Monthly Archives: June 2019

Wikipedia for Peace at Europride Vienna⤴


Earlier this month I took some time out from my Edinburgh work to travel to Vienna to take part in the Wikipedia for Peace editathon organized by Wikimedia Austria to coincide with Europride 2019. The event brought together twelve editors from all over the world to create and edit LBGT+ articles in a range of European languages over the course of four days. Unfortunately I missed the first day and half of the event as my travel plans were thwarted when a tree brought down overhead power lines on the West Coast mainline, my train to London was cancelled and I missed my flight. Not the most auspicious start! I eventually managed to get to Vienna on Thursday afternoon in time for a walk around the city visiting significant queer sites, including the home of Josef Kohout, whose experiences of incarceration in a Nazi concentration camp are recorded in Heinz Heger’s The Men With the Pink Triangle. Later in the day we made our way to Wikimedia Austria’s offices for an online meeting of the LGBT+ User Group, which is in the process of scoping a role for an LGBT+ Wikimedia at Large.

On Friday our group spent the morning discussing LGBT+ strategy within the global Wikimedia movement. Issues that were raised included addressing homophobia and discrimination in some Wikipedia chapters and communities, educating Wikipedians around issues relating to gender identity, the need for multilingual LGBT+ style guides, particularly addressing how to write about trans individuals on the encyclopedia without misgendering them. We also felt strongly that as a condition of funding, the Wikimedia Foundation should require chapters to demonstrate how they are actively supporting and promoting equality and diversity, while acknowledging that how chapters are able to do this will look very different across the world.

Wikipedia for Peace 2019, CC BY SA 4.0, Mardetanha on Wikimedia Commons

Friday afternoon was devoted to editing. When I applied to Wikimedia UK for a project grant to attend Wikimedia for Peace, I said that I hoped to create some articles around bisexual topics and individuals, which are sometimes marginalised in the LGBT+ community. The first article I created was Bi Academic Intervention, group of bisexual academics, researchers, scholars and writers, which was formed at the 11th National Bisexual Conference in Notttingham in 1993, an event that I coincidentally attended.  I also translated articles on Sápmi Pride and Serbian gay rights and peace activist Dejan Nebrigić, who was murdered in Pancevo in 1999. That article prompted one of our participants to write a new Serbian article on Arkadija, the first LGBT+ organisation in Serbia, founded by Nebrigić and colleagues in 1990. I translated that article into English too, though it still needs a bit of work to bring it up to scratch.  

The total outputs of the Wikipedia for Peace editathon are:

  • 113 new articles created and translated
  • 5 articles improved
  • 5 meta pages improved
  • 21 new Wikidata items created          
  • 9 Wikidata items improved

Plus hundreds of images of the Europride village and parade. This is a huge achievement for the event, and a significant contribution to improving equality, diversity and queer representation on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia for Peace editathon, CC BY SA 4.0, Mardetanha, on Wikimedia Commons.

The parade itself took place on Saturday in 38 degree heat. How the drag queens in their finery and the kinksters in their leather and latex survived is beyond me. I haven’t seen a final estimate of how many took part in the parade, but one press report the following day said 500,000 people attended the event, which I can quite believe. The whole atmosphere was very friendly and laid back and I particularly appreciated the fact that the parade was un-ticketed and open to all. Like Pride parades the world over, there was a visible corporate presence but it was much less obvious than at some other events. Like everyone there, I took a ridiculous number of pictures of the parade, 60 of which I uploaded to Wikimedia Commons as part of the Wiki Loves Pride competition. Huge thanks to all the amazing participants who were so happy to be photographed.  It’s been a joy to see more and more pictures of both Wikipedia for Peace and the Europride Parade being uploaded to Commons over the last fortnight.

[See image gallery at] All images CC BY SA 4.0, LornaMCampbell on Wikimedia Commons

I’ve carried on working on my Wikipedia articles since getting back from Vienna, and am hoping to create a new article on Scottish Aids Monitor as part of Wiki Loves Pride. So much of the queer history of Scotland and the UK is poorly represented on the encyclopaedia, if it appears at all, so I hope I can make a small contribution to improving representation, and work with the Wiki community to address equality and diversity across the movement.

I’m immensely grateful to Wikimedia UK for funding my travel to Wikipedia Loves Peace, to Wikimedia Austria for organising and supporting the event, to all those who participated (it was amazing to meet you all), and last but not least, to Thomas for making it all happen and for looking after us so well during our time in Vienna ♡

Standing up for what one believes in⤴


All I did was sign a letter.

A letter that asked for clarification about academic freedom.

That’s all.

As a result of signing that letter I have been sacked as editor of an academic journal

I have been told, by white men who were in power over me, that this was a matter of my power.

They said that I was not safe.

They said I should be ashamed.

They did not read the letter I signed, or if they did, they misread it.

They have shouted, moralised, pontificated.

I think they should be ashamed.

Ashamed for misreading so egregiously

Ashamed for publicly condemning me.

#SeaTurtlePirates… The Story So Far⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

Earlier in the year I saw a post that highlighted that both myself and a colleague were not able to keep up with the breakneck speed of creating a global movement that we'd spent a considerable amount of time developing.

So a few weeks before the first @BeMorePirate meet up, I wondered if we could create a new movement while sharing our experiences of playing at pirates... Which I think we've successfully done.

I am a huge fan of knowledge transfer and am massively collaborative too.

To give just one example, anyone that takes the time to read all the resources in my Community Management Resources Declara collection you'll know as much as I do on the topic.

Despite the quality of this content or the importance of this role to organisations I'm aware of how busy people are.

"Even if you try to give good ideas away, people are still so busy with their day jobs, that it just doesn't happen" Nicole Yershon via #RoughDiamond

I am all too aware that:

1) We have an attention span of 8 seconds
(Which is why visual data is so important... Love them Zeemaps & NodeXL maps!)

2) Jason Fried is onto something when he highlights that the future belongs to the best editors.

So I started posting some of my favorite resources on the #SeaTurtlePirates hashtag to see if it would encourage people to check out the amazing resources. Why Sea Turtle Pirates?

  • Turtles because of Yertle the Turtle, as one of the things I hope we achieve is to give quiet people a voice.
  • We changed this to Sea Turtles when we met a real life Pirate as David Scott at @BeYonderLtd is a bona fide Pirate through his work with the Sea Shepherds
  • And Pirates because we're hoping to share everything we've learnt with Sam's @BeMorePirate community.  
The first Tweet includes the Walking Dead's Bad Lip Reading to remind us that social media is still relatively new and that 90% of our communication is non-verbal, so things can get lost in translation when it's text only. 

I wanted each Tweet to be knowledge transfer in it's own right, the content to be compelling enough for people to click on the link and read the article/watch the video

...I also hoped that any gifs/pictures would be relevant to the article and, at the same time, appeal to young people in the hope that kids could learn along side the grown ups (Whether parents or educators)

Have I been successful with these aims? 

The feedback that I've had from people who have checked out the tweets have been that it all reads well... whether reading from the first tweet and scrolling up; or the last tweet and scrolling down.

I think some of the content works better than others and, just like our earlier attempts at story telling as a business skill, this is a first attempt... So we'll improve with practice. If... 
  • Story telling will be the #1 business skill
  • The future belongs to the best editors, and
  • Professional rule breaking will be in demand
Why not try your hand a publishing your favourite disruptor/rebellious article with content that is relevant and might appeal to adults and students in a tweet and include the #SeaTurtlePirates hashtag

We've just wrapped up a story that started in 2015 and knew the end before it started
(AKA That Twitter and Skype are key tools that help people to connect in meaningful ways).

Things that we hope this pirate adventure achieves with any crew(s) we might collaborate with includes
  • If a 7 year old can break a little rule to help people connect and it lead to a new movement, why can’t you?
  • Raise awareness of community management as a career option with educators and students
  • Organize events including #NewPower & @BeMorePirate book clubs and Twitter/Skype events
  • #Cmgr knowledge transfer and empowering educators to become ‘Crowd Leaders’
  • Looking to help a little Turtles like Mack to let quiet people know that they can have a voice... and that they can make a difference.
  • Implementing ideas from the early online community The Well and following the advice of people like Stewart Brand (The Man who Changed the World Twice), Howard Rhiengold (VirtualCommunities) and Marc Smith (Voices from The Well), among others.
  • Assisting with Tim Berners Lee’s call to action with #ForTheWeb

DigCitSummit @SpyQuest Mission – Part II⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

At ISTE this week my good friend Andrea Tolley (@TolleyA) wrapped up an awesome story that started in 2017 on a Spy Quest Mission (@SpyQuest)... And, hopefully, started a whole new story:

A Skype Master Student one

If anyone would like to see the background and/or the amount of time and effort that went into this particular adventure check out this link:

I have just finished reading Nicole Yershon's book 'Rough Diamond' and LOVED reading about the story telling 'Semester of Learning' where the research became the story... that's kind of what has happened here.

The data I pulled together in 2015 highlighted where the 'bright spots' were with technology integration in the classroom in Scottish education... I proceeded to do what I could to connect people with purpose.

The 2015 Scottish Learning Festival
-> Led to exploring what Falkirk schools were doing differently
-> Led to the first international Digital Citizenship Summit
-> Led to me writing the Pokemon Go in Edu report
-> Saw an introduction to SpyQuest and a

DigCit SpyQuest Mission – Help Recruit @ElliePrimary1

...As you can see from the Power of Introverts link what's missing from the DigCit Spy Quest Mission is the amount of time and effort that went into connecting different groups... AND another part of this story that people didn't hear too much about at the time was just how instrumental Andrea Tolley was in making this happen. I SAID ELEVEN YOU COW <- Lol!

Now that this particular Spy Quest Mission is declassified, what was really going on when Agent Piggy skipped school so he could travel 25 miles so he could Skype almost 3,000 more?

Shane Snow highlighted that Story Telling would be the #1 Business Skill of the next few years in 2013.

Isaac and I set out on November 2017 with the aim of putting 'social proof' to work and shine a light on a few people working on some interesting things and the ambitious goal of telling five separate stories at once:

1) DigCitSummit
On the first Skype call with the DigCitSummit Founders I asked what they wanted to achieve with their movement and the reply was they wanted kids to 'Act Locally, Connect Globally'

2) Falkirk Schools
Twitter founder Biz Stone advocates that you should 'look for the bright spots,' and when I mapped out Scottish Schools on Twitter the data screamed that there was an interesting story to be told at Falkirk.

3) Spy Quest
To quote one of Nicole Yershon's colleagues from her awesome book #RoughDiamond, Nicole can see a good idea before it becomes a good idea.When I first met David Goutcher in 2017 I asked 

"Spy Quest it's 'Ingress for kids' would that be an accurate description?"
"Yep! Pretty much" was the reply

The two Spy Quest books got my youngest son reading more and we immediately saw the potential in the books and game to help encourage reluctant readers.

4) The Power of Skype
Mary Jalland and the DigCitSummit Founders connected in 2016 when Mary made her first Classroom Skype call during the #Skypeathon's 'Three Nations Challenge'

...Two years later they met IRL at the #DigCitSummitIRL event, and three years later they collaborated on the Edu Match DigCitKidz book.

Evidence that, with time, the 'shallow engagement' of that first Skype call become deep engagement and meeting F2F IRL. 

NB It was also a Skype call with @Stanbridge in April 2015 that set me on this crazy, twisting journey too.

5) The Story I Tell My Kids
A regular mantra from me at home to my kids is that

'They can do anything they set their mind to... IF they prepare and do their best'
(This is said a little less often given recent events... But we plod on regardless!)

I saw an opportunity to tell that story to a wider audience... so, with a great deal of reluctance we 

Felt the fear and did it anyway 

As we both set out to make our first (and only) Classroom Skype call.

My leg was physically shaking as I shared my story on camera (And was delighted when it was over with!)... Agent Isaac had no such issues, he took to the camera like a duck to water... or should that be like a pig in muck? Lol. 

This is evidence enough to me that a 7 year old who is so used to this tech could and should be leading the way as it's second nature to them.

Last May I picked up Sam Conniff's book @BeMorePirate and saw an opportunity to add another story, as we've been exploring the Pirate Code since 2015.

So if story telling will be the #1 Business Skill of the next few years... Then that's our first attempt at it. 

This story certainly took longer to tell than it should have to tell... It also had some twists and turns that it shouldn't have had!  

But as with all things, if we keep at it... we'll improve (Esp if we get the Pirate Code 2.0 right!)

If Sam Conniff is right and rule breaking will be in demand... then, at 7 years old, Isaac is ahead of the curve

(Biz Stone asks a similar question with 'When was the first time you stood up to authority... Kids check out his 'No Homework Policy' in Things a Little Bird Told me... It's hilarious!) 

And as for the future belongs to the best editors... and given Trumps use of Twitter who'd argue with that statement!

...Here's just one of @BeMorePirate @SpyQuest adventures that some #SeaTurtlePirates will be planning next (More on that crew in the next post), which includes seeing if we can breath some life into telling an awesome Skype Master Student (#SkypeMS) story.

Know any young Spy Guys or Pirates that might want to join us on some fun Skype adventures? Give us a shout.

Remembering Marion⤴


Like many colleagues, I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Marion Kelt earlier this week. Marion was Research and Open Access Librarian at Glasgow Caledonian University Library, but more than that, she was a weel kent, well respected and well liked member of the open education community.

Marion was nothing if not tenacious and, as a result of her persistence, Glasgow Caledonian University became the first university in Scotland to approve an institutional OER policy. Marion gave an enlightening and entertaining talk about the development of this policy at the OER15 conference in Cardiff, and the extraordinary lengths she had to go to get it approved. I vividly remember her telling us about the months she spent trying to track down the institutional IPR policy, which she’d been told the OER policy had to refer to, only to finally discover that no such policy existed!

It was typical of Marion’s enthusiasm and generosity that she was more than willing to share her experience with colleagues here at the University of Edinburgh when we were developing our own OER policy and establishing the OER Service. GCU’s OER policy is one of three OER policies the University of Edinburgh’s builds on.

The GCU OER policy wasn’t the only contribution Marion made to the open education community. She regularly attended and spoke at the OER conferences, and just recently presented a paper at OER19 in Galway about the GCU Copyright Advisor, a really useful piece of work that I hope will stand as Marion’s legacy. The Copyright Advisor walks users through a series of questions to help them decide whether and in what context different types of resources can be used. The tool was developed for use within GCU but because it’s open licensed (of course), it can easily be adapted for use in other contexts and institutions.

We won’t remember Marion just for her contribution to the open education community though, we’ll remember her for her warm and generous spirit, her love of cats and music, fancy shoes and G&T. Marion’s colleagues at GCU have set up a Just Giving appeal in her name to benefit Cats Protection, a cause that was close to her heart, and which you can donate to here. CILIP Scotland have also written a touching obituary for Marion here: Marion Kelt (nee Murphie).

Marion at OER19

The annual ALT Scotland Meet Up this week was dedicated to Marion’s memory, and these are just some of the many tributes to her that have been posted on twitter.

Romeo and Juliet⤴


Today was the last performance of “Romeo and Juliet” which I directed at school. Although I have been seconded out of school since Christmas, I carried on with the project. I am so glad that I did.

It was astonishing.

These are the words I said at the end:

Back in the autumn, I announced that this year‘s school play was going to be Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

“Ooh Mrs Carter.

Shakespeare. That’s ambitious!”

“Good luck with that!”

So why did I decide to choose this this play and go ahead, in spite of the challenges?

I chose this play precisely because it was ambitious. Because I know that when you are ambitious in your work with young people they live up to the ambition and they produce results just like the production we have seen this week.

I chose this play because we need to talk about the issues that the play brings up: we need to talk about teenage distress, about suicide and about the things that happen when we don’t listen to and love one another.

I chose this play because more than 400 years after his death, Shakespeare still has so much to teach us about life. The character in this play who perhaps appeals the most to me is Friar Lawrence because, in that scene where he talks to Romeo (after Tybalt’s death and Romeo’s banishment), he is full of mindfulness and solution -focus, even when the worst has happened and Romeo wants to give up. He represents the type of adult that we need to be when our young people are facing challenges that the world throws at them.

And although in “Romeo and Juliet” we ultimately see two young people who tragically make irreversible decisions, what I want to show you now is the young people here who chose this play and have shown us in buckets what young people are capable of when we believe in them.

I don’t think it’s overdramatic to say that drama literally saved my life when I was younger. believe fundamentally in the power of drama and the arts to bring out the best in our young people and this production shows why.

It has been an absolute privilege to work with this group and I’m incredibly grateful to them for their commitment, their team spirit, their care for each other and for me and for their massive enthusiasm.

The soundtrack to the show is here:

APT 2019 Submission⤴

from @ education

This is the submission that Jenny Scoles, myself and Timothy Drysdale drafted for the APT 2019 conference and which will be presented there on 1 July 2019. Opening up the black-box of educational technologies: a Non-Traditional Practical Work pathfinder Abstract Students studying STEM subjects are … Continue reading APT 2019 Submission

micro:bit iOS app: much improved⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Since returning to the classroom I’ve been using micro:bits with my class of 8-11 year olds. We have had a deal of fun with them, some of this is on the class blog.

We normally use pc laptops and chrome to access the MakeCode editor. In the second year I tried using the iOS app but out of a class only one or two children managed to get their micro:bits connected. At the time I put this down to multiple micro:bits and iPads in close proximity.

I have occasionally tested new versions of the app and the most recent one seemed a lot better. It displayed the webpage code editor in app and flashing seemed simpler. Today wanting to move our micro:bit guitar project on when the PCs were in use elsewhere in the school I decided to give the app another run. I am very glad I did. Everything about the app seemed to be better. I think that coding and flashing to the micro:bit for an iPad is simpler than using a pc. We had no problems in getting code written and flashed to the micro:bits.

I’d highly recommend the app if you have both iPads and micro:bits in your classroom.

I’d also recommend the Microsoft MakeCode Guitar project. I’ve been working with a mixed age group class and the mix of tech and ‘art’ fits very well. Some of the younger children are getting their first experience with coding and the art and construction can keep them motivated when the coding concepts get tough.

iMovie gets Greenscreen⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I was delighted to see this update coming to iMovie.

I had a very quick play, simple and seemed to work very well. Perfect timing for our micro:bit project.