Intervision, the 70s Soviet answer to the Eurovision Song Contest, was judge by electricity grid voting: “those watching at home had to turn their lights on when they liked a song and off when they didn’t, with data from the electricity network then being used to allocate points.” [Nick Heady] (Fluxx have been working with National Grid on several projects this year)

Just one of 52 things I learned in 2016 – Fluxx Studio Notes – Medium found via kottke

    arewomenfw1-600

    There are also evil women. I didn’t go looking for them either. This is what I type: “a-r-e w-o-m-e-n”. And Google offers me just two choices, the first of which is: “Are women evil?” I press return. Yes, they are. Every one of the 10 results “confirms” that they are, including the top one, from a site called sheddingoftheego.com, which is boxed out and highlighted: “Every woman has some degree of prostitute in her. Every woman has a little evil in her… Women don’t love men, they love what they can do for them. It is within reason to say women feel attraction but they cannot love men.”

    from: Google, democracy and the truth about internet search | Technology | The Guardian

    I’ve long been fascinated by google auto completes but never though of deeper implications.

    I read this in the Observer this morning. Thanks to @LillyLyle for digging out the link I couldn’t find (via @IanStuart66)).

    I use google all of the time and do pay attention to the auto completes as they often seem to help in refining a search. Sometimes this is just to avoid suggestions, sometime better. I’d not thought about the darker side.

    On reading the article I first didn’t think that I paid much attention to auto suggestions (like adverts). I cast my mind back to yesterday when I was searching for a way to draw ‘irregular rectangles’ with JavaScript. I didn’t really find what I wanted, but burrowed down several rabbit holes steered by the suggestions.

    I am used to the top google results having some sort of authority. Google a film get IMDB or Wikipedia. This gives pause.

    Featured image captured with LICEcap.

    Running my auto complete script leads to a few possible questions…

    is_google

    • is google your friend?
    • is google evil?
    • is google racist?
    • is google listening to me?
    • is google making us stupid?

      IMG_7485.jpeg

      maybe, in concert with an emphasis on making and collaborating and bug reporting and embracing other values of the open web, individuals can help reorient the cultural attitude toward technology away from entanglement and back to a place of enlightenment.

      The Age of Entanglement – The Atlantic

      Interesting Article. More grist for the ‘why we need to teach digital literacy and curiosity’ mill via @livedtime

      Featured image Qsquare quantum pseudo-telepathy from flickr
      Creative Commons — Attribution 2.0 Generic — CC BY 2.0

        IMG_7438.jpeg

        Some thoughts about making choices about the software and systems you use, they may have hidden positives or negatives.

        Featured image, iPhone screenshot, edited in snapseed

          IMG_0186.jpeg

          I am a pretty regular podcast listener, mostly while commuting. Recently though I’ve been listing to iPlayer radio on the drive home. I listen to today on the way in. This week I’ve restarted the podcast habit.

          I’ve listened to one old friend and a couple of new ones. The old friend is

          TIDE

          Today In Digital Education
          A regular podcast from Dai Barnes and Doug Belshaw about education, technology, and everything in between.

          I always enjoy this podcast as it roams education and tech. This weeks episode was particularly interesting as Dai & Doug were talking about Facebook and in particular the recent posts from Mike Caulfield which I’ve been following1

          The ED Files The truth is out there?

          A fortnightly podcast about UK education for and about teachers, teaching, government policy and other things…
          By Alex Weatherall and Leon Cych

          I listened to episode 1 which was mainly about the Michaela school. This seems to have generated a lot of tweets south of the border and it was good to hear some details. I’ll be adding The ED Files to regular listening.

          The final podcast I listened to was CPDin140 – Kevin Hodgson. This is the first of a series of podcasts by Ian Guest. The episodes are interviews in Ian’s PhD research on Twitter for professional development. Kevin’s, who I’ve bumped into online was a great first guest. Again I’ll be listening regularly.

          I am particularly delighted that Ian is posting these interviews on Edutalk starting a new ‘channel’ CPDin140 | EDUtalk. I’ve always imagined edutalk growing to include a range of show. Ian, of course, has contributed a lot of podcasts to edutalk via audioboom over the last few years.

          I’ve not done as much broadcasting/podcasting on Radio Edutalk as I usually do. I am struggling to find time to organise my self and contact posssible guests. I have thoroughly enjoyed the ones I have done, if you have something to say about education and are free of an evening on A Wednesday at 8 please get in touch.

          *featured image 1959 6-Tube Pushbutton AM Radio | Happy #ThrowbackThursday 1… | Flickr by Michel Curi | Flickr CC-BY. With a wee edit. *


          1. the post Banning Ads Is Nice, but the Problem Is Facebook’s Underlying Model | Hapgood is especially great, I am fascinated by the affects and affordances of interface. Facebook are master1959 6-Tube Pushbutton AM Radio | Happy #ThrowbackThursday 1… | Flickr of proving a UI that gets uses to do what FB want them to. 

            I just read this on OLDaily ~ by Stephen Downes in my RSS reader.

            Points to

            apparently YouTube has decided to allow users to follow channels via RSS again,

            from: YouTube has (apparently) reinstated RSS feeds – BiteofanApple

            It seems to work, I’ve aded my own channel to my RSS reader, Inoreader, and it worked fine. Tested in a WordPress sidebar widget and here using the RSS Via Shortcode for Page & Post WordPress Plugins

            [rssonpage rss="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc0gdVM7MLneoiJHp4HUqkA" feeds="4" excerpt="summary" target="_blank"]

            Gives me links to my last 4 videos.

            The feeds seem to lack description, inoreader (and I’d guess other RSS readers) pick up the video from the media:content tag (I’d guess).

            This could be useful for bringing content together with other feeds. Perhaps YouTube will bring back tags too…

              dynamic-dns-fix

              Note to self. I’ve a few wee things 1recondite projects if you like, that run off a Raspberry pi.

              The Pi is at pi.johnj.info I use Zone Edit and dynamic dns to keep the subdomain pointing at my home network when its external IP address changes.

              This stopped working. It looks like

              A Dynamic Authentication Token is required in order to use our Dynamic DNS services. The tokens are generated on a per domain basis.

              This is used in the place of my zoneedit password which used to work.

              Fix found Solved: Re: BT Home Hub 5 Dynamic DNS – BTCare Community Forums via google.

                IMG_0179.jpeg

                Now forget about the algorithm that brought this here and focus instead on the card. Every decision on this card is maximized to keep you on Facebook. So, for example, my name is bold and blue and prominent. The headline is also prominent, and Facebook pulls the description from the page so that the Facebook reader can read a summary of an article without going to the article.

                Facebook Broke Democracy, but the Fix Is Harder Than People Realize. | Hapgood

                A really interesting post lots to think about. Unlike Facebook I’d encourage you to read it

                I’ve been wondering about what software choices do to us, and our thinking. These sort of considerations are missing from the from the conversation among technology enthusiasts in school education(or I’ve missed them).

                I am not sure I am knowledgeable enough to even start teasing this out. Certainly there seems to be more immediate problems in our digital learning bubble (access and skills for two). But if we make choices for ourself and learners with out even considering the effects and affordances of software design we may end up drifting in the wrong direction.

                Bonus link: Only Microsoft Could Make Teams

                 

                featured image: screenshot shot somewhat messed about with snapseed.

                  IMG_7357.jpeg

                  In early October my school had a visit from Google Expeditions. I’d been contacted to see if I would be interested and jumped at the chance.

                  Google Expeditions are a 3D VR ‘experience’ using google cardboard. I’d tried a few mobile apps using cardboard before but not in a classroom setting.

                  The plan was we would choose Expeditions that would fit into our learning.

                  On the day Kostas from Google turned up in Banton having traveled on public transport with the whole kit in a backpack. This consisted of one tablet, one router, a set of android phones with a google cardboard for each phone.

                  Expeditions are a set of several 3D VR ‘images’ that can be looked around. The images are broadcast from the tablet ( or a phone) to other devices on the local network. The Tablet is handled by the ‘leader’ the phones by the ‘explorers’. The leader controls which image/space the explorers see. The leader’s non-3D view includes some notes and discussion points.

                  table leader view

                  The devices need to be connected to the same network but they do not need to be online. The scenes are ‘served’ from the tablet. The tablet does need to be online at some point to download the scenes in preparation.

                  When in a space the explorers can look around by turning their heads or bodies. Moving forward and backwards has no effect.

                  The leader cannot control where the explores look in a scene but double tapping will show the explorers an arrow pointing to the object tapped (we saw that explorers would always follow these arrows).

                  We had chosen a couple of Expeditions that would fit with out learning, but did have the chance to explore quite a few.

                  in the box

                  The pupils were very engaged immediately, the images are surprisingly ‘hyper real’ and the experience of turning round or just moving your head was delightful.

                  We collated some pupil responses on the class blog: Around the World in a Cardboard Box.

                  I’d chosen the spaces we looked at at fairly short notice, one did not really fit with my expectations the other was linked to a topic we had not then started. So for the point of view of linking into the learning and teaching I hadn’t planed well enough. From the point of view of exploring potential new technology and giving the pupils a glimpse of the near future.

                  I’d also feel that the resources might be a bit more valuable after the initial excitement had died down and the pupils used the system more than once.

                  So how would we use this past an exciting but brief test. Although the kit is relative inexpensive a class set would still be an major resource for even a large school.

                  I suppose it could be a share resource for a group of schools or local authority.

                  I wonder too if it could be used on a smaller scale, with less devices. At the end of last month I was talking to Will Tuft on Radio #EDutalk about ‘The immersive classroom’, this involves setting up classroom experiences, for example the aftermath of a hurricane, with props and tasks. I wonder could the cardboard be part of some such class. For example a group of ‘divers’ could take it in turns to put on the googles and explore the sea.

                  It could also just be used by a few children as a time.

                  I wonder if as well as the obvious exploration angle if it would be a rich resource for writing.

                  All in all an interesting experience, it will be interesting to see how this type of technology develops.

                    smithsonian_note-book

                    It is now Week Eight of 23 things and the topic is Digital Curation, OneNote and ClassNote

                    Thing 15 is tumblr. I’ve been using tumblr for a few years now for all sorts of different projects, but I though I’d skip by that to the next thing, OneNote.

                    Try using OneNote on your pc/laptop/device.
                    Create a new Notebook, add some sections, pages, and try out the features. Use the Interactive Guidance Videos to learn your way around the platform.
                    Write a short blog post detailing your use of OneNote and how this may/may not be of benefit to you.’

                    Week Eight: Digital Curation, OneNote and ClassNote – 23 Things

                    For two years I worked alongside Ian Stuart who is a OneNote expert. Despite Ian’s enthusiasm for OneNote and many powerful demos it didn’t at that time click for me.

                    I tend to keep notes as text, HTML or markdown files in Dropbox. My _notes folder has nearly 1000 notes including over 300 in a blog posts subfolder and almost 100 in the snippets one. Searching via the finder is pretty effective for this sort of information[1].

                    When I moved to working in the classroom this August I though I should use the chance to revisit OneNote.

                    I am using the mac desktop version of OneNote, my pupils use the iOS app. So these notes pertain to those applications.

                    I started a ‘planning’ notebook, pulling in notes and information from the school and doing my weekly planning in a simple table. It was easy to archive these pages as I went and I could the simple syncing between work and home very useful.

                    The ability to combine files, images, media and text is useful and works fairly simply. The fact that I’ve kept using the system for planning and extended use to include a class notebook tells me I am finding it useful.

                    The only major flaw I’ve found using the mac app is an occasional failure of the copy and paste keyboard shortcuts. OneNote used the standard ⌘-c ⌘-v for pasting I find these often fail, especially the first time or two I use them after opening a notebook. The menus and contextual menus work fine, but the keyboards are my preferred method of doing this. Copying something and pasting to get the previous content of the clipboard pasted is alway annoying.

                    I would also really like to be able to have more than one notebook open at once. I believe this is supported on windows and not mac. Given that mac users are traditionally more likely not to have documents full screen and to use drag and drop between documents I find this a wee bit surprising.[2]

                    I’d also like to be able to set a page width rather than have a page of infinite(?) width.

                    I started a class notebook to use with the pupils in my class. They are using the OneNote app on iPad Airs.

                    I’ve used this to distribute information, worksheets and the like to the pupils and to gather in work. I started just before the addition of the class notebook tools. When the tools appeared I’d just had some fairly negative experiences with the class sharing and using Word and Onedrive on their iPads. I though I’d give OneNote a try for this instead.

                    When the tools work they have been very effective, I can create a page and distrubute it to all of the pupils easily, I can target the section of their notebook I want the content to go to. I can then easily find all of that content and mark it within the notebook.

                    I have also got a way of distributing shared resources to all of the pupils. The only part of the workflow that is missing was the ability to upload documents created in Word and saved to OneDrive to the web (glow blogs). But failures with that was the reason I started using a class notebook in the first place.

                    For the most part this has worked fairly successfully. When pupils are submitting written work they seem to prefer typing in the native iOS notes app (or even word) and pasting the finished text into OneNote.

                    Collecting a set of brief texts in the one place on a table in the collaboration section has been more successful that multi editing a word doc[3]

                    Occasionally I’ve had sync failures for particular pupils, while the distributed page gets to the rest of the class it will not sync to one pupil. Often logging off force quitting, going through the log on sorts this but not always[4].

                    I’ve had one really frustrating experience with adding notes to pupil work which did not sync at all consistently leading to a very confusing lesson but for the most part the class notebook has been a success.

                    Reading back over this post so far I realise that I’ve dwelt on the negative aspects more than the positive. I thing that is because I am finding the software pretty useful and these bits of friction stand out.

                    There are a lot of really cleaver features.

                    The ability to share with pupils as a group, individually, and to distribute content to each of them is great. The choice between letting pupils edit that content or not is also useful.
                    Another useful feature is how easily the pupils can record audio in a page. This allow them to listen to themselves read and me to collect there reading.
                    One of the most interesting is the way text in images is handled. This can be searched. It also, on iOS at least can be copied.
                    copy text from graphic

                    Ironically in getting this screenshot I had a repeat of a problem I had in class this week. After I inserted an image, OneNote crashed. It then refused to sync.

                    sync problem

                    sync problem

                    The answer was a tweet away.

                    On iOS I couldn’t copy the whole section, but I could select multiple pages and move those to a new section. After deleting the, now empty, problem section all was ok.

                    It would be good if the error message was a wee bit more indicative of the problem and how to solve it. It looks like a hangover of the Window’s desktop app? Even if I sync the OneDrive, where my OneNote files are stored, to my desktop, the OneNote files are replaced by a weblink. This raises another worry, total reliance on the cloud.

                    I am going to continue using the class notebook for a while and see if we can work around the problems. The many affordances of the software certainly seem worth further exploration.

                    It also may be that updates will fix things. The app has been very frequently updated, in fact it feels slightly beta like sometimes.

                    I don’t think I’ll be converting my own notes out of text files any time soon. Having them in an open format that I can open with a myriad of applications on different platforms is important and Dropbox[5] certainly seems to have syncing down a lot better.

                    featured image: Inside cover and first page of Foshag’s Kaminaljuyu-Jade field book by Smithsonian InstitutionNo known copyright restrictions


                    1. on iOS I mostly use the drafts app to keep notes, this syncs via iCloud and has been rock solid for several years. Draft’s ability to push text to different places is outstanding. The Apple notes app is pretty good too although a lot simpler than OneNote.  ↩
                    2. the first few times I used a windows computer this completely floored me, I could not understand why anyone would want full screen.  ↩
                    3. this took us into of lot of failure, repeated attempts to log on and a lot of wasted time.  ↩
                    4. I am not sure if these problems like others with the MS iOS apps are to do with the apps, authentication with glow or local network issues.  ↩
                    5. Dropbox is not a suitable choice for use with my pupils. Onedrive via glow takes care of account management, data protection etc without me having to do any work.  ↩