Posts tagged ‘blog’

Sunday, 23rd September, 2012

180 Blog

Amongst the stream of things that passed through my google reader last year was a blog from a Physics teacher showing a picture a day. I would ignore this sometimes but occasionally take an idea or thought. The idea that it was mostly based around an image appeals to me and the take it or leave it nature is nice, so I thought I would try something similar this year. I have still called it a 180 blog, even though I am very slow of the mark and we are down to about 155 by now. I hope no-one is really counting.

I think the point is to have something to put out and get comment from a wider community. I think there should be a week or so of pictures, the I will try and see if this can be shared.

I have used posterous, since that was the original I am copying. I have managed to test post from email and from my ipod, so this should not be too onerous.

I wonder how wide or narrow to make this – maybe it should be about anything in school, maybe about the teaching of science, maybe even just the experimental ideas. I think I will start with a week on something that is happening or happened in class, and see how that goes. I will stick and annoying calendar reminder in for each afternoon.

In case the link was too hidden – here it is again:

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Tuesday, 12th April, 2011

Data sharing

I have been looking for a way to gather and share data about the use of electricity. The purpose is to provide a data set for classes studying electrical energy to use, either for interpreting and graphing activities or for comparing with calculated estimates..

I spent a while going through a few possibilities, including a google site, a blog and a wiki. In the end, the easiest and clearest presentation seems to be just to publish a google doc with the data in. This is simple and clean for me and gives direct and transparent access to the data.

Seems obvious really now that I think about it. Sometimes it seems I try and make things more complicated than they need to be.

Here is the html display for sharing.

I have also been putting some more questions on to Quia. This time I have been adding IBSL Physics questions. I have learned here that thinking through the choice of labels is important. I used some for IGCSE (e.g. mechanics) that overlap with the IB ones so that they can get mixed up in quizzes. I have now started using labels like ‘IBSL_Mechanics”. Overall this seems to be a useful addition to the resources and a good way of leveraging the past paper questions for the students. If I could think of a way of doing paper 2 questions, that would be great.

Tuesday, 1st March, 2011


Posterous – remember that? I set up one of these a year or so ago to look at track and field videos. It didn’t really achieve much as I didn’t share or publicise and I was the only one putting up, which seems to defeat the purpose – a regular blog would do that.
Maybe the problem was that it wasn’t the right tool for the job. One recent suggestion was the use of science scribes. This would be a good way of getting people able to contribute. It would only be really useful if it could be integrated into something else. This might work if a learning hub blog could have a page for this.
Something to try.
Also, am running delicious and Diigo kind of in parallel, which doesn’t make sense. It’s decision time

Thursday, 24th February, 2011

More blog thoughts

I fiddled again with embedding googledocs into blogs. This is possible on the school hosted platform using a short bit of code

This means a few things are possible. It seems that the theme chosen can control a lot about how pages display so, if the blog is to have a mix of static content to go with some more dynamic and commentable parts, then I need to figure out what the choices are. It would be good to have some nested pages there.

here is a current text page:
(notice that the one I made and deleted before still takes up that URL – is this indefinite? can I reactivate

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Saturday, 19th February, 2011

New blog?

Just tried moving this blog to the school hosted edublog.

Why? Well I guess there are a few differences between the platforms and the school on is the one I should make an effort to be familiar with. There also seem to be some embed options in the school hosted one that would be useful. Also, this puts me in the active community at school

Why not? Well, I put all the posts from here onto the page and that meant that some things I hadn’t intended to be part of the public conversation became more public. It’s not that they were hidden before, just that obscurity effectively hid them. Having posts appear on the hub page is not really what I am looking for here – just a bit of introspection.

How: Not all the buttons are easy to find, but there is an add blog thing via the dashboard. Posts get imported/exported through an excel format. This doesn’t ship the theme or title across, or the layout and any widgets.

What next? Set up a school blog for school stuff – embed the googledocs pages and some syllabus links and other stuff. Think about making one for IGCSE and one for IB separately. Figure that this would replace the finalsite. Decide how to set up pages as collaborations with colleagues.

Friday, 17th December, 2010

RSS and blog posts

The grade 7s spent a bit of a lesson posting a blog note about their poster project. I think this was a good way of having an accessible reminder of this project and went well with the picture record. For one group a few of them managed to give some peer review comments as well which is a good opportunity that would be difficult to reproduce in such an easy way to share.
Most of them seemed to be confident accessing their blogs and sorting out how to get a picture from flickr across, though some needed some guidance.
Looking through the blog pages there were some good examples but several who had not successfully posted – not sure why.
I tried to find a way of putting all the posts onto a quick check page. I thought I would try a non-google thing since the reader doesn’t come with the school account, so I used shrook. This seemed a bit tiresome to set up – it would be better f this was done for a class as a service. Also, I couldn;t find one student and another was not on the blog page and I guessed a few addresses.
The reader is supposed to synch on two computers but it did not show as read items I had marked as such on one. This might make it less useful for tracking updates. Also, one rquired a password – should it not or should they all? Some things to get advice on here

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Thursday, 9th September, 2010

Voicethread redux

With 7th grade classes it is time to run through a voicethread project again and a chance to work with IT support on a project.

So far Kim has set up all the voicethread accounts and so we are good to go with that part. There seem to be some issues with existing accounts so it is not possible at the moment to put them all in the same group, but this could be fixed by posting a link. As long as sharing pictures goes smoothly then this part should be fine.

The peer assessment through blog might be a big step further as this will also be a new tool for some of them and I am not even sure if these are all set up. This isn’t a necessary step in this project but would be useful to include if the blogs were likely to be used more.

It seems there may be an IT use committee being formed and this might be good to get involved with, time permitting.

Wednesday, 18th November, 2009

File sharing for BTG

Having prepared a presentation for BTG, it would be useful to spend some time sharing this in a useful way.

Options for this are:

  • posting the ppt in googledocs – easy and includes presenter notes, but doesn’t play vids
  • posting the .doc in googledocs – easy and retains enough of the formatting
  • posting the ppt in slideshare – easy to do but loose the video elements and the presenter notes. This allows a soundtrack mp3 file to be added, and presumably then synced. This would be nice to try as it might have further application. How easy is the mp3 recording? This would make the lack of presenter notes redundant.
  • putting it in keynote and adding commentary – not sure I want to embark on this as there would need to be a few steps after that before sharing
  • Putting into voicethread and commenting – videos wouldn’t translate and the audio might be messy
  • videoing – more trouble than it is worth. This would require someone else to do this during the show
  • Adding to blog – this would be an addition to other steps

From this list it looks like the audio commentary for slideshare would be best as I would like to learn how this works – seems to have potential for student use. Will put in a tech request for this.

Can also publish the paper on docs and link both in this blog

Wednesday, 16th September, 2009

Voicethread Project

I am going to set up a voicethread project with Djaisi for the grade 7 students. We did a version last year and it seemed to have potential, so it would be great to make this work in the program.

The task is:

To take photos from a heart dissection to show important things about the heart, then put these into a voicethread, use comments to illustrate the science, then post to personal blogs and peer assess

It will involve:

  • Setting up accounts for voicethread (ICT will do)
  • Order hearts and lab material
  • Find enough cameras and ways of downloading photos
  • Prepare task sheet with instruction and assessment information
  • Check schedule fit
  • How to’s for some of the unfamiliar tasks – voicethread, embeding, blog use…

How will we know if we have been successful?

From before it was apparent that it is possible to get a good amount of enthusiasm going. This is a good indicator. The problem last time was to make sure there was enough complexity in the product and the associated learning. Hopefully the learning will be apparent in the product. It should also be possible to include an assignment like this without a massive investment of time. If it overruns a lot or requires a lot of additional teacher time, this isn’t good

Saturday, 29th August, 2009


One of the most important things about ICT use is likely to be the decision not to use ICT. I have stumbeled upon some interesting reading about this over the summer and this would be a handy place to annotate some notes about it:

Seb Schmoller often posts interesting things and I appreciate that they come to my email not to often. A recent post of his noted some reseacrh at the college level that went a bit against the grain about the net generation. This included the term ‘effortful’ an ugly word but a useful one (perhaps because of it’s ugliness?) to note that we can’t just expect tech use to appear miraculously.

From this I think the summary is worth quoting. I wonder if this applies equally to MHS

1. The rhetoric that university students are Digital Natives and university staff are Digital Immigrants is not supported.

2. There is great diversity in students’ and staff experiences with technology, and their preferences for the use of technology in higher education.

3. Emerging technologies afford a range of learning activities that can improve student learning processes, outcomes, and assessment practices.

4. Managing and aligning pedagogical, technical and administrative issues is a necessary condition of success when using emerging technologies for learning.

5. Innovation with learning technologies typically requires the development of new learning and teaching and technology-based skills, which is effortful for both students and staff.

6. The use of emerging technologies for learning and teaching can challenge current university policies in learning and teaching and IT.

From this we can get to a lot of interesting other places:

(“Rejecting technological determinism should be a mantra in our professional conversations.”)

A neat idea is taking the Snark Syndrome and applying it here:

Which artichoke linked to her post

More than enough links for now.

My summary is: There is more variation in aptitude and adoption within a group than between groups, so the net-gen doesn’t really exist. It is, however, a popular notion (snarky) so we need to be extremely critically aware of it. The effect of ICT on social norms and development is unpredictable. Can we take people down a path if we don’t know where it leads? Maybe a risk assessment would be a good vehicle for discussing this.