Here are some of the things I’ve tagged classroom over the summer holidays.

Featured image: my own, I spent a fair bit of the summer trying to get close to butterflies.

Another experimental microcast. I recorded this on a walk last week using the iPhone audio memos app. Just kept a memo open and recorded fragments on the go. Unfortunately at some point I hit done and when I added more, without looking, I recorded over the start.

On editing in ferrite the app crashed everytime. So I switched to Hokusai 2 cut the start pasted it to the end and then levelled in Auphonic. Finally back in Ferrite I added the intro (recorded in Ferrite and run through Auphonic).

This if far too complicated. I also need a dead cat from the phone to cut down on wind noise.

Liked The Game of Quotes by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (Read Write Collect)
Heather Marshall adapts the game Bring Your Own Book for the classroom. This involves a series of prompts to help think differently about what you are reading. Marshall also discusses creating your own prompts. This activity reminds me of the Hot Seat activity, where students are challenged to think...

The Game of Quotes: Getting once reluctant readers whispering “I want to read that!” – The Book Sommelier looks useful.

As part of my summer holiday fun with WordPress I though I might create a ‘proper’ RSS feed for my microcast.

There are quite a few podcast plugins that would do the job but I though it might be interesting to try a bit of DIY.

Back when I started a class podcast at Radio Sandaig I used to create the RSS feed by hand with a text editor and a fair bit of copy and paste. Over at Edutalk we use feedburner to massage the feed for iTunes.

I used information from How to Roll Your Own Simple WordPress Podcast Plugin | CSS-Tricks to get me started with the template.

I copied the feed-rss2.php file from the wp-includes folder to my child theme folder renaming it feed-microcast.php

wp-content/themes/sempress-child/feed-microcast.php

I adjusted the query to get the posts from my microcast category. I also hard coded the title, link, image and a few other things to simplify the process a little.

I then used the template from CSS-Tricks as a guide to adding the various podcast tags to my template.

This ended up with a pretty broken feed, mostly due to my lack of care, but I fixed it up later I got it linked up.

I didn’t want to use the custom post type approach used in the article because that would involve editing all the old posts or converting them to the new type somehow.

My first idea was to create a feed template and switch to that when the RSS feed for my microcast category was called for.

After failing to get the template to switch for the standard category feed, /category/microcast/feed I ended up with a custom feed at /feed/microcast.

and I add

add_action('init', 'customRSS');
function customRSS(){
        add_feed('microcast', 'customRSSFunc');
}

function customRSSFunc(){
        get_template_part('feed', 'microcast');
}

to my functions.php file.

I then spent a bit of time using the W3C feed validation service until I fixed the feed up to valadate.

I’ve still got to get a link to the feed into the microcast category page head tag and I hope to do that as soon as I’ve gone a bit of research. For now I’ve a link in the sidebar.

Here is the template: WordPress RSS feed template for my microcast

Replied to #edu522 #dailyponderance #edtech tools by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (jgregorymcverry.com)
For today’s #edu522 #dailyponderance you need to highlight some cool #edtech tools. Give us 3-5 apps or websites we should try in class.

You can’t do without an RSS reader, for the last few years I’ve liked Inoreader.

Surge is a useful tool to play about with making webpages. It is aimed at developers but I think it is handy for dabblers too. Works for static sites. A lot of the documentation is for things beyond my ken (Grunt, Gulp and other things I do not recognise). You can however build la local webpage and easily push it online. Here is a very silly one: Sounds Bad!.

The Daily Stillness | daily small exercises to help you find stillness: a bit like the daily create on #DS106 or this #dailyponderance bu for thinking about your relationship to technology and life.

FlickrCC Stampr This is one I built myself for my primary pupils. The idea was to make it really simple for young children to attribute but ‘stamping’ the attribution onto the image.

Also on:

Bookmarked Flippity – heck this could be useful! by Alan Stewart (Alan Stewart's AT Blog)
In its own words flippity allows you to: Easily turn a Google™ Spreadsheet into a Set of Online Flashcards and Other Cool Stuffv

I saw this on Alan Stewart’s blog. It looks really useful. I did something similar when I made a Fridge for poetry. This allows you to customise the images & word list via a google spreadsheet. Not as professional looking as Flippity…

Could be useful for Glow users given Glow now gives access to Google for some LAs (Not mine Alas).

I wonder if something similar could be done with Excel in O365? It doesn’t appear to be as easy to connect from webpages as a google sheet?

Also on:

Day 7

A bit over a week ago I got a tweet from Athole

The premise is simple enough, for 7 days you take a B&W image, tweet it and ask someone else to join in.

I did:

Day 7 is the featured image of this post.

What is interesting about this project is that there is no hashtag. You get mentions from the folk you invite, if they take the invite up and perhaps from some of their invitees.

An enjoyable experience, I though a bit about photography (or at least my phone snapping) and enjoyed seeing other folks images. It felt a little more relaxed than hashtag type collaborations. More meandering perhaps…

Thanks to Athole and the folk who I pestered to join in.

I am finding micro.blog a really interesting community.

From an educational POV the most positive experience and the one that I would like to see replicated (in Glow and elsewhere) is #DS106.

DS106 influences the way I think about ScotEduBlogs and the way I built two Glow Blogging Bootcamps 1.

In particular these sites aggregate participants content but encourage any comments and feedback to go on the originators site.

Micro.blog is making me rethink this a little, there you can comment on micro.blog (the same as the blog hub in DS106) and that comment gets sent as a webmention to the originators site. This makes thinks a lot easier to carry through.

Micro.blog also provides the equivalent of the #ds106 twitter hashtag but keeps that in the same space as the hub/rss reader.

Manton recently wrote:

Micro.blog will never be that big. What we need instead of another huge social network is a bunch of smaller platforms that are built on blogs and the open web.

from: Manton Reece – Replacing 1 billion-user platforms

Which made me think.

Firstly it reinforces how Manton really thinks hard about making micro.blog a brilliant place, avoiding the pitfalls of huge silos.

Secondly it speaks to idea of multiple social networks. Imagine if DS106 and ScotEdublogs where both platforms in this sense, I could join in either or both along with others using my blog to publish. I could decide which posts of mine to send to which community, and so on.

It is the same idea I’ve had for Glow blogs since I started working with them 2.

Class blogs could join in and participate in different projects.

It would be easy to start a local or national project and pull together content and conversation from across the web into one learning space. Although I’ve spoken and blogged a lot about this idea I don’t think I’ve made it stick in the minds of many Scottish educators. I wish I could.

  1. Blogging Bootcamp spring 2015 & Blogging Bootcamp #2 Autumn 2015 . I believe the potential for these sorts of educational activity is much underused in primary and secondary education. I wish I was in the position to organise and design more of these…
  2. For example: