Yesterday I read Alan’s post Right? or Choice? To Repair (or Joy Thereof) #DLINQDigDetox – CogDogBlog. One thing in particular caught my eye:

And yes extend broken devices to broken technology. Can’t play old flash content? Try Ruffle.

I’d not heard of Ruffle, but I though it was worth a quick try. I searched my hard drive and was delighted to find  rommy.swf.

Rommy has been reborn several times, born as a HyperCard stack in the 1990s, then a SuperCard project, arriving on the web via the Roadster plugin that ran SuperCard projects. The final incarnation was in flash (although I might have a javascript effort somewhere).

Anyway I uploaded the swf and htlm file, adding the link to the ruffle javascript library & it worked not only that it works on an iPad.

I don’t suppose it is of much use in the classroom now, back in the HyperCard days I though the idea of pupils creating mazes and then getting their partners to write instructions to go through them was a good one. I had not see it else where is such an easy to use fashion.

The featured image is a gif captured with licecap, it doesn’t make the annoying beeping that the real one does.

The most I’ve read since starting to make notes on my reading in 2018. Covid had something to do with that.

I probably need to split up the page soon. It uses the display posts plugin to pull out the content of the posts. I stopped using the Read Post Kinds and switched to Notes to avoid the link and quote provided by the post kinds plugin.

I make pretty short notes and include the 📚 emoji to share to the micro.blog book discovery page. I am not sure about the stars, more a bit of fun than anything serious.

I’ve seen a few mentions of book recording systems recently, micro.blog is developing bookshelves(with cover art). I sometime use GoodReads, but am more interested in DIY. I got a mention from Ton, which lead to more ideas about sharing. OPML seems to be one way. I am wondering (above my pay grade) about JsonFeed and the WordPress Rest API json and if they might be useful. JsonFeed seems to be limited to the count in your RSS feed (for WordPress).

The 2021 Book list

A year ago yesterday I posted  2020 in a photo which was the result of a ds106 daily create. I ran my video of a year’s flickr photos through and script that averaged them and a slitscan processing process. Details on that post.

I decided to try the process with this years. I am not sure if the results are interesting or not. I did enjoy the process. This years photos stopped in October.

Here is the video again

and the results:

Here is the montage of all the pictures. I wonder if there are any other ways to play with the years set?

From 2005 to 2008 I used podcasting as an activity in the classroom1. I found it a powerful tool for writing, talking and listening, collaboration and more. Back then podcasting was not the well known entity that is is now.

Back the I managed the podcast as a lunchtime club, volunteers form my class contributing. We did occasional whole class shows and even whole school projects.

While I was out the classroom I ran few courses on podcasting. I don’t think I managed to encourage much uptake. We did run a podcast server in North Lanarkshire for a while but it was used more for video than audio.

Last session I finally got around to podcasting with pupils again. This time I tried to exploit it a bit more and involve the whole class. The pupils wrote to local businesses and got sponsorship for the first 3 episodes. We organised it as an enterprise with different children taking on different roles including site & logo design.

The final one was made during lockdown. The children sending in recordings which were edited by a key workers child in school.

This year my class were keen to start again. My plan to begin at the start of term two got spoiled by covid and other unexpected events. Finally we got round to it in November. Given time constraints I decided to skip the sponsorship and deal with some of the scheduling myself. I gave the class a bit of time to write, a fairly free choice of what to write about and who to write with.
I helped with the occasional phrase but pretty much let it to them. We did work in parallel thinking and marking up text we were reading aloud.

They then recorded themselves over the next couple of weeks. A p7 pupil who had edited last session did so again this time with a p6 apprentice. Pupils created wee bits of music to link items. Another pupil posted Episode 5.

I feel it was a pretty successful exercise. The class were very engaged. I could see and hear the effort they put into writing and recording. I also heard an improvement in some children’s reading aloud.

I believe we covered a wide range of the experiences and outcomes, listed below4.

Workflow

  1. General discussion of content, pupils organise them selves into groups and groups divided into pairs & individuals
  2. Script written in notes on iPads
  3. Children recorded each other using the Voice Memos app, either from prints of the notes or using split screen.
  4. Audio AirDropped to the editor’s iPad
  5. Musical snippets recorded in GarageBand & AirDropped
  6. Edited in GarageBand

The only involvement I had in the editing was to level the voice track using The Levelator2 on a desktop and exporting the m4a to mp3 again on desktop. I am pretty sure m4a is a fine format for podcasts but I am a bit old fashioned.

we used an iRig mic this time

Last session on some episodes we split the editing into groups, with each section of the podcast editing their bit and the main editor putting these together. I plan to do that next term to increase the number of pupils with editing skills. We will probably formalise some more roles in groups too.

Benifits

Apart from the obvious: responsibility co-operation, working together, leadership, practical skills and problem solving involved I took a quick trawl through the CFE experiences and outcomes alongside the benchmarks. I’ve added a partial list below4.

Changes

It is a lot easier technically to make a podcast now than when I started. Glow Blogs are a good free podcast hosting solution for schools3. The idea of podcasting is mainstream now. It does seem a bit harder to get audience feed back than it is 15 or so years ago. As with class blogs, commenting from afar seems to have declined or moved to likes on Twitter. Back in Sandaig we had comments from around the world and made some connections that went far. This is, again in my opinion, a pity.

We are intending to try more podcasting next term, I appreciate that is a bit harder to fit in now with all the demands of the curriculum but I do think it is really worth the effort.

1. Radio Sandaig Archive.org link. I also produced hundreds of podcasts with David Noble over at Radio Edutalk for 10 years starting in 2009.

2.
The Levelator is one of my favourite pieces of software. Mac App Store, Wikipedia.

3. GlowCast has some information.

4. E&Os Benchmarks in italic from Curriculum for Excellence Benchmarks

I can use my voice, musical instruments and music technology to experiment with sounds, pitch, melody, rhythm, timbre and dynamics.
EXA 2-17a Uses voice, instruments and technology to create music

I am investigating different careers/occupations, ways of working, and learning and training paths. I am gaining experience that helps me recognise the relevance of my learning, skills and interests to my future life.
HWB 2-20a Identifies connections between skills and the world of work

I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to create texts of my choice.
LIT 1-01a / LIT 2-01a

I can recognise how the features of spoken language can help in communication, and I can use what I learn.
I can recognise different features of my own and others’ spoken language.
ENG 2-03a Recognises some techniques used to engage or influence the listener, for example, vocabulary, emphasis, tone and/or rhetorical questions.

When listening and talking with others for different purposes, I can:
share information, experiences and opinions; explain processes and ideas; identify issues raised and summarise main points or findings and clarify points by asking questions or by asking others to say more. LIT 2-09a
I am developing confidence when engaging with others within and beyond my place of learning. I can communicate in a clear, expressive way and I am learning to select and organise resources independently.
LIT 2-10a / LIT 3-10a Communicates clearly, audibly and with expression in different contexts. Plans and delivers an organised presentation/talk with relevant content and appropriate structure. Uses suitable vocabulary for purpose and audience. Selects and uses resources to support communication.

I can make notes, organise them under suitable headings and use them to understand information, develop my thinking, explore problems and create new texts, using my own words as appropriate. LIT 2-15a Makes and organises notes using own words, for the most part. Uses notes to create new texts that show understanding of the topic or issue.

I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience. LIT 1-20a / LIT 2-20a Creates texts regularly for a range of purposes and audiences selecting appropriate genre, form, structure and style.

most of the Tools for Writing E&Os can be touch on

Throughout the writing process, I can check that my writing makes sense and meets its purpose. LIT 2-23a Writes most sentences in a grammatically accurate way.; Uses sentences of different lengths and types and varies sentence openings. Uses paragraphs to separate thoughts and ideas.; Writes in a fluent and legible way. Reviews and corrects writing to ensure it makes sense, is technically accurate and meets its purpose.

And lots of writing ones:

By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in an appropriate way for my purpose and use suitable vocabulary for my audience. LIT 2-26a Organises information in a logical way. Selects relevant ideas and information. Uses appropriate vocabulary, including subject-specific vocabulary, to suit purpose and audience.

Since 2014 I’ve been making “movies” with my flickr photos for the year. I make them with a script which downloads the years photos puts them together into a movie and, use to, add music. The Music bit is broken (https) so I downloaded some manually.

This year pretty much stopped in October, then I got covid in November and have not been out much since.

I also average the photos ( below) and montage them for the featured image. This year I made a version of the script to download wee square images for the montage (average & montage scripts here).

I enjoy both the process and watching my photos flickr by. I like the fact that I can easily tweek bit of the script or run the video creation again quickly to try out different speeds, music etc.

Screenshot of AgentScratch

AgentScratch | Anaylse Your Scratch Project

Agent Scratch is designed to assess children’s learning of CT skills from the Computational concepts perspective, which can also be defined as the programming constructs. This includes; sequences, loops, events, parallelism, conditionals, operators, variables and abstraction.

This looks really interesting. Pupils can upload a scratch files to do some assessment and analyse what concepts they have used. I’ll be interested to try this out.

I did notice that testing it with the recent COP 26 code along project (from @digilearnscot and @CodeClubScot) that most of the boxes were ticked. Although my class all used the techniques, I don’t think they have got them all yet. I’ll be interested to see how it goes. You can Select the specific programming constructs you would like to include in your analysis I suspect it might be best to dip our toes in one concept at a time.

I did my testing from an iPad, downloading the .sb3 files and then uploading to be analysed worked very well.

There are some Badges, not digital ones, that would be useful for e-Portfolios, or printing and making badges with.

Over the years I’ve often though that video is most useful as a tool for pupils to report on their learning and learn a little about making media. I have not changed my mind but recently I’ve found myself using it to share learning quickly myself quite often.

There are a couple of useful Apps I’ve been using to do this, both have, in my opinion advantages over iMovie and clips.

HyperLapse is one I’ve used for years now. It seems to be called ‘Hyperlapse from Instagram’ now. It is however free and can be used without having an instagram account. Its main purpose is to record speeded up videos. But the main feature I use it for is it smooths out hand held video with automatic stabilisation. This means you quickly move through the classroom videoing activity and get a fairly good result without editing.

Here is an example I posted to twitter today:

‎Snapthread is another handy choice. It quickly pulls together videos from ‘live photos’ on iOS. You can add music, titles and the like quickly. I’ve found it especially handy in impressing visitors who ask me to tweet photos of their work with my class. I can usually get a video up in just a few minutes. You just need to try and hold the camera still for a moment or two before of after clicking the button. 30 second videos free, but I was delighted to be able to pay for longer ones to support an independent developer.

Here is a Snapthread example:

I’d not claim any artistry or skill in making these videos but they only took a couple of minutes to create. The longest part was probably the upload to twitter.

I also upload these to our class blog. I’d much rather just use the blog but twitter is ubiquitous in Scottish education now:(

Every now and again I take a trawl through all the Local Authority Glow Blog home pages. It is interesting to see into all sorts of learning going on across Scotland. Here are a few that caught my eye:

Linked, in my mind at least, is outdoor learning, there is a fair bit of that going on too: