Read Creating your own scoop.it-esque content curation community in WordPress (MASHe)

Recently I’ve been experimenting with a content curation site for the Google Apps Script community… …In this post I want to share some of the things I learned setting this site up and resources I’ve created along the way…

Martin outlines how he put together a site for a open ended group to collate links and information from the web. A really interesting list of plugins and how they are used. I’d not heard of scoop.it.

Liked Reply to Khürt on micro.blog by Nitin Khanna

Khürt, I absolutely get a lot of value from my micro.blog account. First of, this is a great community of bloggers, coders, amateur photographers and even one harpist. I’ve found this to be a great continuation of the community I found in app.net, which subsequently splintered into a few groups. …

micro.blog is an interesting experiment in blog comments.

One of the things about micro.blog I continue to like is it makes me think about blogging in many diverse ways.

Replied to Re: Something Weird is Happening on Twitter Right Now by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (Read Write Collect)

Even better Bill is if we had such conversations from the comfort of our own backyard using bridgy and webmenbtions, rather than someone else’s playground?

An interesting Rabbit hole, Arron is replying to Something Weird is Happening on Twitter Right Now by Bill Ferriter who quotes this Dean Shareski tweet. The twitter thread discuses using twitter for conversation rather than promotion/retweeting/liking. 

This is the problem micro.blog set out to solve. So far I think it has done so, I’ve had some very good conversations there. There are not likes and retweets on micro.blog. These are mentioned negatively on the thread Dean sparked. Micro.blog make it as easy to post and comment as twitter.

Someone on micro.blog mentioned the other day that blogging superstars joined but didn’t stick (or words to that effect). Lack of reposts and visible likes makes the platform a bit more democratic.

The only thing I miss on micro.blog is the communities that exists on twitter. If there was a micro.blog for educators that would be very interesting.  I’ve some thoughts on how this could happen, but finding it slightly hard to make them into an intelligible post.

Last night I went along to TeachMeet Glasgow.

As Athole wrote:

Why unplugged? We want everyone to be prepared with something to share. And not to worry too much about the tech and their PPT slides.

from: TeachMeet Glasgow (unplugged) – TeachMeet Scotland

He referenced the original ScotEduBloggers meetup (the grandparent of TeachMeet) as a indication of casualness and said:

However, clearly with a better balance of men, women and youth!

More about the idea behind on Athole’s post: TeachMeet Glasgow (unplugged) in six steps which I’ve read a few time now and enjoyed each read:

We may be talking about ‘the tech’ but can we challenge ourselves not to hide in front of our PPT slides, tablets and media? The face to face interaction bit is crucial.

Also, we need more people to take up the mantle of organising informal teacher events, whether they be TeachMeets, Pedagoos or something else. These can be in pubs, coffee shops, schools or someone’s living room. I’m not sure the example of large chat show style events with TV production values are really within everyone’s grasp.

But that’s just my opinion. There really are no rules.

As Radio Edutalk was busy I borrowed the #DS106 Radio airwaves to broadcast live. Seemed to get a few listeners. I’ve not tried to do anything with the audio as the piano and bar buzz was quite loud.

I made a quick #tmglasgow (with images, tweets) Storify that doesn’t give a complete picture (I removed the swimsuit girls that hopped onto the hashtag).

As was pointed out at the meet, I am old enough to have been at the first TM (grey headed even then). I’ve disliked some of the directions that TM has gone, this one felt that it was on a great path. There was a quite a few folk I’ve met at TMs over the years but there were many I had not. A lot of these ‘newcommers’ brought a buzz of younger energy in the room. Athole managed not only to unplug TM but to give it a bit of a reboot too.

The Featured image on this post is a montage of some of the photos tweeted during the event. Since twitter does not support licenses I am assuming I can use them. I’ve credited each to the account that posted it…

A couple of weeks ago I kicked of a blogging bootcamp as part of my day job. The idea is to help folk through getting started with class blogging. Each week for 10 weeks there are, technical tasks, discussions and blogging challenges which participating classes (or teachers) can choose to do.

My thinking is based on my own experience in a few online classes/MOOCs and, of course ds106. The bit I really wanted to do was aggregate the participants blogs back to the bootcamp blog. Hopefully this would lead to some connections and community.

I had hoped as part of the progress with glow blogs we would by now have had a plugin in place that would help with this. Unfortunately this has not happened yet.

My next though was to set up a blog outside glow, install the necessary plugin (FeedWordPress probably) and aggregate the posts there. This aggregation could be brought back to the bootcamp blog as an RSS feed.

I ended up going for much less work. I use Inoreader as my RSS reader. It has the rather nice feature when you can get an RSS feed for any of your folders of feeds. This is how it works.

After participants make their first post, they send me a link. We are asking them to categorize their posts bootcamp so I use the feed for that. For example Wemyss Bay Primary P6, their bootcamp category is:

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/in/primary6wbps/category/bootcamp/

So the RSS feed will be

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/in/primary6wbps/category/bootcamp/feed

I add that to my Inoreader and put it in the BootCamp folder:

inoreader screeshot

From the Folder Settings menu I can then get a link to the aggregated RSS feed and a page that aggregates all the posts too.

Back on the bootcamp blog I’ve added a RSS widget to the sidebar using this feed. This displays the last 20 posts from participants on the blog.

rss widget on bootcamp blog

I’d prefer to show more of the participants post on the main section of the blog but I believe this is a further wee story that shows how nice this sort of technique could be. If we get a suitable plugin in glow blogs, we could run all sots of ‘events’ and learning experiences by just aggregating participating class or school blogs through a ‘mothership’ blog.

Like many education folk I follow Doug Belshaw for lots of good reasons. This week I bumped into Doug at Opening Educational Practices in Scotland Forum and launch (a lot to digest from that). Doug reminded attendees about the Survey: 5 proposals for Web Literacy Map 2.0 he is organising. After a quick review of the Web Literacy Map and other resources Doug listed I filled in the survey. This leads, backsides forward, to looking at the Map again. It is a great resource1 well organised and deep. It seems to add content every time I look at it. A couple of the questions were around the organisation and complexity of the map. I had a few thoughts. Given the complexity and depth of the resource I wonder if it would be interesting exposing it in different formats for folk to remix. Initially I though of JSON as I’ve made a couple of experiments with this in webmaker. I am now wondering if OPML might be an interesting approach too? This would export to most mind-mapping softwares. I’ve been playing with fargo occasionally and it might allow manipulation of the OPML too.

A Job for RSS

The other thing that I was reminded of was the series of chats Doug has been recording with interesting and interested parties. For the most part I’d seen these stream by on Tumblr and only listened to fragments. Doug has put the audio on the internet archive with a nice CC0 license, so I’ve done a little remixing of my own. I’ve uploaded an RSS feed to my google drive: http://tinyurl.com/dougweblit2chats so that I can pull the audio onto my phone. I can then subscribe to this feed in the podcast app on my phone and listen on the go. (I use overcast as my usually podcast app but thought it might be nice to have this as a temporary separate thing). doug-chats-podcast-app I’ve listened to the Stephen Downes episode on my commute this morning and if the rest are as interesting it will be a delight getting through them. Feel free to subscribe to the feed if you want to do the same thing, be aware I’ve made little effort to make the feed validate, the enclosures don’t have a length etc.


Footnotes:

1. Caveat, I am not working with learners and have never taught Web literacy in any depth. I did teach some of ‘this stuff’ as part of teaching ict, blogging, podcasting and the like.

Wednesday 24th September 2014 from 5 for 5.30pm start – 8.00pm

At the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

Third Floor, The Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street, Glasgow, G2 8DQ

Signup to talk or lurk at TeachMeet / TeachMeet SLF 2014

Looking forward to going to this. Edutalk is going to be one of the sponsors and we will be streaming audio live.

#tmslf14 looks like being the hashtag.

Grumble (age related?)

I was as usual a bit disturbed by the state of the TeachMeet Wiki front page when adding the logo, hence the slight snark in the graphic above. There have been a few attempts to improve the organisations of the wiki before and none, as far as I know, have had much success. Personally I think a front page of text links, dates, times locations and short descriptions would be nicer. Logos etc could go onto the signup page.

I wonder if the current exuberant displays of giant graphics and information could be off putting to newcomers who are thinking signing up?

sat-7

FutureLearn is a massive open online course (MOOC) platform founded in December 2012 as a company majority owned by the UK’s Open University. It is the first UK-led massive open online course platform, and as of October 2013 had 26 University partners and – unlike similar platforms – includes three non-university partners: the British Museum, the British Council and the British Library.

from: FutureLearn – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I’ve signed up for and started the Creative Coding course at FutureLearn. It looked like an interesting course and I was interested to try out the FutureLearn platform.

The Platform

Unlike some MOOCs I’ve dipped my toe into FutureLearn is based on its own platform. FutureLearn is in beta and they are developing new features and evolving the offer. They have started with the smallest feature set that they though they could.

The webpages are extremely clear and it is easy to follow the course.

The course I am doing is split into 6 weeks.

Futurelearn Creativecoding Overview

The week view gives an overview of a number of tasks to be carried out in the week.

Futurelearn Weekview

The colour of the wee square letting you know if you have completed the ‘task’.

Futurelearn Tasks Done

Each task is laid out rather like a blog post, with content at the top and a place for participants to comment. On a wide screen computer the comments appear at the side, but on my 1280 macbook they are below.

Futurelearn Post

There are already 100s of comments on most of the week one tasks.

The course encourages you to post your results to Flickr: The Monash Creative Coding Pool and to use #FLcreativecoding. The links to images can then be added in the comments. Folk are also posting images to other places, tumblr, dropbox etc.

Learning Processing

There is a fair bit of interaction going on in the comments and quite a lot of folk helping others. I’ll be interested in seeing any signs of community growing in such a large class.

The course has been very easy to work through so far as far as organization goes. Each task is clearly set out, the videos have be of good quality and very clear. As I have been doing most of this on my commute I’ve had a few problems when the Scot Rail internet connection is poor (Falkirk!). The system works very well on a technical level. If fells like reading and responding to a series of blog posts. I am sure you could do something similar on a smaller scale with a blog. I’ll be interested to see what new features FutureLearn add as time goes on.

This has been quite good fun so far. A fairly gentle introduction to the application and some basic principles in the first week. The videos and handouts have been clear. Some of the folk taking part are obviously experienced coders and it might be a bit daunting to see some of their work others seem to be taking their very first steps in programming/coding. I’ve had enough experience with baby steps to keep me going this week. I expect I might hit a trig wall at some point I had a quick look at the khan videos suggested for getting up to speed with trig but there looked like too many to watch in a reasonable time.

The Course suggests that you need at least three hours a week to keep up, I think that would be a pretty bare minimum I am guessing I have spent five or more hours and could have done with a few more to really get the week one lessons in my head.

The course is certainly not one you could drop in and out of, it seems to be pretty linear and even in the first week you would find it hard to skip many tasks unless you already had some knowledge.

So far it has got me more interested in processing that I have been and I hope I can find the time to keep up for the next few weeks.

A while back on Radio Edutalk I had the pleasure of talking to David McGillivray about the Digital Commonwealth 1. It is a pretty exciting project:

The ambition of the Digital Commonwealth project is to enhance the capacity of individuals and groups to use freely available mobile digital (and social) media tools and techniques to ensure their voices are heard in a saturated (and often commercially) motivated media landscape. The Digital Commonwealth project focuses on lowering the threshold for involvement for individuals and groups so that they can be empowered to exploit creative tools and technologies to tell their stories, digitally. The project reaches out to individuals and groups experiencing social, cultural or economic marginalization, whether related to age, ethnicity, poverty, disability or social isolation.

Digital Commonwealth

Since then I’ve heard that there are now 60 schools involved with the project along side a host of other community groups. The twitter stream is filled with delight: Twitter / Search – #digCW2014.

David tell me there is still room for a few more schools and you can get in touch via email or twitter: Digital Commonwealth (DigCW2014) on Twitter. They are particularly looking for:

Some highlights of the project include:

You can find out more about the projects on the Digital Commonwealth site fascinating to see social media being used across sectors.

1. Radio #EDUtalk 11-9-2013: David McGillivray | EDUtalk


Bridgy lets you post to social networks – and comment, like, reshare, and
more – from your own web site. It also pulls other people’s comments, likes, and
reshares of your posts back to your site. In
IndieWeb lingo, Bridgy lets you
POSSE to
the silos easily and
backfeed the responses
automatically.
Check
out this example
, or see the docs for more details.

from: Bridgy

This looks like a really exciting development in social media. Recently most of the commentary on blog posts has moved to twitter, g+ or facebook. This looks like it could link that up and push out posts and then pull comments made on other sites back to your blog.