Here are some tips for speeding up the process of making simple posts to a Glow Blog
Preparation 1. The Post Editor
One of the nice things about the WordPress Post Editor is you can customise the elements that you see on the screen.
To make my posting simpler in mobile I’ve removed some elements and dragged the Featured Image section to the top of the right hand column. This makes it appear right under the post content in the mobile view.
You can also collapse section of the editor you don’t need all the time, I’ve notice my pupils do this when using their e-Portfolios.
Preparation 2. Bookmark New Post
On my phone I’ve bookmarked the New Post Page on blogs I want to post to.
Im my case I’ve saved it to my home screen so I don’t even need to open my browser and go through my bookmarks.
This means that I can go straight to the new post page. If I am not logged onto Glow I am taken through the RM Unify password screen first. I use the save password facility on my phone to speed this up.
Editing a post with images and text can get a little messy, and therefore slow, on mobile. If I want to make a quick post, I don’t put the images in the editor, but use the featured image feature. This adds an image, typically, to the top of your post, and keeps it clear of the text.
Putting it All Together
Using my home screen icon, saved password, simplified new post page and a featured image means I can post a twitter sized post and picture in around 90 seconds.
In case you are missing the interaction and publicity of twitter you can of course auto post your blog to twitter using several free services, dlvr.it, IFTTT and Microsoft Flow (using your glow account.)
I gave presentation/workshop to a few groups at the UWS this morning about Glow Blogs. Rather than use a presentation I made a blog: Glow Blogs – An Introduction This goes over some of the basics about Blogging and a few tips. Far too much to cover in an hour.
It may be useful to you if you are learning or explaining about Glow Blogs.
Some of the pages are pretty sketchy, but it was made to be expanded on in person.
I am very pleased that I’ll be continuing my part time role as product owner for Glow Blogs. When my recent contract finished in June the job was opened for applications. I was successful and am just sorting out the paper work. I do this work over an above my class teacher role. I would have been gutted if I didn’t get the job.
This video should not be used to judge the quality of the output, I used CloudConvert to squash the 38MB 1440 × 1080 mp4 down to 4.5MB 1.
My class used the free version, limited to 30 seconds of video, last session a bit, we had a few crashes, but I think it is a promising app. Ease of use, limited time of the free version and lack of stickers, for now 2, are useful for the classroom. My class use iMovie and Clips too, but sometimes we might not want the greater complexity of iMovie or the wacky possibilities of clips.
Unfortunately CloudConvert doesn’t work for me on the school network, I’ve tried a few apps that convert and squash video but no really found a good one for pupils to use. I would like my pupils to be able to do that, to save space on their blogs and to speed up uploading. I am not sure on the official line on posting to silos in North Lanarkshire. Social media, especially twitter, is very popular. That is staff rather than pupil posting, I’d like my pupils to be involved in the uploading of video to their e-Portfolios and the class blog without my interference.
For Glow Blogs, I’d also like the app to change the file type to mp4 or m4v as .MOV files, that are apples favourite, don’t play nicely with all browsers. We made a change to standard WordPress functionality to accept .MOV files as video, but some browsers don’t play them. Strangely, just editing the file extension, from .MOV to .m4v works, at least for Chrome. I can’t find a way to change extensions on iOS but I’ve tested on the desktop.
FWIIW Snapthread’s videos are .MP4 when exported to the camera roll, so only need squashed for my needs.
Following from this conversation
Tom Woodward whipped up a plugin to clone posts on a WordPress Multi-site blog to one of your own.
I think this could be a really useful way of giving pupils a template for e-Portfolio post. I’d be very interested in exploring getting this into Glow Blogs. I’ve been asked about this sort of functionality a few times.
The new WordPress editor is now official. It comes with a new editor Gutenberg. I’ve tested Gutenberg on and off for a while, mostly worrying about iOS in particular iPads. That has improved steadily.
My concern is pupils using Glow Blogs will find the new editor more complicated.
I am somewhat relived that pasting from Apple Notes on an iPad works fine in the blocks editor, paragraphs generating new blocks. Adding images above or below a particular block seems a little footery but nothing pupils will not handle 1.
Now WordPress 5 is out I need to think about my own use. I don’t usually write in the web editor, preferring to either cut and paste from a text editor or post via micro.blog or xml-rpc. TextMate has a lovely blogging bundle, and I use drafts and shortcuts on iOS.
I’ve installed WordPress 5 on a couple of other sites, and had a quick play. Posting from TextMate, via xml-rpc put the content in a classic block if Gutenberg is enabled.
I’ve also enabled the classic editor plugin on these sites and this one. The ability to toggle back and forward between editors seems like a good idea, but on the sites I’ve tried it has mostly failed 2. This would be a good way to introduce the editor to Glow Blogs users, start with the classic editor, add in the ability to toggle to Gutenberg. I do worry that having two editors will lead to folk having problems or getting confused. I am not looking forward to updating the Glow Blogs help. This is probably a bit in the future as we should wait and see how Gutenberg is going on multi-sites before upgrading.
My other personal worry is that at the moment the indieweb post_kinds plugin is not compatible with Gutenberg. This is compounded by the fact I can’t update that plugin on this site at the moment. I am presuming that things will get shaken out and improve over the next year or two.
My plan is now to upgrade this blog to WP 5 but use the classic editor, waiting to see how the indieweb plugins evolve. I’ll continue writing in TextMate, drafts and the like while I keep half an eye on developments.
I was pleasantly surprised watching a pupil happily collapsing meta-boxes to get her e-portfolio tags the other day. I had at some point shown the class how to expand them after they accidentally collapsed them, but not talked about it in any depth. I suspect pupils will adapt to new interfaces easier that I will. ↩
I will test this a bit more and try to see if it is something I can report.↩
OneNote is a free tool which works online through a web browser, or through apps for mobile devices, or as a desktop software
This is just one post from Malcolm Wilson’s blog which is jam packed with detailed posts about using ICT in the classroom.
This blog is maintained by Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer for Falkirk Council Children’s Services. The purpose of the blog is to help support primary teachers within Falkirk primary schools in their use of ICT across teaching and learning.
I have been fortunate to run a very successful team of digital leaders in Mosspark Primary, known as the Tech Team, and I hope that this article will let you see, not only the benefits of having a Tech Team, but how to set up a digital leaders’ team with a similar model and run it so that it has a measurable impact in raising attainment through digital learning.
Great example of a teacher blogger giving details on a project.
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.