Firstsite’s mission is to improve the well-being and life-chances of all residents of East Anglia through innovation, ingenuity and creativity. We empower people, no matter their background, to be creative together and lead happier and healthier lives.
This page has several pdf downloads of art activities that looks as it they could be useful in school. I’ve been trying to avoid school related things over the holidays but there are a lot of interesting links out there.
Oh Hello Ana – Blogging and me I really enjoyed this post it is from a web developers perspective but it applicable to most bloggers I think. I particularly liked the bonuses of blogging:
Searchable; Memories that you own and are in control of;
Talking of blogging, Multiverse is a new thing, for the personal site that is different. Easy to set up, I did that in June and sort of forgot. style is Macpaint & HyperCard with gaudy colours, could be fun.
is a friendly introduction to digital accessibility – specifically to help understand WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), the official resource for legal compliance.
One of many I found via Joe’s site. This looks like a very easy entry to thinking about accessibility. I di a bit of cleaning up on the glow Blogs site early this year and could have done with this then.
I’ve been interested in the Garden versus Stream discussion around creating web content. Some of the sites I’ve work most on have be gardens made with stream technology 1.
Since I’ve installed the Posted Today plugin I often look back over previous posts. This leads to some tidying up, and fixing of links, formatting, adding tags and the like.
This feels very like pruning, staking and generally tidying up. Behaviour that is usually associated with gardening. My blog is mostly for myself 2. I feel like I am regularly pottering around, joining dots and revisiting old thoughts.
An example: A while ago it was the 10th anniversary of my post Field Recording at the Scottish Music Centre. It is now full of broken links. Some, Flash soundcloud players, I was able to fix, replacing the old flash players. Some were just gone to 404. Of these some I could add archive links. I didn’t fix everything because I got a bit distracted with all the links I followed to check. Many rabbits holes.
I am not making a huge effort in this, I find it valuable to read my old posts and if I have a moment do a little gardening cleaning up my stream.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. BHL is revolutionizing global research by providing free, worldwide access to knowledge about life on Earth.
There seems to be a vast collection of biological books that are free to read and download. There is also a twitter account, @BioDivLibrar and an amazing Flickr account: Biodiversity Heritage Library where there are over a quarter of a million images, many public domain. They have also contributed
over 2 million BHL images have been uploaded to the IA Book Images Flickr stream as part of the Art of Life project. These images are identified and uploaded in bulk using an algorithm. They offer a great opportunity for serendipitous discovery via browsing.
The Spring Holidays, like others will increase my blogging. It has been a busy term both home learning and back in school. Looking forward to a holiday of wee walks (still stuck in Glasgow) and some random browsing.
Johnny•Decimal a system for organising. Been a bit of discussion on micro.blog. Sounds good, I made a start with the mess that ins my OneDrive folder, but need to re-read the instructions and start again I think.
The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI) is a 4-year partnership project which aims to work with local organisations and volunteers to control invasive non-native species along riversides in Northern Scotland, for the benefit of our native wildlife and communities.
I see quite a bit of Himalayan Balsam around, quite pretty but a nasty smell.
"At startup, an Android device sends Google about 1MB of data, compared with iOS sending Apple around 42KB. When idle, Android sends roughly 1MB of data to Google every 12 hours, compared with iOS sending Apple about 52KB over the same period." https://t.co/nPXiM8Tqi6
Jason Mittell provides an extremely creative, occasionally bizarre, frequently hilarious, and ultimately rather helpful “inventory of deformative practices” to uncover hidden layers of meaning in media.
The article provides a pile of great gifs and distorted videos.
One idea I’d kept playing with is layering of images. My plan had been to layer a sequence into a movie, I’d never really got it going smoothly. I mostly just run a photo set through a script to get 1000s of images and choose a few interesting ones.
I usually use a few commandline tools for this, imagemagick & ffmpeg but there was a rather nice idea of using the StarStaX app an application for Star Trail Photography. I loaded it up with 90 odd jpgs images from a walk and merged them. I then stitched them together with ffmpeg and added some audio “Mysterious Ethereal Song” by theojt :
Every so often I come back to this idea of posting sets of rather random links. I love seeing them pop up on my on this day page. For organisation and discoverability it might be better to post links separately. Mostly in pinboard too.
I checked how many posts I had tagged lifeinlinks and that makes this one number 40.
Ultimately, it seems to me that at least part of the problem wth Microsoft for Education, and particularly Teams and the integrated Office 365 suite, is that it wasn’t designed for education; education is a useful revenue stream for an enterprise communications solution. So as we’re learning about the value of a multimodal learning environment for students that blends synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences, we’re looking to a video conferencing software with deeply embedded surveillance functionality as a solution. This isn’t to say that individual instructors aren’t doing incredible things with Teams — I know they are, I see it everyday. But I worry about a tool that has been designed first and foremost as a corporate solution by a company with a poor track record on data privacy, leaping into the learning management game in the middle of a crisis.
Having spent a lot of time in the last couple of months in Teams this was interesting. Most of my problems with Teams stem from the UI, I keep expecting the native app to behave like a native app.
I’d set out a light weeks program in a blog post for the pupils and emailed the parents. In both post and email I’d try to make it clear we were trying to really get every pupil involved from the start.
Planned our first Team meeting for 2pm as that was the same time we used in the first lockdown.
A number of schools, pupils and parents have reported the technology running slowly or not at all.
This didn’t cause me as much problems as some. I upload most of the files I want the pupils to use to the class blog. I figure this avoids password problems. Also Teams slowdown.
It did seem to cause problems in our meeting. Only about half the pupils managed to get on. The others could access Teams but not get onto the meeting. Hard to know if this was related to the reported problem or not. It was certainly frustrating seeing the messages from the class repeatedly trying to get in.
Worth noting that I joined the meeting on my mac and iPad. The iPad on mute and used as a screen share. This has improved a lot since the first lockdown. Joining on the iPad second it gave me a choice to swap to it or join without audio. The latter let me share the iPad screen, and from what I could tell it was not to laggy (as the pupils say). Laterally in the first lockdown I abandoned screen sharing or using PowerPoint and just share files in the chat as we had a pretty bad experience. This gives me hope for an improved experience.
Last time I felt I spent very little time learning new stuff or seeing what other people were doing. As I recall my head was down. I believed that I cut out social media pretty much. I just had a look at my 2020 twitter stats:
And was surprised to see I was wrong about that.
It feel like there is a lot more pressure on this time round. I think, as teachers, we put enough pressure on ourselves, not sure the idea of teachers, schools and LAs having to produce data to justify themselves is a great idea. I gathered my own last time, and held myself to account blogged about it, that felt tough enough.
I certainly hope that whoever tries to hold us to account understands the situation, the amount of prep needed to teach online, whether preparing for a live lesson or creating asynchronous ones.