I’ve not posted here for a bit longer than usual. I am not sure why as I’ve got a few posts running round my head at the moment. I did have some time this week but that was eaten up by sorting out a few backend things on this blog. Last weekend I updated the blog to PivotX – 2.0.0: beta 12j and I must have made a mistake or two. In the new version of pivot some thing have changed (Upgrading from previous beta releases). By the middle of the week I had noticed a few funny things going on, individual posts were giving 404 errors. I tried uploading the files again but due to the careless way I had originally installed pivot I had to be careful not to over write my templates. I them made things even worse. To cut a long story short I uploaded a clean version of pivot, and move my data across then deleted the old directory. Hence the change of theme.

I suspect that the root of the problem stems from the way I move the blog to here from the Sandaig Primary site.

I could probably footer around and put the old theme back in place but as I had never really finished that one I was not too sad to see it go. At the moment I am using the bare bones theme which is designed to be customised.


One of the main reasons I use Pivot (which is now officially pivotX) is the fact you can easily customise the theme of you know a little html. The original reason I picked it was it was the only blog I could find that used flat files rather than a database. PivotX now gives you the choice to use MySQL if you want. At the moment I am sticking with flat files.

I also quite like the barebones theme, I’ve always like fixed width or maximum width webpages but flexible is beginning to grow on me.

I guess I’ll tweek away at the template and css, but I now have a much cleaner starting point to start from.

Another thing that seems to be fixed by the clean install is the MetaWeblog API which I had managed to break in the move here so I am now back to blogging with TextMate which I am delighted about (or will be if this post works when I hit ?-?-p).

All I need now is a bit of time to tweek and some more to actually blog, for today this will depend on the weather.

Blogged from tm

After all the fuss last year testing WP and Lyceum here with pretty poor results, I now have a working wordpress mu setup: Sandaig PupilsI’ve not got any children started, just trying to get the setup ready, so far all I’ve added the Anarchy Media Player and put together a widget to pull the links for the rest of the Sandaig blogs in.
I hope to run this for one of our primary seven classes while the other one uses the pivot blogs set up last year now renamed Primary Seven S

Hopefully I’ll be able to do some comparisons between Pivot and WPMU.

If you have any good wordpress mu tips, please let me know. I am especially interested in being able to set up site wide widgets by default.

Blogged from tm

Or some sort of micro/mini blog that lets you add just a bit more than del.icio.us to a link…
Interesting things I’ve noticed today:Skitch example

Mr W sent me an invite to skitch, which looks like an interesting ‘add notes and shapes to an image and upload it’ sort of application. You can upload to my skitch or flickr among other places or use it with Comic life from the same developer.
Thanks Neil.

I’ve not really seen a need to use twitter as it would seem more useful to say consultants and conference dwellers than teachers, but I noticed a couple of interesting posts Christopher D. Sessums :: Twitter Me This: Brainstorming Potential Educational Uses for Twitter and ELT notes: This Twittering Life which are food for thought.
Kind of links to the ideas hovering around David Warlick‘s posts: A Bucket of Drops?. and It Isn?t Easy which join up in my mind at least. The possibilities of the new technology are accelerating away from what actually goes on in the classroom. There are some interesting comments in the It Isn?t Easy post, including one about an unnamed blogging guru giving an admiring teacher an unasked for autograph, which made me laugh out loud.

Exciting for me Pivot X2.0 screenshots., I use pivot to run this and the other Sandaig blogs, looks like they have a lot of nice new features in the works.

So i probably don’t need a micro blog for these notes to myself, just keep a textmate window open all day and add to it.

Blogged from tm

One of the big plusses of the ScotEduBlogs site is the production of aggregated, time sorted rss feeds. I’ve just added this feed to my sidebar on the left. If you click on the ScotEduBlogs Latest link on the left it will a list of the latest education blog posts from around Scotland.

In Pivot I add this by putting [[rss:http://www.scotedublogs.org.uk/blogs/rss]] in my template.

If you are using wordpress (like a lot of Scots Edu blogs) you can use the RSS Sidebar Widget as I did on the scotedublogs aggregation blog.

(thumbnail)There are all sorts of other ways to use the feed, from subscribing to it in your feedreader to grabbing it in other applications.

I’m playing with the Dashcode Beta and have crudely adapted the RSS desktop widget to display the ScotEduBlogs feed. Click on the image on the right to see the widget in action.

It still needs some testing and the application of some graphics, but if you are using Mac OS x 10.4 you can download it and try it out.

The blog software I use here,

is GPLed and extendable. I’ve used a few extensions to show flash content and even hacked one to play mp3s.

I just installed another one that will be handy for me rather than the children, slink.

slink lets you define some links that can then be inserted quickly by typing, for example: [[slink:p]] and getting


you get to define as many slinks as you like in a simple file, mine looks like this at the moment:




o|Sandaig Otters|http://www.sandaigprimary.co.uk/pivot






sb|ScotsEudBlogs News|http://www.scotedublogs.org.uk/

sw|ScotEduBlogs Wiki|http://www.scotedublogs.wikispaces.com/


stv|Sandaig TV|http://www.sandaigprimary.co.uk/pivot/sandaig_tv.php


which reflects common links I’ve made recently, but it is simple to change by editing a text file.

This is the sort of thing that keeps me amused while doing the more important job of running the children’s blogs.

I’ve made a very small addition to the blog setup here.

Type (star) for a (star) and (wish) for a (wish) while blogging or in the comment form.

I don’t really expect many folk to use this on my blog but it might help with peer assessment on Sandaig Otters and Sandaig Poets. I’ve managed to add it to the Emoticons popup link in the comments form too. I’ll be adding it to the Primary Six SJ blogs setup too. Pivot makes this easy to do.

Two stars and a wish is part of Assessment is for Learning