What I’ll be reading tomorrow

Just picked up an a great looking set of links from twitter. To late to fully check out tonight.

 

In Reply To Futzopublicus is my Dackolupatoni on CogDogBlog by Alan Levine

So do be a favor, see how we can change the distribution of sand grains, use “Futzopublicus” online now.

from: Futzopublicus is my Dackolupatoni

Nice lesson from Alan Levine, about the web and how it works, of  a URL being a living thing.

Just joining in to see how this ripples, but it would be an interesting lesson with a class:

  1. Who can find a word that is not searchable?
  2. How fast can we make it searchable?

Untitled

 

Update 10 minutes after posting:

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 22.46.40

RSS is an Answer

Last evening I noticed on twitter:

And jumped in without thinking too much.

Rich (@richardtape) was providing drop in support on a Google Hangout. Rich works at University of British Columbia which is, of course, organizing the Teaching with WordPress course I am trying to follow.

I had, for a short while, the floor to myself. Unfortunately I made poor use of the time, my teacup was too full. Rich was extremely patient and told me the answer to my problem several times, I just didn’t notice. Hopefully I’ve learned a lesson for the next time I have a similar opportunity (hoping against experience here).

The problem is the one described in the previous post. To display a question/assignment/challenge post along with responses to that post. Christina solved it with the loop shortcode plugin. We do not have that plugin on GlowBlogs.

Five Thirty am Enlightenment

After mulling over the problem in bed this morning I suddenly listened to Rich again. He had repeatedly told me the best way to do this would be RSS but I had focused on plugins and facilities we do not have (yet?) in GlowBlogs.

So the way I would solve this in Glow blogs would be to use RSS widgets, to pull in responses. These responses would be on the same blog as the questions (but could be pulled in with the syndication plugin, or on another blog that does the aggregation). The widget would only be displayed on the post with the question as it would have a unique category. The responses would have a unique category or tag.

Here is a quick example: Challenge 2 Red.

On that post you can see the challenge (show something red). In the sidebar there is a widget showing a list of posts tagged red. This only shows up on the challenge page. I’ve added some information to the post to give more details.

There are a couple of drawbacks to this method.

  1. It is a bit fiddly for the person setting up the challenge. They need to create a widget per challenge and a category per challenge.
  2. The RSS update is not immediate. A WordPress query would be better.

I would be interested in using it for something like the bootcamp and see how it goes.

Call and Response

In Reply To I made discussions on WordPress on blogs.ubc.ca

In
I made discussions on WordPress! Christina describe how she organised some flipped learning and the student responses with the help of a plugin that list/shows posts with a shortcode.
I love this sort of approach.
I’ve been thinking through how to do this on a multisite such as GlowBlogs where you cannot easily install plugins.

I was hoping that sticky posts might do it but without plugins sticky posts don’t stick to the top of a category. The best way I can think of so far would be to have the question post link to a category and the answers go in that category (these could be syndicated in) the category description could give a summary of the ‘question’. I’d be interested in any ideas around this.

I guess if there was just 1 stimulus a week then that post could be sticky until the next week. Responses would be below. This would not give a nice archive.
Of course you have the responses as comments perhaps on a p2 themed blog but I guess we want to give the pupils/participants more ownership of their content and give them the chance to have more control of their response content.

I was going to post this as a comment on Christina’s post but thought I might see how trackbacks work out.

Full Fat Feeds A trivial point

image

I am trying to get back into Teaching with WordPress after a weeks holiday with little Internet. Given I am using my long train commute to do this there are many points on my journey where I have no internet connection. This should not be a problem as I have a plan.

I have subscribed to the aggregated course RSS feed. I sync FeeddlerPro over breakfast. Then on the train I can read posts and compose comments in Drafts. I can post these when I’ve a connection or when I get home.

The problem comes when someone has their blog set to show summaries of their posts in their feed. Just when my interest is caught my connection dies!

I know that some folk want eyeballs on their site rather than my RSS reader. Other folk many not have thought about it. If you are in the latter camp you might want to change your settings.

Settings – Reading – For each article in a feed show: full text.

5Rs at #TeachMeetGLA

I went along to TeachMeetGLA on Tuesday evening a couple of weeks ago.

Arriving before the crowd I noticed the very pleasant surroundings in CitizenM and very fast WiFi. Folk and the pizza started arriving around 5 before the 5:30 kick off. It was a great TM harking back to the early days. Ian kept the event moving smoothly along. I enjoyed all the presentations and broadcast them on Radio Edutalk. Hopefully I’ll get the archive up there shortly (I went on holiday I still hope).

This post will just cover what I tried to talk about in my 7 minute slot in a more coherent manner. Hopefully it also fits in with the #TeachWP course I am taking part in.

Given the event was sponsored by Microsoft (good sponsor, no advertising bar a wee window badge on the TeachMeet GLA logo) and featured a few talks by Microsoft educators I though I might talk about openness.

Unfortunately for the audience I had about half an hour of content to get through, fortunately for them I stopped shortly after the 7 minute mark. Here is a remix of my slides with some of what I would have like to say in note format:

Sharing is Confusing

Hopefully an amusing picture of the confusion around sharing.

I remember starting teaching, finding in schools shared topic boxes, filled with resources, banda worksheets and the like. What strikes me about these is 1. they point to the willingness of teachers to share and 2. Compared to digital sharing these resources were finite, bandas only printed a certain number of times, other resources (maps, pages out of magazines ect) wore out and were not duplicatable (no photo copier).

A photocopier and a computer freed me from the banda’s smell and freed pupils from my handwriting and spelling. It suddenly became a lot easier to create resources.

I had a short period of time where I made and sold educational shareware and learned a bit about forbidding license agreements.
It also pointed out the difficulty of making money from resources I created. Before the Internet had reached classrooms, mailing every school in Scotland a folded A4 and delivering software on floppy disk, made me 100s of pounds but took 1000s of hours.

During that time I was learning about online sharing through the AOL HyperCard forums and HyperCard mailing list. I’ve still not seen more generous place, a mix of professionals, amateurs and newcomers.

I then got more interested in my pupils sharing their learning via blogs and podcasts, seeing the wonderfilled results. This lead me to sharing on my own blog and living, to some extent, on the Internet.

We share all of the time online, status, photos, ideas, documents ect.
The cost is low, no stamps, paper, printing costs.

I am just rambling around sharing sharing, some ideas and reading I’ve been doing around sharing. I don’t have any conclusion other than there are a lot of things to think about to share as well as we can.

We are at a TeachMeet

Rules for breaking

  • No powerpoint (allowed… unless… you’re doing 20 slides for 20 seconds each)
  • actually been done in your classroom, I’ve not got a classroom…
  • If you’re using the web, make sure you save a copy of your tabs in Firefox!
  • No selling (I am selling sharing)

My presentation was not a powerpoint, but looked pretty much like one. I have no idea why the firefox tip is added as a rule, I can only thing it was due to TM starting in 2006 and FF was then the thinking teachers browser of choice.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons helps you share your knowledge and creativity with the world.

Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation

As a beginning blogger I soon became aware of creative commons in relation to my blogs content, flickr photos ect. At that time I choose a Attribution CC BY NC License. I don’t think there are any rules about sharing, but a TeachMeet audience is predisposed to share, thinking around the licensing can help.

Why Creative Commons

The idea of universal access to research, education, and culture is made possible by the Internet, but our legal and social systems don’t always allow that idea to be realized. Copyright was created long before the emergence of the Internet, and can make it hard to legally perform actions we take for granted on the network: copy, paste, edit source, and post to the Web. The default setting of copyright law requires all of these actions to have explicit permission, granted in advance, whether you’re an artist, teacher, scientist, librarian, policymaker, or just a regular user. To achieve the vision of universal access, someone needed to provide a free, public, and standardized infrastructure that creates a balance between the reality of the Internet and the reality of copyright laws. That someone is Creative Commons.

from About – Creative Commons

  • Like a good little blogger I’ve been trying to apply these licenses to my blog, flickr photos etc and respect them.
  • Like lots of teachers I have sometimes, just googled an image and copy-pasted text with abandon.
  • Like lots of Internet citizens I sometime choose to ignore copyright of large companies to make an amusing gif.

For Example

Free Cultural Works

Lord there is more!

Free cultural works are the ones that can be most readily used, shared, and remixed by others, and go furthest toward creating a commons of freely reusable materials.

Free Culture Works

Are free to use (for any purpose), remix & share. I am very attracted to the idea of building a culture like this in education. Free Culture Works seems to be where the CC movement is trying to get to, but the creative commons licenses allow you to move towards this in your own time and comfort zone.

For example a Non commercial, CC license is not a Free Cultural Works one. Free Cultural Work can be used for any purpose. I’d argue that it is quite unlikely that many teachers will gain much from trying to make money from resources, but will get a nice warm glow from sharing freely.

Walking a Tightrope

Image from Tit-Bits – digitalvictorianist.com giffed by myself after finding the image via Creativity, serendipity and open content | Open World

How far do you go, a google search for license material for example, filtered by license, is this enough? You will not respect the Attribution part of the license unless you follow the search to the source. When do you choose to go against or not look too hard for a license? How do you justify that.

Everyone needs to find a comfort zone, for leading pupils by example we need to respect copyright.

OER OEP and other opennesses

Like anyone interested in education and reading a wee bit on the Internet I was aware of the OER movement, it often seemed a bit dry and technical, discussing repositories and metadata in a technical way.

Last year I (along with Ian) got an invite to an Open Scotland forum meeting. This proved enlightening, after the first few minutes I realised that I was an ‘open educator’ to some degree;-)

Although the OpenScotland and OEPScotland are mainly aimed at higher education they are both, IMO, relevant to us too.

The Lescester project is a wonderful example to Local Authorities . I didn’t get time to think or talk about this at all at teachmeetGLA but , if you’ve read this far, please check it out.

Why OER

  • Save Money (digital sharing is cheaper)
  • Be honest
  • Better resources continuously improved
  • Remix to suit local and particular
  • Sharing is fundamental to Education
  • Fun (it is good to share)

David Wiley 4Rs in 2007 added the 5th in 2014

David A. Wiley Blog iterating toward openness

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

These are some of the important things that you need to think about when sharing and choosing a license.

the ALMS Framework

  • Access to Editing Tools
  • Level of Expertise Required
  • Meaningfully Editable
  • Self-Sourced

Using the ALMS Framework as a guide, open content publishers can make technical choices that enable the greatest number of people possible to engage in the 5R activities. This is not an argument for “dumbing down” all open content to plain text. Rather it is an invitation to open content publishers to be thoughtful in the technical choices they make – whether they are publishing text, images, audio, video, simulations, or other media.

The ALMS framework helps you think about what kind of files you are sharing. Are you sharing files that are editable? Are the tools to edit free? easy to use? It is well worth thinking hard about what you are sharing along with this framework.

Both the 5Rs and ALMS are really useful ways to see if your sharing is as effective as it can be.
I planned to finish with a few examples of less than good sharing.

Sharing is Messy (2006)

cables

Flickr: The Help Forum: BNET (a subdivision of CNET) stealing images

My first interesting experience with Creative Commons. CBS News used my image without attribution and possible in breach of my then NC license. I wrote a mail, and they attributed not sure if you can consider their use Non Commercial?

Later I’ve had more pleasant interactions, people asked if they could use images in websites & a book (I got a free copy!)

Finally I changed the license on my Flickr photos to the simpler CC BY-SA.

Sharing is Messy 2007: Meaningfully Editable?

Garageband Plans is a blog post where I share a worksheet for making music with GarageBand. A pdf, givne the number of changes in GarageBand over the next free years not a great example of sharing.

YouTube for Sharing

you agree not to access Content or any reason other than your personal, non-commercial use solely as intended through and permitted by the normal functionality of the Service, and solely for Streaming. “Streaming” means a contemporaneous digital transmission of the material by YouTube via the Internet to a user operated Internet enabled device in such a manner that the data is intended for real-time viewing and **not intended to be downloaded** (either permanently or temporarily), **copied, stored, or redistributed by the user**.

Self-Sourced

Another less than optimal piece of sharing, I made this flash game for our school website. rommy2.1. I didn’t offer the .fla source file…

Getting there

Recently I’ve been working on the Glow Blogs Help one of the more recent piece I’ve posted meets a lot of the ALMS framework: Menus | Glow Blog Help is available in several formats including OpenOffice, word, html & pdf. Given most schools in Scotland have access to word the OpenOffice file is just providing an opertunity for discussion and thought. I am ticking the following boxes:

  • Access to Editing Tools ✔
  • Level of Expertise Required ✔
  • Meaningfully Editable ✔
  • Self-Sourced ✔
  • Licence ❌

I’ve not added license on it yet. The default for the Government is the thinking about open government license, this is compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0. I worry a bit that the OGL is not as well understood as CC. I wonder if spelling this out would be a good way to spread the understanding of CC and sharing licenses.

On the night I rather rushed though these last few slides. The main point was to try and share some information about licensing and sharing and show some of the options. I am certainly not an expert but at least the links shared here are a valuable source of information. Many teachers are constrained by their employers from sharing and I know it is not easy. I do believe that most colleagues see the value in sharing and that it is always worth thinking about.

Blogging Bootcamp Video Review

I’ve had a half finished draft post about Blogging Bootcamp in the works since the bootcamp finished. I still hope to finish it but thought I used the excuse of the Teaching with WordPress course to post this shortish screencast.
I’ve also got a huge post about the 5Rs presentation I bungled at teachmeetGLA this week which will fit in nicely with #TWP15 too. Perhaps I’ll chop that up and post wee bit as it is getting out of control.

Signing on to #twp15

blogging_is

Fools rush in, foolish fools sign up at the last minute.

I’ve just signed up for Teaching with WordPress

This is an open online course on Teaching with WordPress, running June 1-26, 2015. Join us to talk about and experiment with, among other things:

  • open education, open pedagogy and design
  • WordPress as a highly customizable framework for teaching and learning
  • examples of instructors and learners using WordPress sites in many different ways for multiple purposes
  • plug ins, applications and approaches for creating, discussing, sharing and interacting with each other

Throughout the course, you’ll be creating your own WordPress course site, so that by the end you’ll have a beginning structure to build on with your learners.

If I get through 10% of the above I’ll be doing well. The course is organised by Christina Hendricks who I’ve met on etmooc and ds106.
I’ve not started a new blog for the course as I hope anything I post will be relevant to this blog (which I hope focuses on learning).

The course is obviously based in higher ed, but I’ve learnt a lot fro reading HE blogs over the past few years and I don’t think there are any of the learning objective that are not applicable to primary and secondary education.

The course has a Blog Hub where hopefully my post categorised as teachingWP will end up. (this aggregation of learners blogs to a course hub is something I am very excited about, having seen it in action a few times. I recently ran a 10 week blogging bootcamp for Scottish schools using the same technique.

A Brief Introduction

For anyone who ended up here from a #twp15 tweet or the blog hub.

I am a primary teacher by trade, currently working as an ict staff development officer in North Lanarkshire (121 primaries) and seconded to the Scottish Government as a product owner for Glow Blogs.

Glow blogs is a blogging system for Scottish schools. it consists of 33 instances of WordPress. More information on glow blogs on the Help Blog. I guess one of my goals for this course is to improve that help site.

I started blogging with my pupils in Sandaig Primary on Sandaig otters in 2004 using pivot (not wordpress), and organised various other blogs.

This blog started off on pivot in 2005 and I move to WordPress last year, although I used WP elsewhere for several sites. Two of the more interesting ones being ScotEdublogs, an aggregation of Scots Educational Blogs and Edutalk. I have a DS106 blog, the 106 drop in.

My main technical excitements about blogging are RSS and syndication/aggregation. I am interested in giving pupils purpose through audience.

Now we will see if this gets to the mothership.

Life in Links 2015-05-21

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Being Swayed

After testing Slate a while back I though I’d try out Microsoft Sway. I downloaded the app to my phone on the bus and made this while traveling home on bus and train.

Sway feels much like Adobe Slate, I used the same words and pictures to test Slate on my iPad a few posts ago: Chalking my First Slate.

Both Apps produce stylish, responsive webpages with nice fonts, full width images and slick galleries created from blocks of content.

Both host everything for you at no cost. Neither lets you download the work locally.

I am ‘reviewing’ them for a position of using them once. Given Sway is beta and I only used the iPhone app I take everything here with a pinch of salt.

While Slate was iPad only ,the iOS version of Sway is for the iPhone. Sway in the browser seems to be more of a web producer fitting in with your MS office account apps.

I’ve also installed Sway on an iPad and it just scales the interface to fit the screen, it seems to work just as well there as on the phone.

I was surprised to find how pleasant Sway was to use on a phone. The interface made it easy to add the content blocks.

The browser version of Sway allows video and access to photos from Flickr, OneDrive, Youtube and more. Slate give access to Lightroom, Creative Cloud and DropBox. The Sway iPhone app only gives access to your camera roll at the moment.

Sway is in preview and the iPhone app indicates that there are more content block (called cards) in the works. Currently you can add Headers (image and text), photos text and More. The more turns out to be ‘cards’ currently groups and stacks of images, more are coming:

sway-comingsoon

Sway on Glow?

When I posted my sway on twitter, I got a reply from someone from Microsoft. I had the chance to ask if Sway would be usable with a edu O365 account:

Sway would make a nice presentation tool for use in Glow.

I’ve got a few negative feelings about all of these services.

Firstly the lack of control of the data you publish to them. I’ve watched a few web services disappear. I generally like to at least have an export option. I’d love one of these tools to give you the opportunity to publish to your own space or download copies. That said it seems unlikely any of these companies are going out of business soon.

I also wonder if all of these highly polished presentation tools take away some creativity. Making anything with technology gives a range of choices about how near the metal you get with your tools. If we were trying to teach learners about presentation there are limitations.

Effortless design

Sway’s built-in design engine takes the hassle out of formatting your various pieces of content by integrating them into a cohesive layout. From there, you can easily adjust the design to create a look and feel that reflects your unique style.

from: Office Sway – Create and share amazing stories, presentations, and more

Some might think that the hassle is part of the fun or learning?

I am quite likely wrong about this. I’ve be saying it for a while. I though the same about iMovie trailers, too easy to learn with. But I’ve seen some nice examples of learning using iMovie trailers.

There is also this problem

Is the Medium the Message?

Both Sway and Slate remind me of medium, I’ve put the same text and images on medium as a comparison.

I also created a home knitted version The Devils Pulpit. This is somewhat less polished, but fun to do.

All three applications are easy to pick up an use. They do not allow much customisation of the layout. Sway having more choices medium the least.

Sway and Slate both offer embed codes, Slate’s is limited to a clickable splash screen that takes you to adobe’s site. Sway’s embed is, in my opinion, much nicer.

For the words and images I was using I prefer Slate’s presentation a little. I like the ‘letterbox’ background images that scroll a lot. I did manage to get these working to some extent (no mobile) on my hand knitted attempt.

Medium is more focused on writing than Sway or Slate.

Medium is the only one that offers something in the way of guidance and suggestions as to what to read. I’ve enjoyed quite a lot of writing on medium through my daily email.

Both Sway and Slate are particularly nice ways to publish when you want your images to be as important as your words. Given Sway has an iPhone app it would be a good choice for using on the move (and on the bus). Sway would be a great tool for producing good looking reports from school trips. For myself I’ll probably stick to blog posts and hand knitted solutions where the fun is in the making.