At School we just used @TinkeringStudio’s Cardboard Automata project to do some ‘cardboard engineering’ I was pretty pleased with the way it came out. I was fairly prescriptive with the first mechanical parts and gave almost no advice for the creative bit.

Working with a multi-composite class made this pretty interesting. If I’d just had p6-7 I would have probably given them the instruction sheets and let them get on with it helping where needed. As it was I managed to split work into sections and gave verbal and demos for each without, I hope, frustration the older children too much.

We managed to incorporate a fair bit of maths (measure, division, shape) along with skills for work, problem solving and creativity which I think justified the time spent. I hope to try out some of the other TinkeringStudio projects.

There is a quick video of some of the finished results on the class blog.

Replied to Neil Almond on Twitter (Twitter)

“State of the comment saying creativity was stifled because they had to paint the same bird. Same with music. Only once you’ve mastered the foundations can you then start to break the mould and get creative. https://t.co/jgh7Eu859s”

This is worth a read: The Benefits of the Copy Stage of Making

H/T
@mrkrndvs

👍 The Benefits of the Copy Stage of Making | Read Write Collect

Here are some tips for speeding up the process of making simple posts to a Glow Blog

Preparation 1. The Post Editor

One of the nice things about the WordPress Post Editor is you can customise the elements that you see on the screen.

Blogs Post Screen Options

To make my posting simpler in mobile I’ve removed some elements and dragged the Featured Image section to the top of the right hand column. This makes it appear right under the post content in the mobile view.
Blogs Post Featured
You can also collapse section of the editor you don’t need all the time, I’ve notice my pupils do this when using their e-Portfolios.

Preparation 2. Bookmark New Post

On my phone I’ve bookmarked the New Post Page on blogs I want to post to.

New Post Add To Homescreen

Im my case I’ve saved it to my home screen so I don’t even need to open my browser and go through my bookmarks.

This means that I can go straight to the new post page. If I am not logged onto Glow I am taken through the RM Unify password screen first. I use the save password facility on my phone to speed this up.

Featured Images

Editing a post with images and text can get a little messy, and therefore slow, on mobile. If I want to make a quick post, I don’t put the images in the editor, but use the featured image feature. This adds an image, typically, to the top of your post, and keeps it clear of the text.

Putting it All Together

Using my home screen icon, saved password, simplified new post page and a featured image means I can post a twitter sized post and picture in around 90 seconds.

Twitter too

In case you are missing the interaction and publicity of twitter you can of course auto post your blog to twitter using several free services, dlvr.it, IFTTT and Microsoft Flow (using your glow account.)


A follow up to yesterday’s post, where I figured out how to extract the source from a list of tweets.

I asked a few folk on twitter if they had lists of schools twitter accounts by LA in twitter list. Andrew Bailey gave me an Angus one and Malcolm Wilson pointed me to William Jenkins who has a pile of lists. I quickly grabbed 18 LAs alone with Andrews to make 20 to run through my script.

The results are above.

I am interest in the result only tangentially. Partially is my idea of fun to figure out how to write the script. Mainly  I am interested in thinking about encouraging folk to use Glow Blogs as a primary place they post school and class news as opposed to twitter. I’ve been told a few times that teachers use twitter because it is easier. I want to explain how blogging can be a lot easier. This indicates that mobile devices are the way to go.

Replied to bookmarked Why I won’t buy an Ipad: ten years later by Aaron DavisAaron Davis

Reflecting on ten years since the release of the iPad, Cory Doctorow reflects upon the limitations of the device. From the restrictions placed on content to the inability to fix the hardware, iPads are designed to create consumers out of their users.

Hi Aaron,

I’d read the Gruber piece you also linked to to but not Cory Doctorow’s. I agree with much of both in principal. In practise, in my classroom, not so much.

We are 1-2-1 iPad. Half the class have old 2013 iPad Airs that have just stopped handling OS updates. Their batteries are good enough for a day’s use. While we do consume (reading/researching the web, watching videos) they are also pretty creative. Pupils have more freedom to install and customise than they do with our Local Authority managed PCs. They are also very good for mixing with ‘real’ work, messy making, being robust and easier to put down safely that our Windows Laptops (no cables). The go outside too.

Replied to like: The Benefits of the Copy Stage of Making by Aaron DavisAaron Davis

Thanks for this link Aaron. The idea that creating by copying is not very creative has often weighed on my mind. Especially in activities like coding in my multi-stage classroom, some pupils are mostly copying instructions. This link made me realise/remember the value of copying. Personally in my own creative endeavours I often start there.