I am pretty keen on posting photos to the Internet, not because I have great interest (or any skill) in photography but as an alternative, to blogging, way of recording events. I’ve been using flickr since 2004 and am currently enjoying instagram (mine via api) and posterous

Mostly I take photos with my phone (the best camera). Recently I’ve been testing the ways apple gives you to post photos from an iOS device.

Public Photo Stream

I’ve become a fan of photo stream,

When you take photos on an iOS device or import photos from your digital camera to your computer, Photo Stream will automatically upload it so it is available on all your devices.

You can also publish photos to a public photo stream.

Here is a guide to making a public photo stream. Click to see a bigger version:

How to Photo Stream 500

And here is the photo stream:
Ben Challum – Photo Stream. These are simple and quick to create and easy to share.

iPhoto Journals

For these you ned to buy iPhoto. There are a wee bit more complex and interesting as you can include a variety of different elements, including, map, weather, notes and the like.

Journal Elements

Again they are pretty straightforward to create and upload. Here are much the same photos as a journal: Ben Challum.

Here is the gallery, created on an iPad viewed in iPhoto on a iPhone

Journal iPhone

Photo Stream vs Journal

On thing I noticed with photo stream was that you could post a link, before the photos are uploaded. With iPhoto journals you have uploaded the whole journal before you can share the link. You can share a photo stream privately, although I don’t think I would. Both produce online sites with pretty horrible urls (eg: https://www.icloud.com/journal/#2;CAEQARoQpdbIWlofBmKRAh_cPbtctA;09537452-2A80-49C7-A86F-71E8734846CF!).

Photo stream is quicker, with less choice, with a journal you can edit the layout of photos easily (especially easy on an iPad). Journals have more features for telling a story by adding non photographic information. The photo stream seem to be designed to share photos as you go.

Educational Use

I could see the photo stream being used by a class or group to share photos and images with each other as they go allowing them to work on or use images created on classmates devices as they are created. It is simple to add images to a shared photo stream over a period.

Shared Photo Streams don’t count against your iCloud storage, and they work over Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

Apple – iCloud – photo stream. Realistically I doubt there are many cellular devices in our classrooms.

Journals are more suit to creating artefacts, perhaps using photos gather via photo stream. Journals allow the addition of text, editing of layout and look like an interesting way to tell a story, record some learning and share it, a fairly easy way to create a image heavy, attractive mini Web site.

Thus far and no further

Apart from the lengthy and un-rememberable urls the other thing I don’t like is the locked in aspect of the sharing. There is on api or RSS feed that could be used take the images and reposition them, but I suppose that is what flickr is for.

Flickr Export from iPhoto

This is pretty good, it is easy from iPhoto on iOS to send images to flickr, create sets and tagging photos as they go, here are the same pictures on Flickr: Ben Challum – a set on Flickr and flickr makes it easy to repurpose the images:

Although both photo stream and journals provide slideshow views there is no way, as far as I can see, to show these elsewhere.


I still like to play with putting photos on a map: A Mapped Walk and a have a reasonable workflow that let me put that together in about 20 minutes. I also like messing with panos so here is one from the same walk:
Ben Challum Pano.

David Baugh points to Pinnacle studio iPad video editor.

I was delighted to find a more feature rich video editor for free in Pinnacle Studio and even better – for now it is free.

from: Learning in Touch » Blog Archive » Free Video Editing iPad App from Pinnacle Studio with multi layer video David has a great Digital Storytelling page too.

I’ve mostly though about MOOCs as cpd , but…

So, what does this have to do with K-12? Everything. Or at least a lot. If this is the wave or a wave of the future of learning and teaching then this is something that we need to pay attention to. If the job of parents, K-12 educators and the public school system is to prepare students for the environments they will be expected to work and learn in, then we ought to pay very close attention.

from: What is a MOOC? The Canadian Connection.

This and the others in the Honest Logos set made me laugh, but perhaps an interesting take on the design a logo activity?


image Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported — CC BY-NC 3.0
from: Honest logos on the Behance Network

Haiku Deck is

the simple new way to create stunning presentations – whether you are pitching an idea, teaching a lesson, telling a story, or igniting a movement, it’s fast, fun and simple for anyone to use.

Says Haiku Deck. It is an iPad application for making presentations. Very simple to use and the defaults look nice.

That took about three minutes to knock up. The main feature, based on three minutes use, seem to be a nice search to find images to match your words. Looks like it searches Flickr and some other sources. It does some sort of cc search. I don’t think it quite respects the license though. This image:


By David Muir is licensed under a Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic — CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license. Unfortunately the app does not seem to do the attribution for you.

Haiku deck says:

Where do Haiku Deck images come from?
Haiku Deck finds images from across the Internet that photographers have licensed under the Creative Commons license. Some Creative Commons images carry a “not for commercial use” restriction. If you’re making a Haiku Deck for commercial use, please be sure to turn the “commercial use only” filter.

I am not sure that is in the spirit of the attribution part of the license?

It does however make a very presentable presentation pretty quickly, saving to the web, announcing by twitter and providing an embed code. It also exports to PDF via mail.

The price is right, free with some paid for themes, the app is extremely easy to use and if they added attribution to the images it would be even better.

Update, my bad: I had adjusted the embed code to fit the iframe into my blog the attribution appears on the Haiku Deck website: Radio #EDUtalk – A Haiku Deck from Giant Thinkwell and on the embed if you don’t mess about with the code to resize the iFrame. Apologies to Giant Thinkwell.

So here is the attribution copied from the Radio #EDUtalk – A Haiku Deck from Giant Thinkwell page:

Much to my embarrassment I asked about this on twitter: Twitter / kleneway: @johnjohnston @HaikuDeck you …

Update 2: I’e also noticed a nice feature, republish a slideshow with an extra slide updates the original and the embed.

Blogged with a hand knitted system

Blogging Au Plein Air,  after Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
Attribution License

Glew is becoming more interesting everyday. The MetaWeblogAPI is now working. This is a big deal. The MetaWebLogAPI is the code that allows you to post to a blog through a variety of software rather than through the web interface. I am writing this post on my iPad using the blogpress app. This will publish this post via the MetaWeblogAPI. I usually use textmate on my mac to write blog posts. It uses the MetaWeblogAPI too. 
Recently I’ve been asking primary pupils about how many of them own an iPod touch, often in the upper primary class it is the majority of the class.
Glow blogs never managed to have this feature enabled. A great pity. The potential for pupils blogging on the hoof is a great one. Imagine a school trip. The teacher has an iPhone, this is set to be a hotspot. Pupils are posting pictures and text while they are on the trip. iPod equipped pupils could be updating their eportfolios by grabbing photos of their artwork as it is produced. Glew blogs can now also be public on the Internet, so you can see my first Mobile test made with BlogPress on my iPhone and a Blogsy test made from an iPad.  – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

I want to help empower our learning community to design, hack, build, collaborate, remix, share and explore in all sorts of ways. In essence, I strive to contribute toward building a learning community that is open-source, accessible and inspired by principles of DIY. Is the iPad the best platform for cultivating such an ideal?

from: The Digital Down Low: Some critical questions about iPads and 1-1 learning

Along with some other interesting other ones questioning the idea that ipad 1-2-1 is a good idea.

I do not think that we, in the UK, are yet in a position where there is an overwhelming belief in the iPads as a good thing in the classroom.

I do think that iPads are a good tool for some aspects of collaboration, remixing, sharing and exploring. They are, in my opinion, excellent digital story telling devices.

I wonder how many school with more open devices are doing much in the way of DIY hacking and building. There is a lot of online discussion: eduHacking · linkli.st but I don’t think much penetration into mainstream has happened yet.

I do believe that we are seeing some extraordinary effects in iPad 1-2-1s. Some of this my be the novelty effect, but there seems to be something special by having ubiquitous instant on, easy to access computer power in everyones hands.

It may be that the collaborative and creative environment that 1-2-1 ipad use seems to foster will grow into a desire for the complex making that Matt Montagne wishes to foster. This may lead to interesting apps or a demand for more open devices.

I’ve been aware of Radiowaves for a long time, it was one of the inspirations for Radio Sandaig and started me podcasting. I have not followed the development of the site with a great deal of attention but have been aware that it has been evolving in interesting ways. This is what they say about themselves:

Radiowaves is the social learning environment that provides social media for education. It enables schools to create and safely share videos, podcasts and blogs. With a free Radiowaves website you can easily start school blogging, join national campaigns and develop digital literacy skills.

Over 50,000 pupils use Radiowaves regularly to broadcast their school podcasts and videos to friends and family via the safe social network.

I’ve also met Mark Riches CEO at Radiowaves (and founding director of NUMU which looks interesting too) a few times over the years and he talked about RadioWaves on EDUtalk at BETT. At that point he told me that they were working on an iOS app and I asked him to let me know when it came out. On Friday he did. I am really impressed with this free app.

I’ve not really got my head round the Radiowaves site, its features and how teacher and pupils sites work together, but I love the app and though it worth posting some information about it.

You can get a free account at Radiowaves, this allows unlimited blogging for a school but you are limited to 30 minutes of audio and video. I created a free account to test this app. I didn’t read any of the help or explanations either in the app or online, just clicked around.


Makewaves 1

The app is called Makewaves (iTunes link) and is free. It runs on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. On the ipad it runs as an iphone sized app but can be used at 2x size to fill the screen.

I really like the look and feel of this application. Simple and straightforward.A lot of recent apps that I’ve downloaded seem to be simpler and cleaner looking, less 3d drop shadows and gradients, more space and less colour.

The app is split into 5 main sections accessed through the toolbar along the bottom:MakeWaves, Buzz, Post, My Stuff and Settings.

The MakeWaves screens shows three streams of posts from the site, primary, secondary and Things to Do. Clicking on thumbnails lets you access the content on the app.

The section I was really interested in was the Post one, but before I went there I need to visit the Settings and add my account details, this was straightforward although I didn’t notice the setting for default item which was story rather than blog. I am still not too sure of the difference between the two.

Makewaves 2

As soon as I saw the Post screen I liked it. 4 simple buttons at the top to upload media, Pictures from the camera roll, video, audio and the camera. The video button lets you choose from the camera roll or take a new video.

In seconds I had taken screenshot, used the Photo button to choose it, written a line of text and posted it.

I followed by testing the audio button, the app lets you record a sound and upload it, again a very straightforward process.

I then tested Video, and used an iPad and iPod Touch as well. All preformed beautifully.

Later on I used 3g to post a short audio file from outside. It worked a treat, uploading quickly.

An interesting feature of the app and radiowaves generally is the teacher approval. I was acting, I think, as both teacher and pupil so had to approve my own posts. The process is pretty simple on the radiowaves site and there is a in app purchase (£1.49) that lets you approve your pupils on the Buzz screen.

The My Stuff screen gives you a view of your stories and blogs, lets yuo know the ones that are still awaiting approval and the work of others in your station. You can also see if anyone liked your work.

The setting screen is straightforward, the place you can log in, easy too to log out and allow the same device to be used by more than one pupil.

I am extremely impressed with this app. It is the first one I have seen that allows posting of images, video and sound. (When I saw the posterous app I immediately put in a feature request for audio recording).

The application, when used on an iphone or ipod touch, is not built for long form blogging, but it is ideal for the much more interesting, in my opinion, mobile and group publishing of rich media. This is done in a way that minimises the technical barriers allowing users to concentrate on digital storytelling.

This could be an amazing tool for trip blogging. It should even be possible to have, say, several ipod touch out on a trip using one iphone’s tethering to allow mobile blogging by a group.

Finally having struggled and mostly failed to find a simple mobile blogging method for glow blogs it would be great to have a similar app in he new glow.

Last Sunday in the Observer I was reading Why all our kids should be taught how to code and have been following with great interest the boos by Alan O’Donohoe (teknoteacher) Submitted to EDUtalk
I am also interested in the difference between digital literacy/ fluency and coding beautifuly described by Josie Fraser in response to Mr Gove’s surprising enthusiasm for coding SocialTech: Computer Science is not Digital Literacy:

It’s dismaying then, to see in a week where we are seeing a huge move forward in the promotion of technology and a fresh look at how ICT as a subject area is designed and implemented in schools, to see digital literacy being used as an interchangeable term for computer science skills.

With the introduction of iPads into the mix as a really powerful tool for curricular ict. I am also intrigued by the tension between this back to programming and the use of ict to support learning. Brief visits to the primary classes piloting 1-2-1 have been exciting and gone a long way to convincing me that this is an important direction for ict in education.
Although I hope the iPads are only for consumption myth has been put to bed I’ve been wondering if there are ways they can support programming in education. It has often been pointed out that the reluctance of Apple to allow apps that produce executable code will hinder their use for coding.
(As a primary teacher this is well out of my depth or experience but fun as a sort of thought experiment.)
Some of the efforts to enthuse pupils and others in coding have started with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. (Hackasaurus and the like links). I though that might be a good place to start.
photoI’ve blogged before about Textastic – Text, Code and Markup Editor with Syntax Highlighting – FTP, SFTP, Dropbox – for iPad, the web page title says most of it.

a challenge of sorts

I though I’d give it a go and create a page or two with some sort of JavaScript stuff. To keep things nice and simple I thought I’d use the Dropbox functionality to publish the pages created to my Dropbox public folder. In a teaching situation this would avoiding FTP uploading.

templates and images

The first nice thing I noticed was that textastic supplies a few basic html templates which gets you off to a nice start. I created a folder in textastic then some files. Next I clicked on the globe to access my Dropbox. You see a listing of a local folder and one in Dropbox it is simple to transfer files back and forth. You can also pull images in from Dropbox to the textastic folder if you want to added images to your web page. This means a trip to the Dropbox app to add photos to that folder from the iPad photos.
I could not find an app on my iPad that would let me resize images where I could see pixels rather than manipulating with my fingers, but I am sure such an app exists.

auto complete

Textastic supports autocomplete in a TextMate like way type a < and say a p it pops a list of possible tags, selecte one and it is completed. The app then put the cursor in a good position, eg between the opening and closing tag of a paragraph to ready to type in the first parameter of a link. With more complex tags it wil select the first edit then tab through the other section indicated by a wee triangle:

update: the first image I uploaded Looked ok on the iPad but was unreadable on my desktop. I’ve replaced it. Image editing for blogging is a bit of a challenge on the iPad, but I am learning.
It was pretty simple to create a HTML page and link it to a CSS file in the same folder in textastic, easy to publish both to Dropbox. Textastic allows you to locally preview and it is easy enough to switch to Safari too.

JavaScript challenge

Since I know little JavaScript this should be a fairy realistic test of the iPad as a tool to learn coding. I decided to try assignment 3 from Mashups: Remixing the Web a course from New York University. The assignment was to create a lolcats memory game. I decided to make one with Flickr images. There are a few good hints in the assignment but I need to do a few things: look up JavaScript references on the web, preview and debug. Reference was easy to do by switching to safari and searching. Textastic supports preview and firebug. I also turned on the safari debug console. Textastic supports auto complete for JavaScript too.
The result is not a polished or complex piece of work, but I’ve stretched myself a wee bit. And managed to stick to the iPad throughout.

update a couple of tweets from @fraserspeirs who will know a lot more about this than me:

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Crow Rd,Glasgow,United Kingdom

Assignment 3 – Comic Timing – #edtechcca3 « Ed Tech Creative Collective

Make a comic-strip style set of instructions for a practical task. The task you choose is entirely up to you. It could be something that relates to your subject area, or alternatively you can do something more generic like starting up and shutting down a computer, how to set an alarm clock, or how to use the office photocopier.

I’ve always liked making comics both with with pupils and for myself, a few years ago I made this set for my daughter when she went to university: Recipe Comics – a set on Flickr.

For this assignment I decided to use ComicLife on the iPad, I’ve used ComicLife on the desktop a fair bit but not done much more with the iPad app than quickly demo it. This looked like a good opportunity. I’ve been doing a fair bit of iPad workshopping this week, and one of the things I’ve been showing teachers is some map activities. These are based on ones I’ve carried out a few times with pupils on an iPod touch. Basically taking screenshots of the maps app and using them for Maths or literacy. So the comic was made with the techniques shown by the comic.

Comic map Ideas

Software Thoughts

Although there has been suggested web apps for each of the edtechcc assignments I’ve used desktop applications for the first two (Fireworks, audacity) and now an iPad app. I have used web image and audio editors in the past but never found a compelling reason to use them before a desktop app other than price. I am editing this post in TextMate and will post to my blog via the MetaWeblogAPI rather than by using a browser. The problem with browser applications is with, imo, workflow and integration with other application which is not as mature as desktop or as simple as iOS. ComicLife on a mac is a good example of this, easily showing your images to ad to your comic without having to upload them. Or TextMate, here to add an image to a post I drag the image from the desktop onto the document I am typing in, it uploads it to my blog and inserts the code.

Design Thoughts

I had planned to try planning a bit with pencil and paper for this assignment after watch other folk go through the notes/mind-mapping/sketching process. But again I just got started and played about as I went along. I’ve noticed my ‘planning’, if you call it that, occurs when walking, driving or doing some other activity so I have some idea of what I am hoping for when I sit down. No excuse really and I will try a bit harder on a future assignment.

There was not much thought in this one anyway, I’ve stuck to ComicLife defaults, perhaps over familiar but they do the job I think.

Swiffy converts Flash SWF files to HTML5, allowing you to reuse Flash content on devices without a Flash player (such as iPhones and iPads).

Swiffy currently supports a subset of SWF 8 and ActionScript 2.0, and the output works in all Webkit browsers such as Chrome and Mobile Safari. If possible, exporting your Flash animation as a SWF 5 file might give better results.

Google Swiffy looks good, support extends to flash five. Here is a swiffy animation created with Google Swiffy the original flash file, made by my daughter 11 or so years ago when she was in primary school is on the sam page, I can’t tell the difference.

Swiffy output and flash source

Works on an iPad, Safari, webkit, chrome, firefox on my mac.


There are a horde of time lapse apps on the Apple iOS app store now. A while back I tested iMotion – Stop motion animation for iPhone and I’ve downloaded a few more.

Yesterday I noticed iTimeLapse had an update, listed in the fixes was – General crashy-ness fixed which sounded good and I decided to give it another try.

I set up my phone on the windowsill pointing at the trees and sky across the road. There is a choice of resolutions I choose 1280×960. I set the app to take a picture every 30 seconds and set it going. It seemed to be taking picture faster than that so I stopped, reset and started a few times (I even forced quit the app). Eventually I just let it do its own thing. After an hour or so it had taken 1333 images (Which the app tells me takes up 1339 mb on my phone) so I do not think that the Snap Interval is accurate/working! However the resulting video worked out fine.

On stopping the app you then have to render the video, my first attempt at one of the higher resolution settings failed, producing a block video, I tried again at a more sensible 640x 480 and this worked. The video was then watchable on my iPhone.

There are several export options, I tried the Vimeo option, which took a while but worked well and the Local WiFi Sharing.

I am a fan of a few other apps which have Local WiFi Sharing. Most apps that do this have a screen which shows an address to be typed into a browser, usually an IP address, although some support using bonjour in Safari. iTimeLapse does something different it show a link to TapShare.org with a 3 figure number. You visit TapShare on your desktop, type in the 3 figure number and that opens the local iP. TapShare is a service which offers this small utility to generate a 24 hour shortcode which can redirect to your local IP via an API which iOS developers can use. Being nosy I checked Safari and bonjour works too:

Leading to a webpage to download video:

iTimeLapse Safari

This video was 46MB in size and didn’t make it through my mail system to posterous, a quick export fromQuicktime, iphone setting, shrunk it to 9MB which upload fairly quickly: Evening Sky

Here is the Vimeo version:

I am sure this could be a useful app to use in the classroom for easily generating time lapse movies & animations.

I’ve illustrated this post with some screenshots, glued together in an animated gif, to save some screen space, please let me know if you think it is useful or annoying.