TeachMeet Scottish Learning Festival 2015 Breakout.

It is time for TeachMeet SLF 15.

WHEN: Wednesday, 23 September 2015 from 18:00 to 20:00 (BST)
WHERE: Citizen M Glasgow – 60 Renfrew St Glasgow, Lanarkshire G2 3BW GB

This time we are going back to out roots (sort of). The precursor to TeachMeet was the ScotEduBlogs meetup in May 2006 in the Jolly Judge in Edinburgh. The location was choose because it was in Edinburgh at the same time as the eLive conference, it was a pub and it had WiFi.

Over the years TeachMeets have diversified and spread. The locations have sometimes become a little more formal, with a focus on listen to one person at a time. We will still do that but the space at Citizen M will lend it self to breaking out into small fluid informal groups. I am not sure if I’d describe Citizen M as a pub, but it has a bar and the Wifi is the best I’ve experienced.
You can signup on the wiki to present or head over to eventbrite for a lurkers ticket.

Source: Thimble by Mozilla – An online code editor for learners & educators.

Thimble gets a nice update.  Here is the quickest webpage I could make: Kicking the Thimble.

You can now upload files, css, image, javascript ect and create & edit multiple files. Code completion seems a lot better to me too. It grumbles about Safari s oI switched to chrome which is recommended along with FireFox.

Obviously useful for learning to create webpages.


Earlier this month I read The Web Feels Fine to Me on the CogDogBlog, it contained lots of interesting links to pretty amazing websites. I am still mining the vein.

Along the way I discovered Making your own static web site isn’t nostalgia. It’s the future of the web. – Neocities Blog

For starters, nothing is more creative than HTML. Instead of a sad, tiny, highly constrained little square box to put your thoughts in (that ends up being sold to marketers) on ephemeral social networks that have been scientifically proven to make people miserable and depressed, you get the entire web page to put your thoughts into. Or your drawings. Or your music. Anything you can come up with using your imagination. When you make a web page, you’re not working for your social network’s stock brokers – you’re working for yourself.

Which fitted nicely along with various ideas I’ve been nodding along to recently.

Neocities says We provide free web hosting and tools that allow anyone to make a website. and Neocities will never sell your personal data or embed advertising on your site.

There is a browser based html/css/javascript editor and you can upload files via DragAndDrop.

You get 100mb of space.

It looks like they have education plans:

Neocities for Educators. A lot of teachers have been using Neocities to teach HTML to students. We think this is important, so we want to help them by providing special Neocities features for educators. We are also working on developing an integrated tutorial for those learning how to program HTML for the first time.

We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn HTML as a way to obtain technical literacy. It’s also the perfect first step to learning how to design and code software – one of the few careers that keeps growing fast in our information society.

from: Introducing the new Neocities – Neocities Blog

The site is as straightforward as can be, the html editor is pretty nice without being overpowering. It close tags and has nice colour schemes. Uploading files is simple. Perhaps it could be a useful resource for pupils learning a bit of html/CSS/JavaScript as a next step after using some of the online turtorials of the sort Ollie has been blogging recently.

I have kicked the tyres of the site a little producing the rather silly, but fun for me: GifDub (Which probably will not work on Internet Explorer, but seems ok on mobile. )



Last night I saw this tweet:

The mention Karl was mentioning came from the Suffusion theme which has just been retired from Glow Blogs. Or developers had warned us that they though there would be too much technical debt in supporting it in the long term.

The Suffusion theme had given Glow Blogs many useful features, especially before the WordPress update at the start of this year. One of the features that folk found useful was a google translate widget. Ironically this was one of the things that started us seeing that the them would need a bit of TLC from the developers, they had to edit the theme to support serving blogs over https.

Currently you cannot add a google translation widget to a Glow Blog, you can add a link to an automatically translated page for one language, and visitors can swap languages to that page.

Here is a link to translate this blog to Dutch

You could link to a google translate page using a text widget on the side of your blog.

Here is how to do it:

Continue reading

I am testing the WP-OSM-Plugin I was hoping that the map would show the photos on markers as well as the GPX track I’ve uploaded. There is an example: EXIF-Test-page | WordPress OpenStreetMap Plugin

The shortcode I am using looks ok to me and the photos are geotagged. I added a fullsized one because the thumbnails are stripped of geo-tags. So I expected the one big photo t oshow up at least….

[osm_map_v3 map_center="56.379,-4.727" zoom="12" width="100%" height="450" file_list="/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/been-oss-loch-oss.gpx" import="exif_m" marker_name="mic_black_camera_01.png"]





The blog I’ve enjoyed reading most this summer has been Clarence Fisher’s.

I’m still a believer that my default classroom tech set up: classroom blog, discussion boards, individual blogs, wikis, google docs and hangouts, flickr, skype, and a few random pieces of production software (audacity, etc) does more to give kids a voice, to connect them with people on the other side of the globe who have new ideas for them to evaluate, than 90% of the VC dollars out there have done with the latest apps.

The First 100 Years of Web Design 1

Is just one quote but I think anyone interested in using ICT in learning and teaching would get a lot from reading over his recent posts.

A Challenging Tweet is a great way of looking at and thinking about tech in schools overall.

This fitted with Second Life college campuses: A tour of abandoned worlds which I found via Stephen Downes

Clarence’s choices of tech to use parallels my own although I never could use some of these in the class due to blockages. The thing that strikes me about these choices: blogs, wikis, communications in general, is that they need some sort of long term care. One blog post will not a lot for your class or a learner. A series where they connect with another school across the world just might. This make this harder than grabbing an iPad and using a drill and practise app (I know easy target).

I am saying care rather than planning because a lot of goodness my classes got from blogs was serendipitous it could not be planned for. This takes me to:

The same sort of blind process happened in another series of experiments where Stanley and Joel Lehman instructed robots to work toward defined objectives. In one experiment a bipedal robot programmed to walk farther and farther actually ended up walking less far than one that simply was programmed to do something novel again and again, Stanley writes. Falling on the ground and flailing your legs doesn’t look much like walking, but it’s a good way to learn to oscillate, and oscillation is the most effective motion for walking. If you lock your objectives strictly on walking, you won’t hit that oscillation stepping stone. Stanley calls this the “objective paradox” — as soon as you create an objective, you ruin your ability to reach it.

from Stop Trying To Be Creative | FiveThirtyEight

Which sort of relate to my conversation with Charlie Love yesterday evening on Radio EDUtalk 2, where he talked about following learning interest in teaching coding in a creative way.

Charlie’s post Minecraft: A celebration of learning at #Minecon2015 about Minecraft if my final piece of envy for this post.


the linked post Web Design – The First 100 Years is great too.

2. Radio #EDUtalk 19-08-2015 Charlie Love

Featured Image giotto-envy on Flickr Public Domain.

Draftback is a Chrome extension that lets you play back any Google Doc’s revision history (for docs you can edit). It’s like going back in time to look over your own shoulder as you write.

from: Get Draftback to Play Back Google Docs

The above is not a video but an embed from Draftback!

Quite amazing, in the short playback above you can see how horrible a typist I am and also see Ian Stuart adding text to the document at the same time as me!

After I posted on G+ this Martian Hawksey commented with a link How I reverse-engineered Google Docs to play back any document’s keystrokes « James Somers ( Which give detail of the creation, a fascinating read.

The data that Google stores is, as you might expect, kind of incredible. What we actually have is not just a coarse “video” of a document — we have the complete history of every single character. Draftback is aware of this history, and assigns each character a persistent unique ID, which makes it possible to do stuff that I don’t think folks have really done to a piece of writing before.

And among explanations that go over my head things like this:

When you’re using Google Docs, you’re not actually typing into where you think you’re typing. You’re typing into a textarea in an iFrame off-screen, and through the postMessage API, those events are being sent to the “edit surface” that you see, which does stuff like draw your cursor. (Your cursor on Docs isn’t actually a cursor, it’s a 2px-wide div!)

from: How I reverse-engineered Google Docs to play back any document’s keystrokes « James Somers (

Would this be a useful tool in the classroom? For discussing pupil work or demonstrating writing?

Top 10 Reasons for Students to Blog by sylviaduckworth CC-BY

I tweeted this lovely image the other day when I saw it on Classroom Blogging Options. The Glow Blogs option was not discussed 😉 but I’d hope that it would be under consideration for Scottish learners and teachers.

Saw the graphic again today along with this advice from Stephen Downes:

It has been a while since I ran a good ‘blogging in schools’ post, but the activity – and the advice – still makes as much sense today as it did in the heyday of blogging. Maybe even more sense, because unlike the early 2000s, there are many other shorter and less-structured ways students can communicate online, and blogging pulls them back into the realm of extended descriptions, arguments, explanations, and actual efforts to communicate thoughts and feelings rather than quips and reactions (or should I say, reax). Theere are many reasons to write; conveying information is just one of them. Wes Fryer also summarizes a number of the tools available as we start the 2015 fall session. Nice graphic, too.

Classroom Blogging Options (August 2015) ~ Stephen’s Web

Some great advice.

Just in time for Blogging Bootcamp #2 | Get your blogs up and running Autumn 2015 which we are starting to organise. If you want to learn a bit about classroom blogging over 5 weeks you can sign up