.

  1. July: I played with Google Maps Again, improved my tracking of Teachmeet06 and disapproved of Learning styles
  2. August: I though about SSDN which became Glow. I started using TextMate, went back to school and was jealous of Ewan and AB.
  3. September: I messed about with google earth, appleScript and other ways of posting. Reported on our Media room, pointed to PodcastDirectory.org.uk, plenty of posts on SETT and teachmeet06 and some practical classroom stuff
  4. October: I went to Be Very Afraid, started getting children blogging in the media room and tried to figure out which software to use for providing individual blogs (I went with pivot Primary Six SJ)
  5. November: I reported on a short term blog and made a Flash Video player.
  6. December: I made and tested a simple flash mp3 player, used it to do some 10 minute podcasts with the children here and here, 10 minutes as in 10 minutes to plan, record and post a sub 1 minute podcast. I messed around with OPML which sort of lead to ScotEduBlogs news and I rounded to year off with a review of my blogging year part 1 and this post.

I’ve made a very small addition to the blog setup here.

Type (star) for a (star) and (wish) for a (wish) while blogging or in the comment form.

I don’t really expect many folk to use this on my blog but it might help with peer assessment on Sandaig Otters and Sandaig Poets. I’ve managed to add it to the Emoticons popup link in the comments form too. I’ll be adding it to the Primary Six SJ blogs setup too. Pivot makes this easy to do.

Two stars and a wish is part of Assessment is for Learning

I’ve just upgraded the main sandaig blogs to Pivot 1.40.0 and everything seems to have gone ok.

New is:

  1. Comment moderation which I’ve got turned off
  2. support for tagging and tag clouds for which I’ve still to read the docs and set up.
  3. Thickbox image popups

Here is an example popup image: of no educational or seasonal value.

The most useful feature from the school point of view is the comment moderation, I don’t moderate comments here but it is nice to know I could if I wanted to. I did turn moderation on on the Primary Six SJ blogs, I’ve not had to disallow any so far but I’ll probably keep it going there.

One of the things I like about blogging is how posts disappear into the archive to be forgotten.
One of the things I hate about blogging is how posts disappear into the archive to be forgotten.
I thought I might spend some holiday time trawling through my archives and pulling out some posts,:

  1. January: I mostly pointed to interesting stuff, started blogging with appleScript and made the suggestion for folk to comment my class I’ll comment yours for the first of many times.
  2. February: I discovered cocomment, went to holland for a couple of days to podcast with the De Rank children, started thinking about communicate06 with a nice example of blogging and played with flash.
  3. March: I went to communicate06 and the MasterClass New Technologies Course/
  4. April: I posted a brief how to podcast overview, played with google maps and tested a few things.
  5. May: The first Scots Edu Bloggers meetup, more google maps, the children told me what they though about podcasting and I just like the photo with this post.
  6. June: started thinking about video blogging pointed to andy’s blogging course and though about commenting again.

I realise this post (or the second part) is not much use to other folk, but I found it quite useful to have an overview of what I’ve been doing, I’d recommend it as an interesting exercise.

Listening to the latest Booruch, which was a chat between David and geeky pete and watching Robert in action over at ScotEduBlogs news has brought open-source very much to the forefront of my mind.
I’ve also noticed a couple of good posts on why using free services that are not open-source might not be a good ideas: the developers might pull the rug from under you at any time. Unfortunately I’ve lost those references but found this example: O’Reilly Radar > Google Deprecates Their SOAP Search API.
In a practical rather than ideal way these problems might be solved by some sort of national edu storage space. This would also solve the problem of flickr, bubbleshare and youtube being blocked by some authorities. I know the social aspect of these sites are very important, but as far as I can see most pupil/student blogs are mainly using these sites for file storage and to simplify displaying multimedia on their blogs.
as I see it, it would be simple enough to provide a basic server service that would allow the upload and linkage to files. a wee bit more effort could provide a video player (in the google/youtube style), flash mp3 player and slide show tools. The only problem in doing this would be the cost of the bandwidth, I guess that would be nothing to a nation, anyone know?

(if you only know me through my blog)
I’ve been tagged by Tom.

  1. I used to be a zoo keeper, at the now defunct Glasgow Zoo. I worked in the carnivore section and co-authored AFAIR a few articles for various journals mostly about behavioural enrichment. I’ll leave others to decide if this experience helped or hindered my teaching.
  2. I have played tai chi for over 16 years. I manage a few tai chi websites.
  3. I entered the teaching profession for financial reasons when working as a zoo keeper (my daughter was born), I though I’d give it a go for a couple of years (about 15-16 years ago).
  4. Unlike many edu bloggers I had an instinctive dislike for computers, until my head teacher ‘made’ me take an apple mac lc475 home over the summer. I bought my first computer in 1995 a Performa 630. This is considerably later than most folks entry to ict. HyperCard was the application that got my attention.
  5. I have had poetry rejected by a poetry magazine, entirely justified I hasten to add, a very short lived ambition.

I am tagging David, Andy,Bob, Robert and Pete.

beta logo

Robert has moved the ScotEduBlogs news project on a bit. He is now using Ruby and in a remarkably short time has got tagging, categorisation by authority and a “news” of the latest 10 posts from anywhere in the scotedublogs world working. More details on the scotedublogs » SEB aggregation wiki page.
The blogs listings are coloured coded to let the viewer know how fresh they are. Tags are added and the last few posts on the blogs shown with a nice Ajax/javascript way.
Robert says

The site should really be labelled “alpha” rather than “beta”, but if you do get the urge to add any tags, they will not get thrown out as the project develops. Let me know what you think

I think this is a great start which should really show people how useful this sort of tool can be.

technorati tags:

So was am feeling pretty grumpy during the last post. After that I made a quick check of the school blogs. This afternoon, we had a quick quarter of an hour or so in the media Room, looking at some other school blogs (leading to the previous post) and then I let the children finish some posts to their individual blogs, as we were short of time I let others blog a Wizard or ninja for a bit of fun and talked about blogging safely as some of the children had been asking if they could blog from home. I explained that they could as long as they were very sensible. Anyway I was encouraged by this wee flurry of after school posts even if most of them are ninja with little educational value.

i am not sure if this will work out in the long term, but I’d quite like to try some blogging homework for the children that have access at home.

We have been getting a lot of comments and contact from a few other Scots school blogs (Loading ?take a look inside?, Primary 7 and Primary 7v Class Blog) along with 5/6P AllStars from Australia and more. I’ve been getting a little frustrated when trying to return the visits. Different blogs used different tech, some use flickr some bubbleShare, some Google Video and others file storage that we cannot download. Some of the other schools can see our Quicktime but not Flash.
I can fully understand why Authorities block various sites, but it can get a bit frustrating.
The second moan today is about bandwidth. Since we started podcasting our monthly bandwidth usage has been many time that allowed by our web host blacknight. Blacknight provide free hosting for primary schools and have been very generously allowing our misdemeanors. Recently when I thought to expand our podcasting into video files at Sandaig Television, I decided to use some dot mac storage that comes with my family pack. This worked ok, then was blocked in school by Glasgow, who immediately sorted it out when I asked. So tonight I was surprised to see none of the images or video files apearing on the blog. It seems we had gone over half our monthly bandwidth of 3GB before half the month of December had passed, so they cut us off:

If you are close to exceeding your monthly data transfer limit, you will receive a message from the .Mac team. You can use up to half of your monthly quota during the first 15 days of a month. If you exceed your data transfer limit, any site, blog, or podcast associated with your .Mac account is turned off and service will not be reinstated until the beginning of the next monitoring period (the 1st or 16th of the month, whichever comes first).

my italics, pointing to the fact I didn’t get a message.
I am fairly fed-up about all of this. The sandaig account is part of my dot mac family account, so I guess I could use my main account that allows 10gb per month, or i could scrap the account and spend the money on some real bandwidth.Perhaps both these moans are connected, maybe we need a Scottish service, trusted by the Local Authorities that would provide flickr, google video like storage. I know that not everybody thinks this is a good idea and I can understand the reasons, but in a practical sense it would move us and let more interesting sharing take place in Scottish schools.