Author Archives: john

Getting Comfortable with Gaming?

Samorost Grab
Three years ago I noticed a Strange ‘Game’, (the game is no longer at the url links from that post).
I played the game for a few minutes and got nowhere, it looked lovely so I just linkdumped it for my class and forgot about it.
Recently I’ve saw mention of it (on KimP’s Blog and Ewan’s) so I looked again. It still looked cool and I still got not very far.
This afternoon, I was delaying going to music (my least favourite bit of the curriculum) so I fired up Samorost on to the wall and gathered the children round.
They had a ball, giving me advice and solving the puzzles to work through the game. As a class they took about the same time as Ewan and a lot faster than Derek;-)

I realise that there are lot of areas (as well as music) that I don’t get. I recall getting the first version of Myst along with HyperCard 2.3 and not getting that at all, I spent a wee bit of time wandering in an aimless fashion then a good deal more time gently hacking into the game to check out it’s Hypercard roots.

Anyway there is not much time left this session and we are getting a refresh of hardware tomorrow which might slow thing up, but I hope to get my class to follow the AllStars progress using Samorost and perhaps replicate some of their activities> I might get to see what I can get out of this type of gaming. Moving a little way out of my comfort zone.

(Note to self Samorost2, thanks Ewan).

technorati:

    Session over

    Class in a box box

    Although I am ready for my holidays rather a lot of interesting things have appeared on the horizon in the last couple of weeks.
    On the software front I finally got round to using scratch with the children, samorost is inviting and we tried out slideshare. As usual I underestimated the amount of time I’d have to teach in the last couple of weeks of term and suddenly we have no time left!

    A couple of weeks ago our pcs were refreshed and this should really make a big difference to using ict in the school, the old ones were getting really slow. At the start of this week I had another flurry of excitement when our class in a box box arrived, the laptops to go with it have not got here yet but hopefully this is going to be a great resource to use ict flexibly across the curriculum next session.

    My job next year is going to be rather different than what I’ve been doing this year.

    This year I’ve been teaching with ict across the stages using our new media room, unfortunately for me this didn’t really work out as planned, term one the suite was not ready, term 2 went as planned, but staff leaving and a lot of staff absences kept me in class most of term 3, term 4 saw the switch from the mitel managed service to dell and put our network out of action for 4 or 5 weeks.
    From my point of view this has been pretty disappointing.

    Next session or staffing number change for the worse and I’ll be changing roll.
    It looks like I will be spending a fair amount of time on Emotional Literacy, working with children who have problems in this and other areas of their learning. Pretty challenging, especially as a lot of the things I’ve been doing over the last few years have worked best with our more confident and motivated learners, how much blogging, dv, podcasting I will be involved in is in question I think.
    I’d be really interested in anyone who has experience in these areas passing on ideas and tips, especially ones involving ict and Web 2.0

    I am also looking for a wee summer project, hopefully involving being paid for something I enjoy (edu, blogs, html etc) again ideas gratefully received.

    I will be continuing to blog a bit over the holidays as I have a few things to think about that I’ve not had time for.

    Have a great summer

      Playing with Hackasaurus and popcorn

      Popcorn Hackasaurus

      Yesterday I heard a few intriguing boos from Mozilla Festival by Doug Belshaw and Leon Cychwhich sent me on a day trip round the internet. I discovered:

      Hackasaurus makes it easy to mash up and change any web page like magic. You can also create your own webpages to share with your friends, all within your browser. for which there is an educators guide and even a lesson plan.

      and:

      Popcorn.js is an HTML5 media framework written in JavaScript for filmmakers, web developers, and anyone who wants to create time-based interactive media on the web. Popcorn.js is part of Mozilla’s Popcorn project.

      among a host of other interesting things. Rather than blog about it I used these tools to create somethings:

      A spoof 2015 BBC News – X-RAY GoGGLES improves pupils performance in exams

      Playing with hackasaurus and popcorn

      I think that hackasaurus in particular could be very useful in the classroom. Popcorn gives us a way to make complex media projects in particular HyperVidio and HyperAudio which act in the same way as HyperText. I’d love some feedeback on this stuff, if you think it could work in your classroom?

        Edutalk at Teachmeet Strathclyde

        Edutalk fist

        Last night I went along to Teachmeet Strathclyde at Jordanhill college, I had signed up a couple of days before and stuck my name down to talk about edutalk.cc.

        I noticed there were nearly 70 folk signed up and quite a crowd was gathered eating cupcakes when I arrived. This was the first TeachMeet I’d attended when I had not really though much about it or had any involvement with before hand. The participants were mostly students which gave the meet a slightly different energy, slightly more formal and organised than some TeachMeets, the crowd was quietly energetic and motivated.

        A couple of the usual suspects were in attendance but I didn’t know the vast majority of attendees.

        As usual for teachmeets the presentations were all interesting, with lots of things I either nodded to or was completely surprised by. The compare Paul Campbell kept everything running smoothly.

        I was nice to have a round table break in the middle, I went to a Games Based learning table organised by Morven Skinnder, Jen Deyenberg was in the group and has extensive experience in gbl. I suspect learning in Jen’s infant class would be wonderful with or without the high tech additions as I can’t imagine an object or situation she could not animate with learning.

        I’ll not go into details of the different presentations or the round table as I am currently chopping up the audio recording I took and posting to Edutalk I had my two minutes talking about Edutalk, should have done 7 as I expect that most folk went huh; without the chance to listen, or see a demo. I am quite pleased with the slide though.

        Edutalk is fairly pushing out the episodes at the moment, with the purpos/ed crew adding one a day for their #purposedfutured campaign and the audio from TMLothians11 – TeachMeet Lothians & Borders 2011 which I am (with permission) reposting on Edutalk.

        There is still plenty of room for move voices on Edutalk, see the How to EDUtalk to find out how easy it is to join in.

        My photos from Teachmeet Strathclyde on my John’s posterous site and there is a Teachmeet strathclyde Edition – Stuff from the strathclyde Teachmeet posterous waiting to be filled up.

          By: john

          Hi Aron,
          No, but same idea, Glow Blogs are our own WordPress Multisite setup (or 33 multisite one for each Local Authority). Got around 160,000 blogs created, most not public, lots are pupil portfolios.

          RSS is an Answer

          Last evening I noticed on twitter:

          And jumped in without thinking too much.

          Rich (@richardtape) was providing drop in support on a Google Hangout. Rich works at University of British Columbia which is, of course, organizing the Teaching with WordPress course I am trying to follow.

          I had, for a short while, the floor to myself. Unfortunately I made poor use of the time, my teacup was too full. Rich was extremely patient and told me the answer to my problem several times, I just didn’t notice. Hopefully I’ve learned a lesson for the next time I have a similar opportunity (hoping against experience here).

          The problem is the one described in the previous post. To display a question/assignment/challenge post along with responses to that post. Christina solved it with the loop shortcode plugin. We do not have that plugin on GlowBlogs.

          Five Thirty am Enlightenment

          After mulling over the problem in bed this morning I suddenly listened to Rich again. He had repeatedly told me the best way to do this would be RSS but I had focused on plugins and facilities we do not have (yet?) in GlowBlogs.

          So the way I would solve this in Glow blogs would be to use RSS widgets, to pull in responses. These responses would be on the same blog as the questions (but could be pulled in with the syndication plugin, or on another blog that does the aggregation). The widget would only be displayed on the post with the question as it would have a unique category. The responses would have a unique category or tag.

          Here is a quick example: Challenge 2 Red.

          On that post you can see the challenge (show something red). In the sidebar there is a widget showing a list of posts tagged red. This only shows up on the challenge page. I’ve added some information to the post to give more details.

          There are a couple of drawbacks to this method.

          1. It is a bit fiddly for the person setting up the challenge. They need to create a widget per challenge and a category per challenge.
          2. The RSS update is not immediate. A WordPress query would be better.

          I would be interested in using it for something like the bootcamp and see how it goes.

          Call and Response

          Replied to

          In
          I made discussions on WordPress! Christina describe how she organised some flipped learning and the student responses with the help of a plugin that list/shows posts with a shortcode.
          I love this sort of approach.
          I’ve been thinking through how to do this on a multisite such as GlowBlogs where you cannot easily install plugins.

          I was hoping that sticky posts might do it but without plugins sticky posts don’t stick to the top of a category. The best way I can think of so far would be to have the question post link to a category and the answers go in that category (these could be syndicated in) the category description could give a summary of the ‘question’. I’d be interested in any ideas around this.

          I guess if there was just 1 stimulus a week then that post could be sticky until the next week. Responses would be below. This would not give a nice archive.
          Of course you have the responses as comments perhaps on a p2 themed blog but I guess we want to give the pupils/participants more ownership of their content and give them the chance to have more control of their response content.

          I was going to post this as a comment on Christina’s post but thought I might see how trackbacks work out.

          Full Fat Feeds A trivial point

          image

          I am trying to get back into Teaching with WordPress after a weeks holiday with little Internet. Given I am using my long train commute to do this there are many points on my journey where I have no internet connection. This should not be a problem as I have a plan.

          I have subscribed to the aggregated course RSS feed. I sync FeeddlerPro over breakfast. Then on the train I can read posts and compose comments in Drafts. I can post these when I’ve a connection or when I get home.

          The problem comes when someone has their blog set to show summaries of their posts in their feed. Just when my interest is caught my connection dies!

          I know that some folk want eyeballs on their site rather than my RSS reader. Other folk many not have thought about it. If you are in the latter camp you might want to change your settings.

          Settings – Reading – For each article in a feed show: full text.