Garpel Water

I’ve just changed the front page of my blog.

For the last few years most of the posts I write have not made it onto the front page, ending up in the status page instead. Now everything is going to the home page.

At the end of 2014 I started experimenting with some IndieWeb technology on my blog. In 2017 I started using the beta version of micro.blog, this meant I was posting on a wider variety of topics with lots of short status type posts.

I decided to keep these off the home page, reserving that for posts categorised as wwwd posts that were longer and about ‘Teaching, ict, and suchlike’. I added a status link to my menus along with a photos page. Now I’ve move back to everything on the home page.

As time went on my blogging has branched out to include recording the books I’ve read and films I’ve watched and other things. Some, not all yet, of my tweets and some of my replies to other blogs are now posted on this blog and auto post to twitter and the blog I am commenting on. I manually post the same photos to instagram as I do here and Bridgy brings back my comments to the blog.

I am not exactly breaking new indieweb ground her or even pushing very hard, but I am enjoying expanding my blogging, pulling in content posted elsewhere is the past and bringing my digital life a little closer together. I’ve changed the Status menu to Articles in case anyone is only interested in longer, likely educational, posts. As I blog more I see my blog as primarily for me with some added benefits from sharing.

Featured images, my own, the Garpel Water in Ayrshire an meandering stream.

As I’ve mentioned before we use Apple Notes a lot in our class. If the class are writing, unless there is a need for formatting or layout, I often ask the pupils just to stick to notes.

Notes are easily AirDropped to me when I need to collect work and both pupils and myself can organise them in a fairly simple manner.

Occasionally I want to print the pupils work. Notes, reasonably enough, only lets you to print one note at a time. I wondered if there was AppleScript that would help. I found Export Apple Notes via AppleScript which exported a folder of notes to a new TextEdit document. I altered it to:

  • Allow you to choose a folder from Notes.
  • Export to an html file on disk.
  • Provided page breaks so that the notes would each print on their own page.

Not particularly pretty, I guess I could work on the styles a little.

You need to be in my lucky position of having a mac in your classroom. Mine uses the same account as my iPad which helps me organise thing a lot.

Here is the code, I suspect it could be improved. Even if you don’t use AppleScript is easy enough to run. Open the AppleScript editor, create a new script, paste the code below in and hit run. You will be asked to choose a folder and then name an html file. The file will be created and opened with your default browser.
You then can print.

Listened TIDE ep 119

Listened: TIDE

The last show recorded before Dai’s death. A moving intro by Doug followed by a typical Tide.

Dai’s comments about classroom relationships spoke to me. I’ve am now in a very small, two classroom school that means I get the same pupils for several years. This feels very much like Dai’s experience with older pupils. Relationships are quite different when you have taught a pupil for 3 years.

I also especially enjoyed the second last segment of the show, “AirDrop crossfire”, airdrop is used many times a day in my class but I had no idea about this.

It has been interesting and enjoyable listening to the ebb and flow of conversation between Dai and Doug over the episodes, my agreement on many of their opinions goes back and forth too. I enjoy the thinking aloud and working things out on air. The joint podcast make you feel close to the broadcasters, Dai and Doug were a good mix balancing each other nicely.

My thoughts are with Doug and others close to Dai.

Liked John Arnold on Twitter (Twitter)

“Disheartening results from a well-designed study on flipped classrooms. Mixed results in short term but any benefit quickly faded and it exacerbated the achievement gap.

The hope that technology would revolutionize learning is fading.
https://t.co/54GFrrBJJc”

I’ve been having a wee play with the p5.js web editor.

p5 .js is a JavaScript library that starts with the original goal of Processing, to make coding accessible for artists, designers, educators, and beginners, and reinterprets this for today’s web. Using the original metaphor of a software Sketchbook, p5 .js has a full set of drawing functionality. However, you’re not limited to your drawing canvas, you can think of your whole browser page as your sketch! For this, p5 .js has addon libraries that make it easy to interact with other HT ML5 objects, including text, input, video, webcam, and sound.

I’ve occasionally dipped my toe into processing and found it good fun.

Over the summer I’ve seen a stream of tweets and instagram posts from Tom Smith which got me interested in p5.js.

I don’t really have much of a clue but have had a bit of fun. Especially when I found you can use a library with p5.js to export gifs. The feature image on this post is one made by my sketch: Classy bramble skulls 4. This one has a background image, some animation, the mid-ground, the sleeper and computer and then the window frame which are drawn. If I had though I’d have used 3 image layers sandwiching 2 animation ones. Early days.

There seems to be a ton of learning material available and it is easy to duplicate interesting p5.js sketches to edit and play around with. (The school holidays are not long enough;-))

Read On Switching from iPad to Chromebook in School by Fraser Speirs

This summer, my school is making a substantial change in our 1-to-1 programme. After nearly ten years, we are switching from iPad to Chromebook. I thought I would write a bit about why we are doing this.
We have refreshed our iPad deployment twice now. We started in 2010 with the original iPad, then…

Fraser ran the first whole-school 1:1 iPad deployment and the whole post has me thinking.

A couple of sections stood out for me:

When we started with iPad in 2010, I suppose I thought that we were heading into a new era in education with creativity at the forefront. Particularly, I thought that Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence was going to usher that in. We were led to believe that all different kinds of assessment materials would be considered appropriate for submission to our exam board. None of that happened, and we seem to be moving away from that idea at a steady clip.

Are we moving away from creativity is Scotland? Just for exams or across the board? Are iPadds more suited to creativity than chromebooks.

And:

It seems to me that, for a school, the choice is whether you’re a GSuite school or an Office 365 school and everything flows from that decision. It’s quite difficult to transition from one productivity cloud to another and nobody will do that without a compelling reason. Google and Microsoft are matching each other blow-for-blow in cloud features, partly for each to make sure that the other never develops such a compelling advantage.

I wonder how Fraser choose between 0365 & GSuite?

Personally last session I’ve moved away from the cloud in class for pupil use. I found OneNotes and OneDrive to be a bit unreliable, lost pupils work and sometime time. I suspect this is due to our rather slow internet connection. I do depend on OneDrive and iCloud for taking work home. OneDrive is pretty much where I keep any curricular material now.
I now put up with the poorer organisation of Apple Notes and use Airdrop because it is some much faster and reliable than the cloud for me. Given there have been a huge number of updates to the O365 suite on iOS. I’ll kick the tyres again in the coming session.

I’d like to have the network that would speed things up and the opportunity to try GSuite. Although the cloud may be future, it is not yet evenly distributed.

It was gratifying to see Apple put serious effort into getting the desktop version of Google Docs working in iPadOS 13. However, it’s too little too late for us at this stage in our development. We might come back to iPad in years to come but, for the next four years at least, we’re going to see what GSuite and Chromebooks can do for us.

It is going to be fascinating reading the next chapter.