Tag Archives: wwwd

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

Downloading Media from WordPress using AppleScript⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I got a request from a teacher who wanted to download a years worth of images from a Glow Blog (for end of year slideshow).

Although there are plugins that can do this these are not available on Glow Blogs. I was stumped apart from going through the site and downloading them 1 by 1. But after a wee bit of thinking I though I’d try using the REST API via AppleScript.

The REST API will list in JSON format the media:

http://johnjohnston.info/blog/wp-json/wp/v2/media/

Look at that in FireFox for a pretty view.

JSON Helper is

an agent (or scriptable background application) which allows you to do useful things with JSON directly from AppleScript.

So I can grab the list of media from a site in JSON format use appleScript to download all the files.

The script I wrote is not great, you can’t download from a particular year, but a quick look at the JSON will help in working out how many files to download.

I am sure there are more efficient ways to do this and I’ve only tested on a couple of site, but it seems to do the trick and might be useful again sometime.

 

RE: 💬 Three Ways to Keep Track of Students’ Blog Entries⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Three Ways to Keep Track of Students’ Blog Entries by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (collect.readwriterespond.com)
This is one of the big challenges with student blogging. When I used Edublogs in the classroom, I would moderate everything, therefore I would know what is being posted that way. However, I have been wondering lately about the idea of creating a formula in Google Sheets using IMPORTFEED where each n...

In Glow Blogs, we have the Glow Blogs Reader (Follow Blogs)

The Glow blogs reader allows you to ‘follow’ a number of Glow Blogs. In following blogs you will be able to see which of these blogs has been updated in your dashboard rather than have to visit each site to check for updates.

Useful because 1. it allows you to follow private blogs which an RSS Reader will not and 2. For teachers unfamiliar with RSS and readers it will be a lot simpler.

It doesn’t have the facility to mark off or record posts that you have commented on which is of interest to Aaron.

 

ScotEduBlogs Update⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

The ScotEduBlogs site which aggregates posts from Scottish Educational bloggers mostly hums along by itself.

Every so often I get an email to add a blog, or one for someone ignoring the, “Please do not use this form if you want us to review a product or you want to post here, we will not do so or reply”. notice.

Recently something went wrong with the form and I missed a couple which I’ve now rectified.

This reminds me to post about SEB here. I think it is a valuable resource, gathering blogs posts from around the country and sectors. It provides a handy twitter feed too: @ScotEduBlogs auto tweeting the posts.

I guess a lot of educators are a lot more engaged in twitter than blogging now. I think that is a pity.

You can follow ScotEdublogs by just reading the site, by following  @ScotEduBlogs or by adding the RSS feed to your feedreader.

If you are a blogger and write from a Scottish pov or about Scottish educational matters you can add you site.

 

Syndication not Silos⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I just saw a provocative link from Aaron Davis, down with syndication, it was a reply on his site to an original post with that title by Ben Weirdmuller.

Arron has be a great example of an educator exploring the IndieWeb of which Ben is a major proponent.

Ben’s post is concerned with the idea of gaining more independence from the silos (twitter, Facebook and the like) and publishing more on his site. A lot of IndieWeb concepts involve publishing to your own site and sending links or repeating the posts across social media (like a link to this one will be auto posted to Twitter).

In his post Ben writes of leaving the silos behind completely. Just keeping things on his own site:

I think it might be more effective to move all the value away: publish on your own site, and use independent readers like Woodwind or Newsblur to consume content. Forget using social networks as the conduit. Let’s go full indie.

Ben mentions IndieWeb readers, that allow folk to create their own ‘syndication’ and reply, bookmark etc on their own site.

Nothing I’d disagree with there. I am quite shallow and enjoy likes, especially from Instagram coming a back to my blog via brid.gy but, in theory, I love the idea of full independence.

The provocation, to me came from the word Syndication. Before I’d heard of IndieWeb I’d been involved in DS106. This means that for me syndication means something different than a silo. To me a syndication is something set up for a group, long or short term that can be completely separate from any silos. DS106, and many other educational syndications uses a WordPress blog to syndicate content from other sites. Alan Levine, @cogdog, has set up many examples of this sort of thing.

When I was involved in the migration of Glow Blogs one of the features I managed to get included was a syndication plugin. This took quite a lot of insistence on my part, but the University of Dundee and Derek Robinson have certainly made that worthwhile with EduShare which syndicates trainee teacher reflections. 1

These non-silo syndications are, if not a gateway drug to the IndieWeb, a great way to get people considering how and where they publish to the web and how community could be built.

These syndications can be used for long running or short projects 2, the participants don’t need the expertise beyond setting up a blog. You can participate in different communities from the same blog.

The great thing about a syndication is that the content doesn’t go away if the syndication does. Any discussion can take place on the participating sites. All the hub does is make it easy to read and make connections. Micro.blog reminds me of this in many ways, although the participants are not grouped round a class or topic.

Now I am thinking I should do a lot more to publicise the possibilities for syndication in Glow Blogs.

Featured image: Silos | Darko Pevec | Flickr Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic — CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

  1. The UoD is by far the biggest and best example of syndication in Glow Blogs. I’ve used it for a couple of smaller examples but it is IMO one of the features of Glow that could be used much more widely.
  2. A example of a short aggregation I organised on Glow Blogs Blogging Bootcamp #2 | Get your blogs up and running Autumn 2015

Life in Links: you are never on holiday edition⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I’ve been on holiday for the last two weeks, the second spent unwell with a sinus infection that made me uninterested in everything bar Lemsip and a bit of netflix.

Feeling a bit better and reviewing my pinboard links. Most seem to be around poetry, maths and micro:bits in the classroom ( I need to get out more).

Header image created with above mentioned Sketch Machine.