The weeks are flying by. I was hoping to backtrack on a few things this week but Week Six. Copyright, OERs and Creative Commons – 23 Things popped into my inbox and thing 11 is quite timely.

Here and there

I’ve blogged here about copyright quite a bit, but it is a constantly interesting subject.

I am in general a respecter of copyright. I use other people’s images her on the blog and always attribute and respect copyright.

Occasionally for more creative purposes I sidestep the rules to use of old movie or tv footage on my DS106 blog for more fun stuff (example: characters). I don’t think any corporate dollars have been harmed;-)

I’ve had a licence on this blog for a while, originally a BY, Share Alike-Non Commercial one. Currently a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

A couple of days ago I read [Trying] Going to Flickr Zero, CC0 where Alan has changed all of his Flickr licenses to CC0. I can see the point.

My flickr photos are CC-BY-SA in the same way as this blog. This got me thinking. I am, unlike Alan, no photographer. It is unlikely anyone is going to make loads of cash from any of my images (or my deathless prose here). Over the years I’ve had a couple (2) of folk contact me to use a picture of mine for “commercial” purposes, and been delighted to do so. CC0 would change little except make reuse easier.

But I do like the idea of attribution and getting attributed. The attention feels nice. It also might encourage others…

The Share Alike idea seems nice too, but I guess might occasionally make things more difficult to use. I may lose that soon.

Another recent post that looks at the issue with some subtly: On Attribution vs Privilege of CC0Reflecting Allowed | Reflecting Allowed.

But not everything I create can be CC0. Not yet. And in my local context these things can really really matter. It can make the difference between who gets a job or tenure or promotion and who doesn’t.

and in the comments:

Audrey Alan and Doug are examples of intersectionality here – no stable academic job but famous and with lots of social capital.

I’ve not really got any problems in this regard, being an amateur sharer rather than a pro.

In Primary School

This is hard. Over the past few years I’ve had to explain copyright to teachers. Now I am back in class working with 8-11 year olds. Since I was last in the classroom full time pupils spend a lot more time on line, they are very familiar with finding images via google searches but digging out the license is hard. Lots of tools now make it very easy to ignore copyright.

I fall back on providing my class with some  public domain sites to search and my FlickrCC Stampr.


Some things I’ve found useful:

Featured image: Life is Sharing | Part of a Cleveland mural, the full saying… | Flickr CC-BY Alan Levine. Stamped my module for Alan’s’flickr cc attribution bookmarklet maker.

search and fetch

Over the years I’ve been very keen on Creative Commons and using CC material in blog posts by pupils.
Pupils (and adults too) find attribution difficult.

Back in around 2008-2009 I made A flickr CC search toy aimed at pupils, to help them attribute. Later I added a feature that stamped the image with the attribution, which hopefully was easier than embed code. Later again, in 2010 I made FlickrStampr the same sort of search but squarely aimed at users of iPod Touches. At the time I believed that iPod Touches would be big in schools (Lot of ipodtouch posts here).

Both of these webpages were knocked up fairly quickly and had various modifications over the years. A couple of years back I made the iPod size one a bit more responsive so that it displayed a little better on an iPad or computer. I’ve now taken this and worked on it a bit more with the intention of replacing both of the above pages.

Earlier this year Jo Badge pointed me towards Photos For Class which is a very similar beast, except that it is built by professionals. I wonder if I inspired them?

So over the last couple of weeks I’ve been updating a new version: FlickrCC Stampr combining and improving (I hope) the two pages.

This new one will search flickr for cc images and then give you a stamped version or embed code. If this new page works out I’ll redirect the old pages to is soon.

I got boost to my interest in this playing with Alan’s flickr attribution helper: Now Three Flavors of Flickr CC Attribution Helper. I found out how to and added the code that gets all available sizes from flickr and lets you embed or stamp any particular size.



If you have an interest in this sort of thing, please give  FlickrCC Stampr a try. I’d be interested in any feedback.

Flickr cc Picmonkey

Every so often something nice happens:

Which made me look again at the flickr CC search toy. A while back I posted about Picnik closing and then about PicMonkey which is a picnik replacement. The nice folk at PicMonkey let me know that the picmonky API is the same as the picnic one, so I thought I’d swap them out. As you can see from the screenshot, if the images found in the flickr CC search toy allow editing (ie NoDerivs is not in the License) there is a link to edit the picture in PicMonkey. I’ve changed the way this works so that PicMonkey will load the medium sized photo with the attribution stamped on it, rather than the original flickr image. Before I was expecting pupils to be able to add the attribution themselves if editing the picture.

I’ve also added a checkbox to the search form to only search for pictures you can edit.

The code behind this, php and javascript is a very messy affair. I intend to work thorough the whole thing sometime and make it more efficient etc.

If you have ideas of how this could be more useful to primary aged pupils please let me know.

Last week I was in a class doing another setup a blog/eportfolio session using Glow blogs. The process is a bit long winded due to the way glow blogs are set up. Usually there is little time to do much more than set them up and get the pupils to do a quick test post. I usually just get pupils to use a bit of clipart to show tem how to add an image. O this occasion there was a fair mix of machines and operation systems in the room and not all had clip art. I decided to use A flickr CC search toy to let the pupil download photos with attribution stamped on. This worked fine, but there was a little confusion about naming saved files, the file name suggested is stamp.php.jpg as the images, with attribution, are generated on the fly.

This weekend I had a quick google to see if I could find out how this can be improved. I am now using:

header('Content-Disposition: inline; filename='. $title .'.jpg' );

To give the files a title derived from the flickr image title. I also found I could cause the image to be downloaded by using Content-Disposition: attachment but decided against that at the moment. Now when pupils right click on an image they should see something like this:

Flickrcc File Dialog

Another alternative would be to show the image on a page with instructions on right clicking to get the save dialog. Again I’ve not implemented that either.


iPad stand by tim_d
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

I was pretty impressed with the iPad 2 which was launched this week. Some nice new features and the speed bumps especially in JavaScript sound good.

I’ve continued to test an iPad and this week I spent a wee bit of time using it to access glow. I’ve talked to a few pupils who access glow at home using an ipod touch, and have occasionally used my iPhone, but find it a bit of a strain on the eyes (The pupils I’ve talked to don’t seem to have the same problem).

On an iPad Glow works pretty well. The iPads limitation on now allowing file (picture) uploads in the browser is a bit of a draw back but a lot of the other feature are fine. Editing webparts works as well as it does on Safari on a mac. The text editor continues to frustrate me but I am resigned to avoiding it use by now.

I successfully posted to my glow blog: iPad Glow blogging without trouble. Again I could not upload photos, but it is easy to workaround using flickr, I used my flickr CC search toy which did the job and sorted the attribution.

The WYSIWYG editor did not work, but I was please to see that the html editor respected line breaks, adding paragraphs. typing <p> with an iPad is a bit slow.

I also tried using the iPad to edit a wiki page. Again WYSIWYG was turned off and this time there was no auto paragraphing. Again I could paste in the embed code for a flickr photo. The font size was a wee bit small for me, but would be fine for most youngsters.

What it would be nice to see would be support for the MetaWeblog API in glow blogs, this would allow the use of various apps to post to a glow blog. I guess it is hard to enable this due to the way glow accounts are matched to wordpress ones through shibboleth, if RM can manage this it would be make glow blogs a powerful tool for mobile learning.


Another positive of being an airhead was that one or two folk noticed my site was down.


@johnjohnston Flickr CC is down
Thu Dec 02 17:26:13 +0000 2010 from TweetDeck captured: Sun, 05 Dec 10 18:14:33 +0000

And when it came back, in particular A flickr CC search toy, tombarrett tweeted it again with the usual effect, including this one:


@johnjohnston @tombarrett looks good! Have you seen It’s what we use in FE and HE.
Sat Dec 04 08:35:34 +0000 2010 from Echofon captured: Sun, 05 Dec 10 18:16:31 +0000


I think I had seen Xpert Attribution tool before but it was not at the front of my mind. Looking at it reminded me of the nice way they add attribution by padding the image at the bottom rather than the way I was doing it (stamping over the image). I had tried to work out how to pad an image before but failed. This morning I spent a wee bit of time digging around the PHP: Function Reference and managed to figure out a couple of things, padding the image, and wrapping the text when it is too wide for the image.

Like the rest of A flickr CC search toy the code is surely pretty horrible, but it seems to work.

I also looked over the How do I properly attribute a Creative Commons licensed work? on the FFAQ – CC Wiki again just to make sure I am keeping within the guidelines.

Stamp icons

THe other thing that I’ve changes is to add a 3rd size to the stamped images. I’d avoided the small size as the attribution rarely fitted on the images, now I am padding them they do not present the problem.

Using the stamped image has the advantage of the attribution sticking to the image where ever it goes and as far as online use goes keeping the image under your control an avoilding problems if a user deletes their image when you hot link to flickr.

As always I am interested in any suggested improvements I can make to A flickr CC search toy the idea is still to provide pupils a practical way to use and attribute Creative Commons images from flickr.

I saw a tweet mentioning me and the Flickr Search and Stamp for the iPod touch project on Friday. Clicking the link took me to Searching for CC images – SHea iPod Touch Project a post on Ian Guest’s posterous about:

a year long project between two schools, one in the London area and the other in Yorkshire. Students in two classes will be loaned an iPod Touch, for use both in school and at home.

The post contains a youtube video of how to use the Flickr Search and Stamp on an iPod touch and the blog has a lot of other interesting iPod Touch educational information.

I had mentioned this tool in a blog post and added it to the Interesting Ways to use an iPod Touch in the Classroom collaborative google presentation but have not blogged about it here..

The idea was to get around some copyright issues for children searching for images to create with on an ipod touch. Ideally children would save a photo, figure to the attribution and edit the photo to add this. That can be quite difficult and time consuming on an iPod touch so I though up this workaround. It searches flickr, only returning images that can be used and edited under a cc license, it then will produce an image with the attribution stamped onto it in the same way as my flickr CC search toy.

Flickr cc attribution

It is based on the iPod Touch Poems webapp I knocked together and has quite a few rough edges. I am sure I could improve the performance, interface & a lot more but it seems to work.

Here is Ian’s video, which should give you an idea of how the app works:

I’ve added a link from the page/Web app to the video to act as in app help so many thanks Ian for this. You can also get an idea of it the app work in this Simulator.

I’d appreciate any feedback on using the app, especially in class and ideas for improving it.



As a bit of a google maps enthusiast I love Tom Barrett’s Maths Maps ideas. It looks to me like a nice way to show some ‘real’ application of maths in an engaging way.

I am still supporting/interfering with an ipod touch project (site gone but not forgotten on the Internet archive). This gave me the excuse a few weekends ago to spend some time messing about with the jQTouch — jQuery plugin which simplifies developing webpages for mobile devices. I am experimenting with building some sort of base site/web app for the touch.

One of the nice things about the iPod Touch is that you can add webpages as ‘applications’ to your home screen. Apple provide a way which jQTouch supports of giving a webpage an icon the idea with the site I am working on, the iPod Playground, is that it should provide an easy way to present links etc to the children this avoids typing long urls into the touch, the webpage could be edited

A couple of weeks ago I went over to Glencairn to give the maps a try out. The task I gave the pupils was presented on one of the ‘pages’ of a jQTouch page. Based on one of Tom’s shape problems, the children visited the Jardin du Luxembourg and collected screenshots of different 2D shapes, these were then built into Comics with Comic Touch. We encouraged the children to work in pairs to collect shapes, one child to keep the instructions open the other to click on the link to the map. Then bump the images from the image gatherer to the one with the instructions on his/her screen. The lesson seemed to go pretty well the children accessing the maps, taking pictures and creating comics with out a problem.

I am hoping to get the children to try a Street View problem soon. The Slides from flickr show some of the screens of the jQTouch webpage and a couple of street view images on the touch.

Creating the Tasks

The jQtouch setup is very easy to work with, everything in a ‘site’ is really one page, jQtouch provides a nice standard interface, navigation and animation for that navigation.

It took me a while to figure out how to link to the maps so that I dropped a pin where I wanted it and that pin would have a name on it using the Name and the location in the query seems to work:
Street View Shapes 1


You need to have a pin on the map to get street view to work. On the iPod touch or iPhone you click on the Wee Orange Guy to switch to street view. As an aside I think street view on a browser uses flash, obviously not on the iPod but it is a very smooth experience.

Apple provide quite a few nice tricks to help web app development. You can set an icon for your webpage, so that if folk add it to their home screen it looks like a ‘real’ app. You can also set a splash screen image which will show until the page has loaded when opened as a web app. I have a wee problem with the Flickr Lunes site I blogged about recently if I set: to run in full screen users cannot hold on an image to copy it to their photos, pretty much killing the functionality of the app, so I have had to lose the splash screen. I’ve been working on an ipod/phone version of my A flickr CC search toy called Flickr Search and Stamp this just lets you stamp a flickr photo with attribution. Like Flickr Lunes it only find photos you are allowed to alter so should keep you on the right side of the copyright fairy.


Herramientas – Tools by karramarro
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Since my move from Sandaig I’ve not had time to sort out this site the way I’d like it. I spent a wee bit of the rainy holiday Monday moving some webpages over here and tidying them up a little. In no particular order:

A flickr CC search toy This is a variation on the flickr search theme, the page searches for flickr creative commons images and shows them. More interestingly it produces the html code to embed the photos with attribution into a webpage or blog. for example the image on the left was produced by a search for tools. The search is fairly underpowered but if you want to give pupils a way to search for images to embed in a blog post and talk about attribution it might help. I hope to improve the page when I get time and a bit more know how.

A Tasty Tumble This is one of my favourite pages it is a fake tumblelog produced from my delicious links. An experiment in presenting data from delicious. Again the code do with more tidying up.

Big Tweets is a simple tweet search and display page that auto updates every minute, it is designed for use with a projector (big text size). It uses the twitter search API and is based on a toy I made for Joe Dale‘s The Isle of Wight Conference.

tags is a page that pulls information for several sources:, technorati, flickr and twitter. For example things tagged glowscotland. I’ve found technorati less useful recently as it doesn’t seem to keep blog posts for as long. This was first developed for teachmeet06.

I’ve also move my wiki over here, it is mostly empty, and I still have various maps to organise (pics, work navigation and some walks ), optimise and sort out. I’ve also got an experimental lifestream home page to finish off.

While none of these applications will set the heather on fire, they give me a lot of fun. They may be useful to others on occasion, but mostly they have served to keep me happily plugging away at the keyboard on rainy afternoons and dull evenings. If you do find anything of value let me know, I work for smiles. They all use various APIs and Libraries provided for free (credit on the various pages) by various developers whose generosity still amazes me, long may they continue.