Tag Archives: 23ThingsEdUni

Evil Auto Complete?⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

arewomenfw1-600

There are also evil women. I didn’t go looking for them either. This is what I type: “a-r-e w-o-m-e-n”. And Google offers me just two choices, the first of which is: “Are women evil?” I press return. Yes, they are. Every one of the 10 results “confirms” that they are, including the top one, from a site called sheddingoftheego.com, which is boxed out and highlighted: “Every woman has some degree of prostitute in her. Every woman has a little evil in her… Women don’t love men, they love what they can do for them. It is within reason to say women feel attraction but they cannot love men.”

from: Google, democracy and the truth about internet search | Technology | The Guardian

I’ve long been fascinated by google auto completes but never though of deeper implications.

I read this in the Observer this morning. Thanks to @LillyLyle for digging out the link I couldn’t find (via @IanStuart66)).

I use google all of the time and do pay attention to the auto completes as they often seem to help in refining a search. Sometimes this is just to avoid suggestions, sometime better. I’d not thought about the darker side.

On reading the article I first didn’t think that I paid much attention to auto suggestions (like adverts). I cast my mind back to yesterday when I was searching for a way to draw ‘irregular rectangles’ with JavaScript. I didn’t really find what I wanted, but burrowed down several rabbit holes steered by the suggestions.

I am used to the top google results having some sort of authority. Google a film get IMDB or Wikipedia. This gives pause.

Featured image captured with LICEcap.

Running my auto complete script leads to a few possible questions…

is_google

  • is google your friend?
  • is google evil?
  • is google racist?
  • is google listening to me?
  • is google making us stupid?

    23 Things: Thing 13 Video⤴

    from

    So here’s a thing…. (thing…get it?) …. although I consume as much online video as the next person I don’t actually produce a great deal, though there are plenty of embarrassing videos of me on YouTube from various conferences and events. Recently however I did have to produce a couple of videos.  The first was this video for the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Community Choice Awards earlier this autumn.  Although our media production colleagues here at the University did an excellent job of producing the video and stitching the content together, recording the film was a bit of a faff to say the least. Due to tight deadlines and people disappearing for summer vacations, Stuart Nicol and I ended up filming the clip ourselves using a camera balanced precariously on a stool on top of a table. We may have forgotten to turn the microphone on during the first take and we lost another take due to hopeless laughter.  Anyway, it was a bit of a hassle, so it’s no wonder we look a bit rabbit-in-the-headlights in the film :}

    Fast forward a couple of months and I was asked to present a guest lecture for the University’s Introduction to Online Distance Learning course.  Because I was on leave in the Outer Hebrides the week I was scheduled to talk I offered to record my lecture instead.  This time I used MediaHopper, the University’s Kaltura based media management platform, to record my talk and I have to say I was very impressed.  Once I’d created my slides I was able to record my lecture on my own laptop which was incredibly convenient for me as I have to work from home two days a week owing to childcare responsibilities.  Everything worked perfectly and although it took over half-an-hour to upload the video file from my cranky home network, I was able to get the whole recording done and dusted in a few hours.  Sorted!  Unfortunately the MediaHopper embed code isn’t quite as effective and my slides don’t render properly when I embed the video in WordPress, however you can see the lecture complete with slides here: Open Education and Co-Creation.  And because it’s CC BY licensed you’re welcome to download and reuse it too ?

    23 Things: Thing 11 & 12 Copyright and OER⤴

    from

    First of all a confession – I can get quite emotional about copyright and licensing :’} So emotional in fact that Jane Secker’s ALT Conference keynote Copyright and e-learning: understanding our privileges and freedoms  actually brought a wee tear to my eye.  You might think I’m making this up but it’s true, and the reason why is that copyright and licensing is ultimately about rights and freedoms and, at this point in time more than ever, what could be more important and fundamental than that?

    One of the things that fascinates me about copyright is that people often hold contradictory views on it at the same time.  On the one hand there is a nebulous fear of copyright founded on the assumption that both copyright and licenses are preventative and punitive and that getting it wrong will call down the wrath of lawyers. On the other hand there’s a general assumption that anything that’s out there on the internet can be reused without permission, because if you weren’t happy with your stuff being reused you wouldn’t put it online in the first place, right?

    Encouraging colleagues to engage with copyright is no easy task, it’s seen as dry and dull and vaguely threatening. However engaging colleagues with open education resources (OER) is a great way to raise awareness of both copyright an licensing.  Learning about OER can help colleagues to think about their own rights and to consider how to express, in unambiguous terms, what they will or will not allow people to do with content that have created.

    The beauty of Creative Commons licenses is that they are designed to enable reuse, rather than prevent it. Admittedly CC licences are not perfect, the Non-Commercial clause is widely regarded as being particularly problematic but it’s no exaggeration to say that they have played a fundamental role in facilitating the development of open education and OER. Creative Commons licenses are now so integral to my work that I can’t imagine life without them and I can’t think of copyright without also thinking of Creative Commons.

    So the task for Thing 11 & 12 is to find two CC licensed resources and then find or create an OER, so in the best traditions of Blue Peter – here’s one I prepared earlier! Two CC licensed images from flickr and the open education resource I used them in – a guest lecture for the University of Edinburgh’s Introduction to Online distance Learning Course.

    Free Speech Zone by Caitlyn_and_Kara CC BY 2.0

    Free Speech Zone by Caitlyn_and_Kara CC BY 2.0

    Free Hugs

    Gratis by Abrazo Dan CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    OneNote on 23 things⤴

    from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

    smithsonian_note-book

    It is now Week Eight of 23 things and the topic is Digital Curation, OneNote and ClassNote

    Thing 15 is tumblr. I’ve been using tumblr for a few years now for all sorts of different projects, but I though I’d skip by that to the next thing, OneNote.

    Try using OneNote on your pc/laptop/device.
    Create a new Notebook, add some sections, pages, and try out the features. Use the Interactive Guidance Videos to learn your way around the platform.
    Write a short blog post detailing your use of OneNote and how this may/may not be of benefit to you.’

    Week Eight: Digital Curation, OneNote and ClassNote – 23 Things

    For two years I worked alongside Ian Stuart who is a OneNote expert. Despite Ian’s enthusiasm for OneNote and many powerful demos it didn’t at that time click for me.

    I tend to keep notes as text, HTML or markdown files in Dropbox. My _notes folder has nearly 1000 notes including over 300 in a blog posts subfolder and almost 100 in the snippets one. Searching via the finder is pretty effective for this sort of information[1].

    When I moved to working in the classroom this August I though I should use the chance to revisit OneNote.

    I am using the mac desktop version of OneNote, my pupils use the iOS app. So these notes pertain to those applications.

    I started a ‘planning’ notebook, pulling in notes and information from the school and doing my weekly planning in a simple table. It was easy to archive these pages as I went and I could the simple syncing between work and home very useful.

    The ability to combine files, images, media and text is useful and works fairly simply. The fact that I’ve kept using the system for planning and extended use to include a class notebook tells me I am finding it useful.

    The only major flaw I’ve found using the mac app is an occasional failure of the copy and paste keyboard shortcuts. OneNote used the standard ⌘-c ⌘-v for pasting I find these often fail, especially the first time or two I use them after opening a notebook. The menus and contextual menus work fine, but the keyboards are my preferred method of doing this. Copying something and pasting to get the previous content of the clipboard pasted is alway annoying.

    I would also really like to be able to have more than one notebook open at once. I believe this is supported on windows and not mac. Given that mac users are traditionally more likely not to have documents full screen and to use drag and drop between documents I find this a wee bit surprising.[2]

    I’d also like to be able to set a page width rather than have a page of infinite(?) width.

    I started a class notebook to use with the pupils in my class. They are using the OneNote app on iPad Airs.

    I’ve used this to distribute information, worksheets and the like to the pupils and to gather in work. I started just before the addition of the class notebook tools. When the tools appeared I’d just had some fairly negative experiences with the class sharing and using Word and Onedrive on their iPads. I though I’d give OneNote a try for this instead.

    When the tools work they have been very effective, I can create a page and distrubute it to all of the pupils easily, I can target the section of their notebook I want the content to go to. I can then easily find all of that content and mark it within the notebook.

    I have also got a way of distributing shared resources to all of the pupils. The only part of the workflow that is missing was the ability to upload documents created in Word and saved to OneDrive to the web (glow blogs). But failures with that was the reason I started using a class notebook in the first place.

    For the most part this has worked fairly successfully. When pupils are submitting written work they seem to prefer typing in the native iOS notes app (or even word) and pasting the finished text into OneNote.

    Collecting a set of brief texts in the one place on a table in the collaboration section has been more successful that multi editing a word doc[3]

    Occasionally I’ve had sync failures for particular pupils, while the distributed page gets to the rest of the class it will not sync to one pupil. Often logging off force quitting, going through the log on sorts this but not always[4].

    I’ve had one really frustrating experience with adding notes to pupil work which did not sync at all consistently leading to a very confusing lesson but for the most part the class notebook has been a success.

    Reading back over this post so far I realise that I’ve dwelt on the negative aspects more than the positive. I thing that is because I am finding the software pretty useful and these bits of friction stand out.

    There are a lot of really cleaver features.

    The ability to share with pupils as a group, individually, and to distribute content to each of them is great. The choice between letting pupils edit that content or not is also useful.
    Another useful feature is how easily the pupils can record audio in a page. This allow them to listen to themselves read and me to collect there reading.
    One of the most interesting is the way text in images is handled. This can be searched. It also, on iOS at least can be copied.
    copy text from graphic

    Ironically in getting this screenshot I had a repeat of a problem I had in class this week. After I inserted an image, OneNote crashed. It then refused to sync.

    sync problem

    sync problem

    The answer was a tweet away.

    On iOS I couldn’t copy the whole section, but I could select multiple pages and move those to a new section. After deleting the, now empty, problem section all was ok.

    It would be good if the error message was a wee bit more indicative of the problem and how to solve it. It looks like a hangover of the Window’s desktop app? Even if I sync the OneDrive, where my OneNote files are stored, to my desktop, the OneNote files are replaced by a weblink.

    I am going to continue using the class notebook for a while and see if we can work around the problems. The many affordances of the software certainly seem worth further exploration.

    It also may be that updates will fix things. The app has been very frequently updated, in fact it feels slightly beta like sometimes.

    I don’t think I’ll be converting my own notes out of text files any time soon. Having them in an open format that I can open with a myriad of applications on different platforms is important and Dropbox[5] certainly seems to have syncing down a lot better.

    featured image: Inside cover and first page of Foshag’s Kaminaljuyu-Jade field book by Smithsonian InstitutionNo known copyright restrictions


    1. on iOS I mostly use the drafts app to keep notes, this syncs via iCloud and has been rock solid for several years. Draft’s ability to push text to different places is outstanding. The Apple notes app is pretty good too although a lot simpler than OneNote.  ↩
    2. the first few times I used a windows computer this completely floored me, I could not understand why anyone would want full screen.  ↩
    3. this took us into of lot of failure, repeated attempts to log on and a lot of wasted time.  ↩
    4. I am not sure if these problems like others with the MS iOS apps are to do with the apps, authentication with glow or local network issues.  ↩
    5. Dropbox is not a suitable choice for use with my pupils. Onedrive via glow takes care of account management, data protection etc without me having to do any work.  ↩

    23 Things: Thing 10 Wikimedia⤴

    from

    Still woefully behind…I should be on Thing 18 by now and I’ve only reached Thing 10 :}  Never mind though because Thing 10 is a wonderful Thing.  Thing 10 is Wikimedia!  It’s a bit of an understatement to say that I am a huge fan of all the Wikimedia projects, whether it’s Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikiquote, Wiktionary, Wikidata, I use them all regularly and together they constitute a vast open educational resource of incomparable value.

    I’ve been involved with Wikimedia for a number of years now; most of my involvement has been in the form of participating in and supporting Wikimedia events such as conferences and editathons and I’m also honoured to be a member of the  Board of Wikimedia UK. I’ve never been much of an editor though.  I’m already juggling so many other commitments that I never seem to find time to actually edit Wikipedia or contribute content to any of the other Wikimedia projects.  I had high hopes of submitting some photographs to the Wiki Loves Monuments competition, which is a fabulous initiative to capture pictures of historic monuments and submit them to Wikimedia Commons but alas I missed the deadline. The month went by in a flash before I even had a chance to look through my photographs.

    I’m hoping that as of this week I can become more of an active editor though.  As part of the University of Edinburgh’s Samhuinn Editathon I created my very first brand new Wikipedia page about the Scottish women’s education reformer Janet Anne Galloway.  Despite being instrumental in founding Queen Margaret College, which was later incorporated into the University of Glasgow, Janet, and her equally important colleague Jessie Campbell, had no Wikipedia entries.  Janet now has her very own shiny new Wikipedia page and I’m hoping that I can also create one for Jessie and also tidy up the entry for Queen Margaret College which lacks citation and says more about the building that housed the college than the remarkable women who established it.  There is a beautiful stained glass window in Bute Hall commemorating Janet, Jessie and Isabella Elder, the Glasgow philanthropist who supported the college. Alas the best picture I could find of it online is held in the Scran archive which is sadly paywalled and therefore can not be added to the cultural commons.

    One last thing I’d like to add, I’ve met and worked with a number of Wikimedians over the years and they are without doubt some the nicest people you could ever wish to meet ?

    I also won the prize for best Halloween Tumshie :) by Ewan McAndrew

    I also won the prize for best Halloween Tumshie ? by Ewan McAndrew

    23 Things: Thing 9 Google Hangouts / Collaborate Ultra⤴

    from

    I am woefully behind with 23 Things owing to work and annual leave so I’m going to try and catch up with a few quick and dirty posts.

    Thing 9 is Google Hangouts and Collaborate Ultra and I did actually manage to dial into the live sessions Charlie ran a couple of weeks ago which were a lot of fun. I’ve worked remotely in one way or another for most of my career in ed tech, either working from home, working for distributed organisations, or working on projects with multiple international parters, so I’ve lost count of the number of remote collaboration tools I’ve used over the years.  Here’s a brief run down of the way I use some of the current crop of tools.

    Skype

    Still my favourite for one to one calls and personal conversations. I use Skype routinely on both my laptop and my phone and would be lost without it. I tend to use Skype for audio calls, text chat and transferring documents and images, it’s not often I make video calls.  The downside of Skype is that it’s still flakey with more than a few people, so I tend not to rely on it if there are more than about four people on a call. Also the way Skype updates its interface and randomly hides features is annoying as hell.

    Google Hangouts

    I can’t say I was impressed with Google hangouts in the early days.  I remember having a call with a Google project manager in the US not long after hangouts were launched and they insisted on using a telephone conference line rather than a hangout, which kinda spoke volumes. Initially I found them really flakey and in my experience there are often problems with scheduling and people getting into hangouts.   Having said that, things have improved, the interface is nice and clean, and once you’re in I find that hangouts are pretty robust. You can only have up to 10 people actively participating in a video hangout which is an obvious limiting factor, though you can have a much larger number listening in.  One nice feature is that you can stream hangouts directly on to Youtube which makes them a useful broadcasting tool. Here’s a link to an ALT Community Call which essentially involved Martin Hawksey interviewing me in a hangout and streaming it directly on to Youtube. So I tend to find hangouts are useful for project meetings, small committees, and broadcast interviews.  Also filters and ponies.

    Google Hangout interface

    Susan Greig channelling her inner Elsa in a Google Hangout

    Google Hangouts with ponies

    Not many collaboration tools offer ponies as standard

    Collaborate Ultra

    I’ve been using various incarnations of this tool since the dawn of time and it’s never been exactly user friendly.  Anyone else remember the days of having to install Java before you could run the damn thing? No, not that version of Java, this version of Java. *sigh*  However there’s no denying that Collaborate is very useful indeed for more formal online collaboration, particularly webinars and online lectures, which may have a large audience.  In my experience you need at least two people to run a successful Collaborate webinar, one doing the talking and one watching the chat window, and if you’ve got someone else acting as administrator then that’s even better. Of course to use Collaborate Ultra you need a subscription, but if you have access, it’s a very useful tool indeed.

    Collaborate Ultra interface

    Collaborate Ultra – no ponies

     

    Turning off some Google juice, back to thing 4⤴

    from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

    IMG_0163.jpeg

    Although I’ve not been blogging about all of the 23 things, I’ve though a little about most of them. This item from my feed reader:

    Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking – ProPublica got me thinking more about thing 4 digital security

    To opt-out of Google’s identified tracking, visit the Activity controls on Google’s My Account page, and uncheck the box next to “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services.” You can also delete past activity from your account.

    After that I headed over to the Google My Account page and turned off as much as I could.

    Turning off some Google juice, back to thing 4⤴

    from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

    IMG_0163.jpeg

    Although I’ve not been blogging about all of the 23 things, I’ve though a little about most of them. This item from my feed reader:

    Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking – ProPublica got me thinking more about thing 4 digital security

    To opt-out of Google’s identified tracking, visit the Activity controls on Google’s My Account page, and uncheck the box next to “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services.” You can also delete past activity from your account.

    After that I headed over to the Google My Account page and turned off as much as I could.

    23 Things: 11 copyright⤴

    from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

    cogdogblog-sharing

    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.

    Resources

    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.

    23 Things: 11 copyright⤴

    from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

    cogdogblog-sharing

    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.

    Resources

    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.