These are some note from/for the Pedagoo Muckle event. I’ll update this with a few more details over the next few days.

Supported by SCEL and with a slightly different format, #PedagooMuckle aims to support, challenge and encourage participants to go forth and organise their own Pedagoo events, TeachMeets and other collaborative, sharing opportunities for educators.

I was asked to talk about how to broadcast and share your event. I am very much an enthusiastic amateur in this field. This is a quick romp through some of the available tools from a quick and dirty point of view.

The premise is that these events are worth sharing and folk can get value from attending virtually or catching up later.

Distributed in Space & Time, live or archive

Is is possible to either record for posterity, broadcast live or both.

Both give different affordances, recording shares across space and time, live broadcast may allow distant listeners to participate via twitter.

Short snippets may provide more value than recording whole events. Instead of recording a whole presentation or workshop 3-5 minutes with the presenter can be useful, or record a conversation between two or more presenters or attendees.

Before you start

What have you got in the way of equipment and more importantly space? How much effort will it be for what sort of size of audience? What you equipment will the results be watchable or audible?

Who is going to do the broadcast. Have they any other jobs.

Audio vs Video

Personally I prefer audio, less to go wrong or get right. Audio can also be listened to while the audience are washing the dishes or driving.

Don’t forget text might be better, can be easier to give multiple viewpoints. Twitter is the easiest currently for live text.

Some Tools

These are towards the quick and dirty end of spectrum.

Sound is the most important ###

 

Mic types (Mostly I am just glad to have a mic)

  • omnidirectional pattern – all directions are equally sensitive to sound.
  • figure-8 pattern – the front and back are sensitive, while the sides are ignored.
  • cardioid pattern – meaning the area in front of the mic is most sensitive, the sides are less sensitive, and the rear is ignored.

Video Recording

Smart Phone/ video camera for watching later. Simple. Audio is important so consider adding a mic to the camera or your phone.

Use a stand.

Try to test the light, field of view and sound before the event starts.

Live Video

YouTube, the set up has recently changes, see When it’s Your Googopoly Game, You Can Flip the Board in the Air Anytime for details.

TL:DR Youtube streaming has got a little more complex. Best to go for the simplest options:

Go to YouTube and log in

  1. On your profile icon at the top left click on your icon
  2. Choose Creator Studio
  3. Click Live Streaming on the left had nav
  4. Ignore all the choices and click events below the Live Streaming option
  5. Schedule a new event
  6. Create a new event and Go Live Now (avoid Advance Settings)
  7. The Hangout will open, use the link button to copy the link and send it out on twitter.

Or schedule an event and share the link to the watch page ahead of time.

Periscope iOS and android app, integrated with twitter. Works really well. Can save to camera roll.

Ustream apps for live streaming with chat.

Audio Recording

All smart phones have some sort of recorder built in. This will work fine for archiving. Get the phone as near to the speaker as possible if you do not have an external mic.

There are a host of better audio recorders, you can borrow some from Edutalk, including a Zoom H4n which is a nice piece of kit.

Audacity or GarageBand, again an external mic is a good idea.

AudioBoom is very useful for recording and sharing short pieces of audio, conversations etc. Add the hashtag #edutalk to auto post to http://edutalk.cc

#EDUtalk

Audio Streaming

Edutalk, we use a icecast server and are happy to share the account. There are apps to stream to icecast servers on all platforms. A bit more of a learning curve but we are happy to share.

Mixlr – Broadcast Live Audio

Archiving Recordings

You want it to be as easy as possible for as many people as possible to view or listen to the recordings.

Edit or Not?

The Levelator® from The Conversations Network

Storify

Other Things

Bonus sign up forms’ e.g. google forms eventbrite etc?

http://activitywalls.com or other tweet displays if you have a second monitor

If you going to the Pedagoo Muckle I would like to invite to contribute to EDUtalk.

EDUtalk is, among other things, an open to any contributions podcast. EDUtalk started at the Scottish learning Festival in 2009 when David Noble and myself invited any of the attendees to submit audio to a podcast SLFtalk. We were trying to provide alternate sources of information and reflections about the festival and make it as easy as possible for people to both contribute and listen to the contributions of others.

Now is even easier to contribute to EDUtalk. This only need to be a minute or two long.

Here are a couple of ways ways:

Audioboom an application for both iPhone and android, Audioboo allows you to record short segments of audio and upload then to the Audioboo site. If you tag the ‘boo’ #EDUtalk they will be brought in automatically to the EDUtalk site.

Just record some audio on anything a computer on smartphone whatever you got. Then you can email it to audio@edutalk.cc and we’ll take it from there.

You can have conversations with anyone about anything educational, at the coffee bar , in a quiet corner. it can be about whatever, educational, topic you like. Your thoughts we want them.

If you can’t make it to Pedagoo Muckle this could be one way to join in the fun.

google-image-johnjohnston

A day to go in Week two of 23 Things so a rather rushed approach.

Thing 3: Digital Footprint, reading includes:

It is important for you to think about how you manage your activity online in the context of your emerging professional identity (or identities) and what you need to do to manage an effective online presence and your digital footprint.

‎ Student e-Professionalism
Which sums up the problem fairly nicely.

after the reading the task was to Google yourself. Go to Google.com, type in your name, and see what results come up.

The first thing to note is that I am redirected to google.co.uk

google-me-text

From as owning own my name pov this looks pretty good. The fly in the ointment is the location. The only John Johnston higher than me is a Glasgow photographer.

It turns out it is quite hard to get results from google without using your location (I googled it). So I gave up and turned to Duck Duck go.

Continue reading

IMG_0134.jpeg

Last week after our DS106 Good Spell broadcast Mariana told me about 23 Things. This looks like an interesting course for Edinburgh University students, staff and anyone with access to the internet.

I had a quick look at the list of things covered in the course 23 Things List – 23 Things. These look interesting enough to sign up.

The idea is to try out a couple of things each week and blog about them. So here we go

Week One: Introduction and Blogging – 23 Things

Write a blog post and tag it 23ThingsEdUni. (When you tag a blog post with 23ThingsEdUni, so long as your blog has been registered, that post will be pulled into our 23 Things Community Blog. This way you can share your thoughts and experiences with others on the programme.)
Use your blog to write a short post about:
A) what you hope to gain out of the 23 Things programme.
B) were you aware of the University’s Social Media Guidelines for Staff and Researchers or the student Social Media Student Handbook? What do you think of the guidelines/handbook?

A. I hope to rethink the sort of things I’ve been doing online for a while. Take the opportunity to dig in to some things I think I know about in a little depth. Some of my ideas have not been revisited for quite a few years.

I am also interested in taking another open online course, I’ve been hanging round ds106 for a while and ran a couple of small course for primary schools last year. I’ve a real belief that these types of course can be pretty powerful.

B. I was aware of North Lanarkshire’s Social Media policy. One of thing I really like about it is that they recognise that schools can use social media in useful ways and need to have a deal of freedom in doing so.

The council uses third-party software to manage its social media networks. Any new official page/site will be required to be managed using this software. There is an exception for Learning & Leisure services staff in schools where social media is used as part of a teaching and learning environment or as a communication tool.

My Emphasis.

I’ve a twitter list of NLC Schools which is quite vibrant.

*Featured image: Flickr Photo: Bobbi Newman – CC BY-NC-SA

IMG_0133.jpeg

For the last few (twelve) years I’ve been a enthusiastic proponent of blogging by pupils. I only actually carried this out in the classroom from 2004 till 2008 when I started work in North Lanarkshire as an ICT staff development officer.

Since then I’ve run plenty of courses around blogging, continued to blog myself and investigated lots of blogging systems. I also support pupils setting up e-Portfolio blogs in many classroom in flying visits. I spent a couple of years working on Glow Blogs and continue to provide support for Glow Blogs on a part time basis.

I’ve got a strong opinion of the positive value of pupils posting about their learning. I hope as I provided support and encouragement for pupil posting that I kept in mind the difficulties of organising this in class.

I am now back to eating my own dog food and again in the position to blog about ‘Teaching, ict, and suchlike’ from the position of a classroom teacher.

In many respects I’ve landed on my feet. I’ve got a very small class of delightful pupils, a good range of hardware and due to the small numbers, bandwidth that is not awful.

However I am feeling pretty out of my depth in regards to the changes in curriculum and practise that have happened in my absence from the classroom.

Beginning with blogs

On the practising what you preach front I’ve started using Glow Blogs. We set up e-Portfolos a couple of weeks ago. I am pretty pleased all the hard work of the Glow Blogs team has paid off from a technical angle. I am not working to hard on the idea of profiling yet, just trying to get the class enthused about owning their own space.

We have also started a class blog Banton Biggies – The Tallest Class in Banton Primary and the pupils have made a couple of posts. Fell free to pop over and leave us a comment.

First thing I’ve noticed is that it doesn’t get any easier organising time for pupils to post. The ideal is to give them enough time to write a well written reflective post, but also not missing out on too much of the current classroom activity.

The other thing that has changed is the familiarity of current pupils with the Internet. There is a lot of that I need to explore and discuss. Being a YouTuber is an aspiration of more than one pupil I am working with.

Of course this familiarity with the Internet does not come packaged with some of the things I an interested, safety, copyright, controlling your own data, along with technical skills, knowledge of file types, urls, keyboard shortcuts and the rest. A lot of learning will hopefully be sparked by discussing blogging.

We have also started using Glow O365, mostly word and Onedrive so far and I’ll have a fair bit to reflect on that too. I also set up a Yammer group for the pupils, with little instruction about what to do with it. There was a huge wave of enthusiasm from the pupils, but left to their own devices they have mostly posted hi messages. I think I’ll have to seed the group with some ideas to get things going.

Joining some dots

What I am hoping that I can do with the blogging is to start the pupils reading other pupils posts making some connections perhaps with other small schools. Hopefully I can get a podcast together too, watch that space.

Get in touch if you have pupils posting that would like a few comments or would be interested in some sort of blog to blog communication. It might take me a wee while to get going but that’s the direction I hope to travel in.

Featured image: Flickr Photo: simpleinsomnia – CC BY stamped with attribution with FlickrCC Stampr

Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

I’ve just had my first broadcast of the new session on Radio Edutalk.

Radio EDUtalk 14-09-2016 Nicholas McMahon Philosophy with Children in the Primary Classroom I really enjoyed it.

Unfortunately I’ve got no more shows lined up at the moment. I’m waiting for a few replied, but the Wednesday schedule is empty. Some of this is down to my lack of organisation some to other things on the go and some my change in circumstances.

If you are interested in talking about any aspect of Education on a Wednesday evening (8pm UK time)please let me know.

The featured image on this post is Open Mic Night at the Sarcophogous | Art Institute of Chicag…r shared by my pal Alan on Flickr using a Creative Commons — Attribution 2.0 Generic — CC BY 2.0 license.

beenice
  1. They comment on other people’s posts.
  2. They like other people’s posts.
  3. They share them.
  4. They…

from: What do nice Internet users do?

Click through to see all 12 points from Dave Winer who should know, having blogged as long than anyone.

From a education PoV good advice for reading and responding to pupils post, but applicable everywhere.

Featured image: Nice to be important by Michelle Grewe on Flickr shared with a Creative Commons — CC0 1.0 Universal license, which was nice.

ChromeStead is a really interesting blog from Guy Shearer who is head of IT and data at David Ross Eduction Trust, which I think is a private school.

From the title you would think it was all Google and chromebooks but the schools seems to use a mix of Google Apps, O365 and other products. This makes an enjoyable change from blogs from the PoV of one company supporter or another. The idea of using a mix is very appealing. The school has single sign on for both services, which I believe is possible using RM unify now.

Also from From a Glow perspective there are a lot of interesting posts about O365. Here is an example aside.

(I just wish someone at Microsoft could forget to invite the Sharepoint team to the next planning day so that they can come up with a Classroom competitor that works cleanly and simply like Sway).
ChromeStead: Sway: presentations reimagined, and some general thoughts on O365

chaff

TL:DR: I think that the problems in embedding digital in learning are complex. Glow, which address the software part is the one that is closest to being solved.

On Sunday I got added to a twitter conversation that started with a tweet about glow use from Derek Roberson

This got picked up by James McEnaney (@MrMcEnaney) and I and other got pinged:

My initial reaction was that there was not much room on twitter for the conversation I though was necessary.

But I dipped in with a couple of replies:

I suspect bad with access to hardware have more of an effect on digital learning than how good or bad glow is.

and

What I’d hope glow did was give ‘permission’ to use digital

Much more was batted back and forth, including this point from Derek:

not as simple as that. Getting the digital in to established practice and attitudes the real challenge.

James:

I’d agree with that, but I’m not convinced GLOW is the way to do it

James said the purpose should be

helping to embed digital & collaborative tools in established practice.

and

I’d argue the only reason GLOW survived is because of the political ramifications of admitting failure.

The conversation was quite hard to follow as it spawned several sub threads with different folk being included in different replies. I am not going to pretend to cover all the conversation, but do have a few thoughts to add and expand on.

Caveat, I was seconded as a “Product Owner” to Glow for 23 months and still support Glow Blogs on a part-time contract to Education Scotland. But this post is very much in the spirt of my disclaimer:

opinions are my own and not those of my employer (the blog is produced in my own time). My opinions are not set in stone, I frequently change my mind, make mistakes and contradict myself.

I’ve also re-written this posts a few time and deleted a podcast. The digital in education, even when confined to Glow is a huge subject.

I do think these questions need to be asked and answered again and again.

Statistics

First, the 9% is a wee bit out, a recent FOI request leads to real stats:

The Cost of Glow – a Freedom of Information request to Education Scotland – WhatDoTheyKnow.

This points to a rather better figure that the 9% teacher login claim that started the conversation. The best month Jan – May 2016 had nearly 60% of Scottish teachers and 11% of pupils logging on.

I am guessing a lot of the teacher use is driven by LAs that have adopted O365 email as their main email system for schools. The pupil login is initially, at least, disappointing.

I wonder what sort of figure would be a good one. What does the use of a more successful tool look like? Do schools or education systems that adopt other systems have better stats? If so what drives these.

Is even the 11% all that poor? I would not expect many primary infants to be logging on independently, they are more likely to access Glow via a teacher’s logging on a smart-board than to be keeping their own blog.

Timetabling and access to ICT equipment in schools will also affect this. How many times does the average pupil in Scotland access ICT in school?

The quality of hardware, time to get set up and online and bandwidth will also affect teacher’s decision to use ICT in learning.

Finally there is the ability of teaching staff to manage digital learning on top of their other workload issues.

Embed digital

Is Glow helping to embed digital & collaborative tools in established practice?

It would be madness not to use digital tools in learning. These are soon going to be tools without the digital. I wonder how many pupils in my class now will handwrite anything as an adult. I know I had not written a sentence in the 8 years preceding my return to class a couple of weeks ago.

If we are going to help to embed digital & collaborative tools it looks like there are three areas that need addressed:

  • The software
  • How we access it (hardware & infrastructure)
  • Cultural (skills and appetite of staff)

Glow provides some of the first and had an affect on the third, some of the money spent on Glow could have been used to help the second.

The software

I was very enthusiastic about the concept of Glow and pretty disappointed by its original incarnation. Compared to the web2 tools I was using it felt clunky. Even once I understood some of the features, it was not, in my opinion, a good solution. I saw many interesting things done with old glow, but this was usually built on a lot of effort and support.

At the point that Glow was introduced it would have been very hard to understand the way that digital tools were going to evolve. At the time I remember being surprised that it didn’t include the tools that were beginning to appear. I now realise that the planning and preparation start a long time before implementation.

When I joined the Glow team I was still of the opinion that Sharepoint was not a good solution for Education. I began to be quite impressed with the O365 tools, Word online, Onenote and the like, but they still felt a bit Beta compared to the Google productivity suite. Fortunately for all involved I eventually fell into concentrating on the Blogs and stopped complaining about O365/Sharepoint.

Although Glow is not a login to a whole range of digital services there is no doubt O365 has become one of if not the major part of Glow. My own head and heart remain with Blogs but for many online teachers and learners O365 is going to be their main toolset.

What has happened is these tools have matured and continue to improve at a rapid rate. They have been joined by a suite of tools, Sway, Yammer, MS forms and more, themselves evolving, that feel like a much better fit than Sharepoint.

It was unfortunate, IMO, that the first bit of the O365 suite that was ready for business in Glow was Sharepoint. It still is not the friendliest environment I could imagine. I would think it could be very successful when supported by a team of Sharepoint developers, but it is not easy for teachers to modify and customise.

Now Glow provides a secure, safe set of modern cloud based software tools for communication and collaborating. If I was going to criticise the tools set I’d need to be quite picky. I also think that these tools are set to continue to evolve and improve.

A downside this evolution means that some of the services can feel a little beta. I think this is something that users of software in general are getting used to. It also needs a change in support material, not how to guides but how to figure out for yourself help, or a way of rapidly providing answers not just by the centre but by a growing community.

The perception that Glow is a poor set of tools is still held by many, I would suspect that they would not be so skeptical if they had the opportunity to spend a reasonable amount of time trying them out.

An idea expressed by some is that there are enough free tools out there to used and we do not need a national product. This is quite tempting. It would need a greater digital skill set to negotiate the different logons, data protection issues and security. 1

Hardware & infrastructure

I suspect that the effect of hardware & infrastructure far outweighs Glow in its effect. How often do pupils get access to hardware? When they do how long does it take to get machines/devices booted and ready to go? How fast are connections to the new online services?

This is the area I am least qualified to blog about. It does seem I’ve got better bandwidth at home than many primary schools. The efforts to tackle bandwidth need a lot of joined up thinking and investment. Given the cuts on local authority spend recently (I feel that one deeply), I am not sure how this could be resolved. There does seem to be a bit of divide opening up between schools across the country.

On hardware there is national procurement, but this will again be affected by local spending decisions. Some LAs are experimenting with allowing pupils and teachers to bring their own hardware and some with a variety of devices.

Cultural

The old Glow got a bad reputation some of this was deserved. A lot of staff have pretty negative feelings about this. I do get the impression some of these opinions were formed quickly and the holders have not had a chance to really dig into the new tools.

I also thing there were two sources of this dissatisfaction: the digitally confident, who knew of better tools and the less confident who were baffled by the system.

When new Glow arrived, in Oct 14, not much had changes, on the Blogs we had moved to a new setup with pretty much the same system. O365 mostly consisted of Sharepoint, with the business apps being quite rough in places. This unfortunately probably allowed some of the old opinions to stick. I believe that it is now worth folk taking a fresh look at the improved and developing tools.

Permission

One of the most powerful things that Glow does is give permission. Although James disagreed with that:

On various occasions it was also used to prevent me from using digital tools

I was lucky that when I started using blogs, podcasting and wikis with pupils, I was unaware of any rules that would forbid me for allowing pupils to publish online. I used common sense and kept myself and my pupils out of trouble. This is probably not a method that could be embraced by Local authorities and governing bodies.

Since then conversation continued discussing the Stats from the FOI request. James still questioning if Glow was the right way to go.

When I attempted to join North Lanarkshire Council to support ICT, I concentrated on this experience at interview. After I was in post, I was somewhat surprised to find that the council, at that time, did not allow schools to publish to services that were not controlled by the council on council servers. My thoughts of encouraging blogging and podcasting were rather stymied.

When NLC started using Glow and then it was enhanced by the original Glow Blogs I could start to use my experience. Glow gave schools tools and permission to use them. It to some extent, takes care of worrying about data protection and security.

Skills and confidence

Lots of teachers feel quite negative about their own ICT skills. Workload issues in the classroom are huge. How we provide support and training for the use of digital is really important. The training is also knitted into the software, hardware and infrastructure available in schools. It is not much use being trained on using great devices on a wonderful network to return to limited old kit of a stuttering connection.

How we provide that support nationally and in local authorities, with the spending constraints, is again a thorny problem. The kind of support you provide for an evolving and improving toolset is an interesting one. Past attempts (NOF, Masterclass, the old Glow roll outs) gave spotty results. I am hopeful that the embedding of digital in trainee teachers I see happening at the University of Dundee are a good start. Linking this with national, local and community support would perhaps give a jigsaw of encouragement. It would, I fear, require a bit more investment.

Glow is not the problem

The problem is a challenging. One part is the software. I think it is the part that has now been best addressed. I think that the hardware/infrastructure one needs to be solved while we address the culture/skills issue.

An invitation

If you are interested in this topic I’d love to discuss it further. I would imo, make a great topic for Radio Edutalk. Leave me a comment of get in touch (@johnjohnston) if you would be interested.

Featured Image: cropped from Components of Hudson Brothers chaff cutter No known copyright restrictions

1. I also think we need to think a lot more carefully about or software choices for all sort of reasons. I’ve tagged some thoughs DigitalUWS in old posts.