best-tweets

A classroom, like any other social group will have popular pupils, the ones who get heard most by other pupils. I guess a teachers job is to encourage participation for all learners.

We have to think if software companies are the best people to curate our information.

A While back I turned off the setting in twitter to show me the ‘best tweets’ first. I noted that I hadn’t noticed this being turned on.

Yesterday I found a new setting, not sure when it happened, and tweeted turning it off with a gif:

quality-filter

I don’t want Twitter being a quality filter.

This got a couple of interesting replies and I put in a few more pence worth:

 

I don’t really do Facebook 1 but it is even further done the algorithmic path.

I presume the algorithms will be designed with the end goal of getting more ad views, not for what is ‘best’ for the user or community. They may also have negative effects on a learning community see: Participant association and emergent curriculum in a MOOC: can the community be the curriculum? | Bell | Research in Learning Technology, which I’ve read too quickly a couple of times now.

I don’t suppose there is much to do about this in the short term other than turning off settings when we can. Longer term it might be wise to think about the IndieWeb.

Featured Image: A screenshot…

PS. This post is mostly a few tweets, I’ve been thinking that interesting things often get lost in the stream, and pulling out a bunch might be useful.

  1. I did take part in a very useful mini-mooc and have heard of great educational examples but I tend to steer clear.

random-flickr

Here’s a fun thing to try if you’ve been blogging for a while (Warning: may not actually be fun). Get a random date from when you started blogging until present (eg using this random date generator), find the post nearest that date and revisit it.
….

  1. What, if anything, is still relevant?
  2. What has changed?
  3. Does this reveal anything more generally about my discipline?
  4. What is my personal reaction to it?

from: Revisiting my own (blog) past | The Ed TechieThe Ed Techie

I’ve a random button1 here and occasionally look back without the the discipline that Martin Weller suggested.  I gave this more thoughtful approach a go.

I came up with this: Impermanence and Comments from 10 years ago.

That post was just a placeholder to link to a favourite post by one of my pupils. There was not much analysis, but hopefully pointing out that pupils posting and engaging with an audience is a powerful tool in the classroom.

I do think this is still relevant, there are a lot more primary school using Social media and blogging now as there was then. I also think that it is good to have examples of pupils doing the blogging and that can have value. Now it seems like a lot of posts come from teachers as opposed to learners.

It is also particularly relevant to me as I’ll be returning, with some trepidation, to class teaching after more than eight years next week.

What has changes is the average 10 year old is a lot more used to publishing to the Internet, plenty use FaceBook, instagram or have a YouTube channel. I wonder if writing for the web will have the same excitement.

I am not sure such a short post reveals anything about my discipline, except that I’ve consistently believed that blogging should help to give an audience and purpose to pupil writing and learning.

My personal reaction was quiet pleasure at finding the pupil’s poem and the cross continent conversation that went with it. I do hope I can help provide opportunities for pupils to do the same again.

Finally I remembered that the Sandaig Site will probably be decommissioned very soon. This made me a little sad. It did let me edit the post and click the amber button to send the original poem post to the Internet archive.

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.20.50

The Featured image on this post is one of my own flickr photos, created by blending two random CC flickr photos, with this toy or its slightly older sibling.

1. The link on my blog uses a trick appending /?random to a WordPress blog url gives a random post, I learnt that from an old dog.

In regards to sharing openly, Doug Belshaw recommend s creating a canonical URL. The intent is to provide a starting point for people to engage with and build upon your work and ideas. This could be one space in which to share everything or you could h...

In regards to sharing openly, Doug Belshaw recommend s creating a canonical URL. The intent is to provide a starting point for people to engage with and build upon your work and ideas. This could be one space in which to share everything or you could have a separate link for each project. What matters is that it is public.
  Arron Davis on the importance of sharing and linking. As well as being a great link this is a test post, pulling in content from my pinboard links with FeedWordPress and saving them as a pending post, with the custom format of pinboard. The posts are marked as pending, allowing me to mark up the quote and add some text.  The title of the post should link to Arron's blog rather than mine. I hope there is a nice wee pinboard icon on the left.

walk-map

I occasionally make simple mashup of of gpx, google maps and flickr photos of walks. I record gpx on the Trails app on my phone, take photos with the phone too as they are nicely geo tagged and flickr  can use that information and provide in the API 1.

One of the things I noticed was that the GPX files can be pretty big, over a megabyte each. I know there was probably a lot of information in the file that was not needed to display the path on the map but was not sure of how to do so easily. I think I’ve used online services for this before. Finding a site, uploading a file and downloading is a lot of bother for something that I hope will be quick and simple. I also expect that the audience for the pages produced is one.

Having a look inside the gpx files I though that you could probably slim them down considerably, each point is recorded like this:

<trkpt lat="55.996687" lon="-4.389713"><ele>188.609</ele><time>2016-06-05T10:12:58Z</time><extensions><gpxtpx:TrackPointExtension><gpxtpx:speed>1.30</gpxtpx:speed><gpxtpx:course>206.37</gpxtpx:course></gpxtpx:TrackPointExtension><trailsio:TrackPointExtension><trailsio:hacc>5.00</trailsio:hacc><trailsio:vacc>3.00</trailsio:vacc><trailsio:steps>2</trailsio:steps></trailsio:TrackPointExtension></extensions></trkpt> 

I am pretty sure all we need is:
<trkpt lat="55.996687" lon="-4.389713"><ele>188.609</ele></trkpt>

and that a regular expression could do the trick.

I don’t know anything about RegEx other than I’ve found it offered as a solution when googling text replacement problems but this:

replace: <extensions>.?</extensions> with nothing
followed by replace: <time>.
?</time> with nothing

I am guessing I could combine these, but it din’t take long to run through a few files using them in this crude form.

did the trick. My 1MB file was now 160KB

This works both in BBEdit and TextMate. TextMate struggled a bit with the size of the files.

This post will be of little interest to anyone but myself and might just fit in the suchlike bit of this blogs sub title.

Featured Image: two screenshots, layered. my own CC-BY.

1.
I’ve blogged about some of the methods I’ve used before.

imageOptim

I know we are in the days of lots of free space, but it is worth remembering when blogging (or making webpages) shrinking images is worth doing for your visitors.

I don’t always do it, but today as I updates a Glow Blogs Help page, I saved nearly half the space by using, ImageOptim — better Save for Web.

There are other tools, but this one is free & open source, works on a Mac, but lists and links to windows & linux tools.

IMG_5868

Dean Groom on Poekemon Go:

Teachers should care about Pokémon Go! – after from the initial network effects (craze) as it is a good way for kids to develop socially. It isn’t designed for education and certainly presents the all too common accessibility issues of commercial games – but THIS game leads you to start thinking about why games, play and learning are important – and how they can be connected with helping children deal with saturated media cultures – Great!

from: Should teachers care about Pokémon Go? | Playable

There is a lot more to think about in that post.

As usual with games, my mind wander and my eyes glaze, I’ve never caught the game bug (although I am interested when I read something like the above).

My first though was it is a wee bit like golf, a good walk spoiled. I am now wondering if some of my own behaviour fits the pattern.

fr_593_size640

  1. I wander about outside, searching, looking at the map on my phone
  2. I capture images
  3. Share and store online, socially, flickr, instagram.

Featured image my own, IMG_5868 | John Johnston | Flickr CC-BY, sort of hunting idea. The kind of Pokemon I look for.

pionmac

After 38946 gifs and 24660 jpgs my Raspberry pi has stopped taking photos.

I am not sure why but it stopped recognising the camera module. I’ve decided to give that a rest while keeping the pi going as a server for other things. I’ve also moved it from the windowsill to a better position on my local network.

It is still running my River5 which I wrote about Raspberry River and a basic web-server: john’s pi server.

I’ve now added Dave Winer’s blogging software 1999.io: johnjohnston which has been running for nearly a week. Setup notes: 1999 set up on my pi

This has given me a chance to play (a little) with all the pieces, node, git, the pi and a new blogging system.

1999.io is quite opinionated software and has some differences from systems I am more familiar with. I’ve written some notes 9 Thoughts on 1999.io & Comments, Rivers and Glossaries. It is helping me think a bit about how software affects us.

I’ve also bought a Pi NoIR camera which I’ve used on my other pi, grabbing photos every minute of the bin outside our window in the hope of catching some foxes. It is not posting to the web, but over the network to my mac. My poor craft skills mean it was balanced on some cardboard and slowly slipped through the night. No foxes were photographed on the first try. I’ll be getting a better mount and trying again.

I’d like that, second, pi to be portable with a few buttons to do different things, start timelapse, grab and post a gif, etc. I’ll need to learn a bit more.

solid-links

This is a experiment, I’ve generated a list of my recent (last 6 weeks) Pinboard: bookmarks tagged ‘facebook’ and post them below.

This will hopefully be a useful reference for me and perhaps others.

I’ve been thinking about Facebook quite a bit recently. I still only visit occasionally and feel fairly negative about it. When I do visit I often see interesting things about folk I know, but not enough to make me visit more often. I also recognise that it can be used for really interesting projects for example the EAST Project we talked about on on Radio #EDUtalk.

The video, linked to by Alan, held my attention for the full hour (I find it hard to watch online videos for more than a few minutes).

The Featured Images is Soild links | SONY DSC | Bernard Spragg. NZ | Flickr used under a public domain license. Stamped with the stamped attributor version of flickr cc attribution bookmarklet maker.

CharlieChaplinEatingMachine

Yesterday I tweeted a link to a great post, the transcript of a talk about some social aspects of technology and how allowing technologist to lead our progress might have negative impacts on our privacy and lives, here is a quote.

Those who benefit from the death of privacy attempt to frame our subjugation in terms of freedom, just like early factory owners talked about the sanctity of contract law. They insisted that a worker should have the right to agree to anything, from sixteen-hour days to unsafe working conditions, as if factory owners and workers were on an equal footing.

Companies that perform surveillance are attempting the same mental trick. They assert that we freely share our data in return for valuable services. But opting out of surveillance capitalism is like opting out of electricity, or cooked foods—you are free to do it in theory. In practice, it will upend your life.

Remarks at the SASE Panel On The Moral Economy of Tech

This spoke very much to some thoughts I’ve been having about our relationship to technology companies. Some of these were sparked  by Dean Groom, Why not to buy Minecraft Education Edition.  Some more idaea were discussed at the Always on (them) event at the University of the West of Scotland and I am in the midst of exploring those in a few microcasts, tagged DigitalUWS & microcast (one down a few more to go).

I’ve not come to any great conclusions but I do think it is something we should be thinking a lot harder about.

More grist arrived today from Stephen Downes:

I can see how the presentation would engage school leaders looking for a way to address current trends in learning, but they need to look beyond the single-vendor approach proposed here, and they should be clear that technology companies are service providers who are held accountable for delivery, not partners taking a hand in pedagogical and educational decisions.

Looking back to move forward: A process for whole-school transformation ~ Stephen Downes

I know myself enough to recognise that I am somewhat enthralled by technology and software. I certainly need to think about my relationship, on so many levels, with the technology I use. Should we be addressing this in the classroom with our pupils?

featured image is probably walking a copyright tightrope, but seems appropriate