Since I have an on this day page on my blog I’ve been finding old me interesting.

Yesterday I notice quite a few end of year reviews published on the last day of the year1.

Blogging highlights 3, followed 1 & 2 in 2006 but focused on the blogging my pupils (primary 6 ~10yr olds) carried out that year.

The links go to the internet archive now. Images and some links were broken but I enjoyed reading them.

I was surprised at the comments on the posts, from adults, pupils at other schools and classmates. At the time the idea of an audience and conversation was one of the main reasons I had pupils in my class blogging. We were posting photos, video, microcasting and writing poems.

It seems harder to get comments on pupils blog now. I admit I’ve not commented outside my own class lately.

This was the year before I was on twitter. A lot of the online conversation about what happens in classrooms has moved to there. While a lot of this is interesting and valuable it has mostly removed pupils from the publishing process 2. This is I believe a loss.

  1. I was thinking of writing one for 2018 but got lost in following these old posts.
  2. see also ‘School social media has been terrible at engaging parents’ | Tes News by Susan Ward

Liked Must Do Better (Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday)
...There are loads of issues linked to the poverty gap, health and well-being issues and attainment, but I’m not convinced that school is always the place to solve them...

I am not convince either. Kenny has, as usual, a lot more intelligent things to say on the matter. A good end of year read.

Kenny goes on:

And we need to find a balance between thinking that Scottish Education is going to hell in a handcart and those who refuse to acknowledge that and believe that all is a shiny brochure and a Twitter feed.

 

Watched Finding things in WordPress core with GitHub and Grep by Ross WintleRoss Wintle from youtube.com
A short video on using tools to search the WordPress core code for filters and actions. Tips and tricks for WordPress development with Github and grep.

A nice WordPress video from  Micro.blog’s @ross. Just the right depth and length for me.

I liked the Pummelvision service so when it went I sort of
made my own. Which lead to this:
Flickr 2014 and DIY pummelvision and 2016 Flickring by.

I went a little early this year:

I’ve updated the script (gist) to handle a couple of new problems.

  1. Some of my iphone photos were upside down in the video as ffmpeg doesn’t see the Rotation EXIF. I installed jhead via homebrew deal with this.
  2. I installed sox to duplicate the background track as I took more photos and slowed them down a bit this year.

I have great fun with this every time I try it, I quite like the results but the tinkering with the script is the fun bit. I sure it could be made a lot more elegant but it works for me.

I was interested in this app when I read about it on micro.blog when the developer @becky posted about. I didn’t have a phone that took live photos at that point, so put it in my memory.

Today it popped back out and I installed it. I looks like it will be a useful app. It allows you to choose either live photos or videos and stitches then together. you can add title screens and audio, either from iTunes or some built in tracks1.

This solves the problem with how to share live photos. I have exported these as gifs from photos on a mac but the files are huge.

You can export 30 second watermarked videos for free and a £2.99 unlocks that limit 2.

I guess the app will mostly be used with live photos, to knock out a quick video and these will be short. It might be interesting to experiment with a little DIY ‘Ken Burns’ I an certainly thinking of holding the camera for longer when taking photos.

Anyway I really like the app,  the interface is great and it performs a useful task really nicely. I imagined  I’ll use it  to summarise a walk or a get my class to record a  school activity.

I think this could be an interesting classroom app, its simplicity and lack of features will, perhaps, be a better solution than the likes of clips or iMovie for a quick movie. Most of the iPads in my class are original Airs, too long in the tooth for live photos, but we have a few newer ones so I hope to give it a go.

Here is a quick video I made the morning while Christmas shopping.

  1. Most seem to be by Kevin Macleod a long time favourite of my classroom.
  2. I think 30 seconds is plenty for this sort of video, a few live photos, but I paid anyway. If we use it at school we will stick to the free version.

The new WordPress editor is now official. It comes with a new editor Gutenberg. I’ve tested Gutenberg on and off for a while, mostly worrying about iOS in particular iPads. That has improved steadily.

My concern is pupils using Glow Blogs will find the new editor more complicated.

I am somewhat relived that pasting from Apple Notes on an iPad works fine in the blocks editor, paragraphs generating new blocks. Adding images above or below a particular block seems a little footery but nothing pupils will not handle 1.

Now WordPress 5 is out I need to think about my own use. I don’t usually write in the web editor, preferring to either cut and paste from a text editor or post via micro.blog or xml-rpc. TextMate has a lovely blogging bundle, and I use drafts and shortcuts on iOS.

I’ve installed WordPress 5 on a couple of other sites, and had a quick play. Posting from TextMate, via xml-rpc put the content in a classic block if Gutenberg is enabled.

I’ve also enabled the classic editor plugin on these sites and this one. The ability to toggle back and forward between editors seems like a good idea, but on the sites I’ve tried it has mostly failed 2. This would be a good way to introduce the editor to Glow Blogs users, start with the classic editor, add in the ability to toggle to Gutenberg. I do worry that having two editors will lead to folk having problems or getting confused. I am not looking forward to updating the Glow Blogs help. This is probably a bit in the future as we should wait and see how Gutenberg is going on multi-sites before upgrading.

My other personal worry is that at the moment the indieweb post_kinds plugin is not compatible with Gutenberg. This is compounded by the fact I can’t update that plugin on this site at the moment. I am presuming that things will get shaken out and improve over the next year or two.

My plan is now to upgrade this blog to WP 5 but use the classic editor, waiting to see how the indieweb plugins evolve. I’ll continue writing in TextMate, drafts and the like while I keep half an eye on developments.

  1. I was pleasantly surprised watching a pupil happily collapsing meta-boxes to get her e-portfolio tags the other day. I had at some point shown the class how to expand them after they accidentally collapsed them, but not talked about it in any depth. I suspect pupils will adapt to new interfaces easier that I will.
  2. I will test this a bit more and try to see if it is something I can report. Update version 1.2 of the classic Editor has fixed this for me.

Reposted Kiersty T on Twitter (Twitter)
“I would urge all parents to read this article. As a parent of a child who often struggles & can sometimes be ‘that’ child, I wish for more understanding. We’re working so hard to help him. As a teacher... well it made me cry https://t.co/sKeXB7FuK2”

Great link: Teacher to parents: About THAT kid (the one who hits, disrupts and influences YOUR kid) – The Washington Post

Aaron’s comments 📑 Making Change in Education – Champions are for Charlatans illuminate and extend Dave Cormier’s post:  Making change in education – champions are for charlatans

A good read for thinking about how Teaching and Learning changes.

I am not sure that splitting folk into champions, middle 60% and Laggards is quite accurate as folk may be enthusiastic about one thing and not another. It is useful to think about. We certainly need to think about the idea of superstar teachers and promoters of change.