Author Archives: john

7 black and white photos of your life⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

A bit over a week ago I got a tweet from Athole

The premise is simple enough, for 7 days you take a B&W image, tweet it and ask someone else to join in.

I did:

Day 7 is the featured image of this post.

What is interesting about this project is that there is no hashtag. You get mentions from the folk you invite, if they take the invite up and perhaps from some of their invitees.

An enjoyable experience, I though a bit about photography (or at least my phone snapping) and enjoyed seeing other folks images. It felt a little more relaxed than hashtag type collaborations. More meandering perhaps…

Thanks to Athole and the folk who I pestered to join in.

Online (educational) community, micro.blog and #DS106 thoughts⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I am finding micro.blog a really interesting community.

From an educational POV the most positive experience and the one that I would like to see replicated (in Glow and elsewhere) is #DS106.

DS106 influences the way I think about ScotEduBlogs and the way I built two Glow Blogging Bootcamps 1.

In particular these sites aggregate participants content but encourage any comments and feedback to go on the originators site.

Micro.blog is making me rethink this a little, there you can comment on micro.blog (the same as the blog hub in DS106) and that comment gets sent as a webmention to the originators site. This makes thinks a lot easier to carry through.

Micro.blog also provides the equivalent of the #ds106 twitter hashtag but keeps that in the same space as the hub/rss reader.

Manton recently wrote:

Micro.blog will never be that big. What we need instead of another huge social network is a bunch of smaller platforms that are built on blogs and the open web.

from: Manton Reece – Replacing 1 billion-user platforms

Which made me think.

Firstly it reinforces how Manton really thinks hard about making micro.blog a brilliant place, avoiding the pitfalls of huge silos.

Secondly it speaks to idea of multiple social networks. Imagine if DS106 and ScotEdublogs where both platforms in this sense, I could join in either or both along with others using my blog to publish. I could decide which posts of mine to send to which community, and so on.

It is the same idea I’ve had for Glow blogs since I started working with them 2.

Class blogs could join in and participate in different projects.

It would be easy to start a local or national project and pull together content and conversation from across the web into one learning space. Although I’ve spoken and blogged a lot about this idea I don’t think I’ve made it stick in the minds of many Scottish educators. I wish I could.

  1. Blogging Bootcamp spring 2015 & Blogging Bootcamp #2 Autumn 2015 . I believe the potential for these sorts of educational activity is much underused in primary and secondary education. I wish I was in the position to organise and design more of these…
  2. For example:

DuckDuckGo⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Reposted DuckDuckGo on Twitter (Twitter)
“We are proud to have a profitable business model that doesn't rely on collecting personal data.  Our Founder and CEO explains how we make money and why companies like Google and Facebook could still be wildly profitable without invasive tracking: https://t.co/mkxTEvCdEe

I’ve ben using DuckDuckGo on all my devices all this year. Not found a reason to return to Google yet.

Update on Gutenberg — WordPress⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Bookmarked Update on Gutenberg (WordPress News)
Progress on the Gutenberg project, the new content creating experience coming to WordPress, has come a long way. Since the start of the project, there have been 30 releases and 12 of those happened…

WordPress 5.0 could be as soon as August with hundreds of thousands of sites using Gutenberg before release.

Source: Update on Gutenberg — WordPress

Although GlowBlogs will not be getting this until later in the year and after much testing I am still watching and occasionally testing Gutenberg.

From a selfish POV (my class uses iPads) I am still seeing some of the same issue on iPad as I mentioned before: Gutenberg on iPad. A lot better now, but the active text still goes behind the keyboard on occasion. I hope to do a bit more testing over the summer break.

I don’t hear grasshoppers anymore⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display


Recently I’ve been thinking that grasshoppers are a lot less common than they were in my youth. This might be true. At the end of tern when my class were hunting bugs in a burn 1. Some of the pupils got distracted hunting grasshoppers. The reported lots of singing from a field.

Today at Ardinning I caught this wee fellow. my wife could hear more singing. I heard nothing. It is a strange feeling listening and hearing nothing when others report sound.

1. Nice poem here. The Biggies (my class are very keen bug hunters)

Microsoft Aquires Flipgrid⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Bookmarked Flipgrid's Next Chapter by Joey Taralson (Flipgrid.)
We are proud to announce that Flipgrid is now a part of Microsoft, sharing a mission to empower every student to achieve more. And just like Office 365, Flipgrid is now free for all educators and students.

Microsoft acquires Flipgrid, makes it free for education.

I’ve not used Flipgrid, it might be a struggle with our bandwidth, but it looks interesting. A bit late for this term, but I might look at it next session.

Given you can sign on with an O365 account I wonder if this will be considered part of Glow? You can sign-on with a google account too.

Flipgrid is where your students go to share ideas and learn together. It’s where students amplify and feel amplified. It’s video the way students use video. Short. Authentic. And fun!

from: Flipgrid – Video for student engagement and formative assessment

A couple of quick blog tweaks⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Firstly; I’ve removed most of the post formats leaving the 2 I actually use here. Standard goes to the front page, status to the status. I organise kinds with the post kinds plugin. My Format box now looks like this:

add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'childtheme_formats', 11 );
function childtheme_formats(){
add_theme_support( 'post-formats', array( 'status') );
}

I added the above to my child themes function.php

Based on Post Formats Formats_in_a_Child_Theme in the WordPress Codex. Standard Format is formatless, so you just add the ones you want in addition.

Secondly; I’ve moved the quote and content generated from the Post Kinds plugin to below the post. This is in the Post Kinds setting so was simple. Having them above my remarks meant that the quote was going to micro.blog and twitter rather than my comment.

I hope to have a bit more time over the summer holidays to rethink and rewire the blog. Some of the decisions I’ve made were perhaps not the best.

Most of the functions that have do with micro.blog and microblogging that live in my child theme’s functions.php in a gist.

Naturewatch Camera in the class 1st Try⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I was watching spring watch out of the corner of my eye as I did some prep last night. There was an article about making your own Wildlife cam. It looks a lot simpler than others I’ve seen and used a Raspberry Pi Zero. The BBC site had a link to My Naturewatch where you can get instructions.

This looked like something my class would enjoy using. My zero is busy taking gifs of the clouds (>70000 to date Gif Cam), so I decided to try to use a Raspberry PI 3 instead.

The instructions were really good, simple and worked first time! No soldering involved. You don’t need a monitor for the PI or any logging on through ssh in the terminal. All you need is a PI, a camera module for the PI and a power supply. I used a £2.99 phone charger. You need a plastic box and an old plastic bottle too. This is bargain basement stuff.

The way it works is the then the pi starts up it becomes a network. You connect to this with a computer or other device. You are then on that network and not the Internet. I forgot about this when showing the class and couldn’t project from an iPad;-) You then open a browser and connect to a local website on the PI. There you can start the camera and view or download the pictures.

Once the camera is started it takes a photo every time something moves in front of it.

It was raining fairly heavily this morning so we waited till about 10:15 before putting the camera out on the playground with a handful of peanuts in front of it. After 15 minutes we collected it and had a look at the photos. I am impressed. We need to think a bit about placing the camera, perhaps finding somewhere with smaller birds but the camera worked a treat.

I think this is a really useful tool for the classroom. I hope we can use it to catch some butterflies on sunnier days too. I have had a few failures with hardware Raspberry PI projects. I prefer software ones but this is certainly the most impressive for the least about of work I’ve tried. I’d recommend it highly.

A kingdom of ones own?⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Alan ask:

Interviewing Your Domain

And suppies some questions, just like blogs way back when!

What is your domain name and what is the story, meaning behind your choice of that as a name?

johnjohnston.info ’cause .com and .co.uk and others were not available. I waited too long to get my name.

What was your understanding, experience with domains before you got one? Where were you publishing online before having one of your own?

This takes me down memory lane.

I started publishing on the web on aol. At http://members.aol.com/weefishes, (Internet archive from 1998), I was trying to share and sell some HyperCard stacks and applications. My business was called LittleFish. This lead to my first domain http://littlefishsw.co.uk I guess I wanted to have a more professional URL and more control over the content.

I took the same route with my school website, http://members.aol.com/sandaig (Archive 2001), then http://sandaigprimary.co.uk, (archive for 2003)

I started this blog on the Sandaig domain in 2005 (2007 snapshot on the Archive).

At that point I though of domains are more memorable URLs that would allow me a wee bit more freedom than AOL hosting.

I had or was involved in other domains, some of which still are in use. One of my favourite was opensourcecpd.org.uk which was a plan to follow open source principals for CPD. It never took off but I love the idea.

What was a compelling feature, reason, motivation for you to get and use a domain? When you started what did you think you would put there?

When I left Sandaig I wanted to move my blog away from the school site, so I sorted out a site and this domain. I migrated all the content for the old blog and eventually changed platforms to WordPress. I consider the blog, as continuous despite the domain and platform changes.

The blog sits at /blog I wanted the site to be more than a blog, it is full of different simple and messy web experiments and tests.

What kinds of sites have you set up one your domain since then? How are you using them? Please share URLs

I’ve no subdomain on this domain, but lots of folders. My favourites include my ds106 blog at /106, Flickr CC Stamper at /fcc and my /walks.

I do have another domain johnj.info which has a few sub domains that point to a far number of sites:

What helped you or would have helped you more when you started using your domain? What do you still struggle with?

My domains grew in a messy and organic way. Previous choices affect future ones. Of course I’d like everything neat and tidy but…

I don’t handle or control the dns for this site. Hence the johnj.info domain and sub domains. My host does this. I stick with him because he is great and has indulged me a lot. Some other sites I host elsewhere for price and cause I like Jim too.

What kind of future plans to you have for your domain?

I am exploring the indieweb more, hopefully I’ll keep that going.

What would you say to other educators about the value, reason why to have a domain of your own? What will it take them to get going with their own domain?

I like the idea of my own space more than a domain. I like futzing. It is important, to me, to have one place. Sites in silos, or aol, or tilde spaces are fine playgrounds.but services go away. The domain is just an address pointing to my messy kingdom where I can do what I want, if I can.

I find great value in having my blog go back for years. I search it often. If I’d trusted a silo my content might have vanished by now.

Ideally everyone would get a domain automatically. Obviously this would make for a lot of domains.

featured image created with AppleScript & Gifsicle ‎autocomplete-gifs