Replied to A microcast about microcasts by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)

I’ve wanted to create a podcast for a long time, but the effort involved just seemed like too much. So using my own website, I thought I’d see what I could come up with in under an hour in terms of creation and posting. Here’s the first “episode” of my microcast which I’ve conceived of, …

I loved the depth of reflection that you provide Chris, connecting it with the past and considering all the different elements. I think that I need to give the idea some more consideration. I opened up Voxer and recorded a short note while cooking tea. Forgot all the contextual elements. Had to finish it as the hamburgers needed flipping.
Replied to Creating a personal Learning Board of Directors (transformative learning)

What if instead of being the sum of the five people we spend the most time, we set up a Learning Board of Directors. A deliberate choice of people who inspire us, provide feedback, clarity and encouragement, who are interested in our growth and development and won’t shy away from the tough conversations. Some of the Learning Board members you may not know but their guidance from afar is through intellectual inspiration and advice in the form of blogs, podcasts or videos. Below is the list that I came up with.

Another thought provoking post Steve. It reminds me in part of Cameron Paterson’s call to find people who scare you, as well as Tom Barrett’s creative council.

A few questions that I was left wondering is whether the board of directors changes over time? And needs to change? Does having a ‘board of directors’ involve creating the conditions to properly embrace these guides and mentors? And do those on the board always choose to be there or do we choose them? Such an interesting idea. I am left reflecting on staff meetings where gathering together does not always guarantee anything is actually achieved.

Replied to Revealing a heavy heart and awakening through fear and dialogue (transformative learning)

I learnt that I’m not afraid of public speaking. I actually enjoy speaking in public. I’m afraid of the feeling of being judged in public. I’m afraid of letting go and not being in control.

This is a great reflection. I could not agree more about the realisation that it is about the critique, more than the actual performance. I refer to it as being comfortable in your own skin. Take for example Gary Stager. He shared his limited preparation associated with a recent TEDTalk:

I wrote the talk an hour before showtime and delivered it with no monitor or timer in front of me. I’m sure that the performance suffers, but that the message may manage to be worthwhile nonetheless. I hope you or some teenagers find it interesting.

This is in contrast to someone like Amy Burvall, who felt that the TED format, something critiqued on method as much as content, required something different:

Usually when I give keynotes, I don’t really make a script per se…I know what I’m talking about and prefer to speak naturally and let my slides, which are very visual, guide me. But TED-style talks are different…they are timed and must be precise, therefore requiring a script. Every word counts – like a poem. The trick is, you want to practice that bad boy till it’s part of you, like a tattoo, but still come off sounding like it’s the first time you’ve ever said it.

She even went to the length of creating an animated version to thoroughly prepare:

Thanks Steve for sharing. It definitely challenges me to push myself beyond my usual comfort zone.

Replied to IndieWeb: The Book (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)

I’m going to write a book about the IndieWeb geared toward helping non-developers more easily own their online identities and content.

I know that I have provided my perspective already, but I have been doing a lot of thinking about it of late. There are so many elements that just feel so foreign. Take for example H-Cards.

I feel like I have been reading so much about them. As much as I think I get it, that it is a layer to a site that provides additional machine readable information, there is also a part of me that feels really lost. I am ok with that, but I feel that it is a point of confusion that needs to be resolved as the IndieWeb grows and develops. I assume when I retrieve the post properties in a ‘reply’ that this is calling on information located in the H-Cards? The question that I am left perplexed by is where exactly do I add all of this information?

Do I add it to the Theme Header file? If so, I presume that I would need to create a child theme. I must admit that this is an area that I still need to explore.

I noticed on your main site that you have your information in the margins on the right-hand side. Can it just be added to the HTML editor? What happens with a theme like ZenPress which does not have a space like that allocated on the front page? I presume that the H information needs to be on the front? Or can it be on an about page, like your Rel=”me” information.

Also, what happens in regards to posts and the h-entry? Just as I add a closing callout to my newsletter at the end of each post, partly inspired by Alan Levine, just with less humour, is it possible to bake the basic H information into each post?

Although there is plenty of information, I feel that much of it is written in a way that makes it a step learning curve for anyone trying to pick it up. Maybe there are prerequisite skills needed to engage in the IndieWeb. I am not sure, but that is certainly what I am wondering at the moment.

Replied to Is Your School a “Rules First” or a “Relationships First” Community?

My priority was obedience first and relationships later, not realizing that obedience — or the lack thereof — was a direct reflection of the state of the relationship that I had with each individual student. The kids who misbehaved the most were the ones that I’d done nothing to get to know and appreciate and value and celebrate.

Although I wonder if it is more complicated than this dialectic, I agree that an approach on rules and discipline misses the point. I wrote about this a few years back. One of the interesting point that was made to me was the place of rules and discipline within learning, the structures associated with the way things are done. At the very least, this is a question that all teachers should reflect upon as it often raises so many questions to consider.
Replied to OPML files for categories within WordPress’s Links Manager by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)

Last week I wrote about creating my following page and a related OPML file which one could put into a feed reader to subscribe to the list itself instead of importing it. I haven’t heard anyone mention it (yet), but I suspect that like I, some may be disappointed that some feed readers that allow …

I love discovering simple tricks that WordPress allows you to do simply with the URL. For example, adding ?=random to the end of a WP blog will produce a random post.

Chris Aldrich’s provides another:

So in general, for WordPress sites one can append ?link_cat=[category id] (with or with out the brackets) to the main URL for the OPML file typically found at http://www.example.com/wp-links-opml.php.

When we talk about coding it small tricks like this which excite me because it feels as if they touch on the way that the web works, as much as the outcome at hand.

Replied to Just discover I had a Goodreads account, started and abandon… by john john (John's World Wide Wall Display)

Just discover I had a Goodreads account, started and abandoned in 2010. I’ve be finding that I am not recalling the titles of books I read on kindle and thinking about making some tracking notes. I’ll give this another go.
Like this: Like Loading…

John, I originally tried to use GoodReads, interested in what opportunities it might offer my students, but I found myself simply publishing my reviews to my own blog. I have never done that thing where I share with the world where I am up to with my reading either.

In regards to highlights and notes, I haven’t used clipping.io to capture my thoughts. Never heard of it, sadly. Instead I used to copy the highlights associated with each book to a Doc. Now with the update that Mariana mentioned you can add them to your Diigo collection. Only done this with one book so far. I like the idea of it, just frustrated that it is not a service that is more open. I guess Clipping.io was that service and they have closed it. What I like about highlights and digital texts in general is the ability to go back and search. I agree that paper maybe better for memory, but I find the ability to easily trawl texts priceless.

Like Alan, I feel like I regularly stumble upon forgotten services, worse is when you are still paying for them.

Replied to Filtering with dates in the QUERY function – Ben Collins (Ben Collins)

Working with dates in the Query function in Google Sheets can be tricky. This tutorial shows you the correct syntax and examples.

This year I have been creating a monthly summary of posts and updates associated with all things GSuite. It occurred to me after nine months that I should really be storing all the links in some sort of database. My question is how to automate the process of turning that into a monthly post.
I have been getting on the GAS and am thinking that QUERY might be a part of my solution. I am therefore trying to get everything working in Sheets first. I have followed your guide to QUERY, even adding in two dynamic selectors (is that what they are called?) that I got from your work on VLOOKUPS. My question is filtering by dates. I have followed your instructions for filtering between two dates:

 =QUERY(Data!$A$1:$H$136,”select C, B where B > date ‘”&TEXT(A1,”yyyy-mm-dd”)&”‘ and B <= date ‘”&TEXT(B1,”yyyy-mm-dd”)&”‘”,1)

But fear that I maybe limited as I have recorded my dates using DD-MM-YYYY. Sheets recognises this as a date as a formatted the cells as ‘DATES’. My spreadsheet settings have also been changed to ‘Australia’. I am wondering if you have any thoughts or suggestions on this? Here is a link to my sheet.

Replied to It might be a little way off yet, but … (Marginal Notes)

Whilst seeking examples of projects created with Scalar, I also came across a similar offering, Omeka. Whilst they may not produce the exact look I was after, I think they might be able to replicate some of the functionality. I’ve only had a quick look and need to read and think through the IP issues, ethical issues and the workload that taking this direction might generate. However, reality quickly kicks in and I return to some of the issues discussed earlier. I’m obliged to ask myself, what’s the purpose of the thesis? It’s not an ebook, it’s a piece of work presented for assessment in partial fulfilment for the award of Doctor of Philosophy. Weighed against that are, for me, two things: reducing the online, multimodal, hyperlinked realm that has provided the setting for my study to a static pile of papers somehow seems to lessen the work; thesis-lite! And there’s also the thought that adding some of the aforementioned enhancements might just make it more useful in a broader scholarly environment. Perhaps making it of value to a larger audience than a thesis might usually enjoy? Undergraduates interested in sociomateriality. Masters students considering digital ethnography. Doctoral researchers wishing to build arguments for and against post-qualitative research.

Ian, I really like the idea of developing a digital thesis. One of the concerns and questions I would have about your work is that longevity of the data and reference. I see potential of such plugins as Amber and sites like Internet Archive to create a historical reference point.
Replied to

Simon, if your question is what would my research question be, I am intrigued by:

To be honest, these investigations are always ongoing. That is what I like about the idea of a Wikity blog.

If your point is about when am I going to do my Masters, I am not sure. Is it free? I think that if or when I do eventually dive in, it will probably be research-based, rather than solely course work.

Replied to

Your guide was not the issue, I realised that I had pingbacks turned off.

#indieweb replies are not necessarily what I thought they would be. I had this strange idea that they would allow me to leave normal comments on somebody else’s blog. Instead, they just leaves a pingback? I wonder if I am missing something? I am wondering if POSSE plays some part here?

Replied to Pingbacks: hiding in plain sight

I’ve never really thought about Pingbacks on blog posts; they just appear. On my own blogs, most of the pingbacks are in fact internal referencing as I link from one post to another. But maybe they’re not as mundane as they might at first appear and in fact they work much harder than I first thought? When someone reads a blog post and is subsequently minded to write their own post, either referencing or extending the ideas in the original, they are extending knowledge. Were it not for the pingback, the link between the two posts would be one way only, from the body of the new post back to the original. The pingback is initiated automatically from within the original post platform and consequently makes this a two-way exchange by providing that link to the new post.

This extending of the knowledge web offers opportunities, but I wonder to what extent people use it? I know that if I write a post which attracts a pingback, I usually follow it up to check out the post and the author. The outcome might be that I learn something new about what I originally thought, or that I find a new blog to follow, or a new person with whom to connect. The interesting part is that it’s an algorithm or script that’s doing that. A nonhuman. My learning is once more being affected and enabled by a nonhuman actor.

Pingbacks seem to be a part of the WordPress architecture. For other platforms, you can use trackbacks. One use case is the #Indieweb and the potential to comment from your own space. Chris Aldrich even demonstrates how you can use such an infrastructure to reply to Twitter.
Replied to Male teachers are an endangered species in Australia: new research (https://theconversation.com)

Male teachers may face extinction in Australian primary schools by the year 2067 unless urgent policy action is taken. In government schools, the year is 2054.

This finding comes from our analysis of more than 50 years of national annual workplace data – the first of its kind in any country.

Kevin McGrath and Penny Van Bergen provides a summary of their paper into gender equity in schools. They predict that by 2067 there will be no more male teachers in primary schools. Other than being an improvement on the argument that robots will take over education, I wonder what the percentage of males and females in leadership would be during this period? I have a hunch that the numbers would still be relatively high.
Replied to A reply to Aaron Davis on setting up IndieWeb replies in WordPress by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)

a tweet by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (Twitter)
#IndieWeb is there any magic in setting up ‘replies’ in WordPress beyond the plugin? Or is it only possible in Known? CC @ChrisAldrich
— Aaron Davis 🏘️ (@mrkrndvs) September 17, 2017

Aaron, there are a couple of different ways to set up …

Thank you Chris for the reply. I did read your post, that is what spurred me to try once again to investigate ‘sending replies’.
Replied to Slice of Life: The Ethical Questions of Ease (Who Pays the Price?) by dogtrax (dogtrax.edublogs.org)

Dang it. I’m sipping the tasty Google juice, and sharing it with my students.

But …I am also regularly talking about tech company’s intentions for gathering data and information about us, as means for making money from advertising and more. I hope that all balances out, and that in my attempt to make my life easier as a teacher I am not putting my students in the crosshairs of a technology behemoth.

Interesting post Kevin. I am particularly intrigued by the question of data. You look at something like Draftback, which plays back a Doc’s revision history. It can be easy to be enamoured by such functionality. What is intriguing is that Google keeps all this data, that is just accessed via API’s to produce the playback. Why?

Another interesting example of the potential is the Classroom Extension. Not only does it allow you to easily set assignments, but when installed by staff and students, it provides the means to send a sight to students. This though is taken to a whole new level by Hapara, which allows teachers to lock a student’s screen. It can be easy to view Hapara poorly, but it only builds on what Google makes possible. This is taken to its zenith with Hapara Analytics.

I will not deny, I have drank the KoolAid (and probably still do). I think though that like with all technology, I am somewhat in awe of the affordances, but also critical of the consequences. I wonder about Martin Weller’s call to ‘rewild edtech’. For me one thing that needs to change is data, as Caulfield suggests, at the least that would be a start.

Replied to Engaging Students’ Parents in a Collaborative Digital Place (rtschuetz.net)

As Karen Mapp says, involvement tends to be passive, falling short of real effectiveness. With digital places like Schoology, we can positively influence students, as Matthew Kraft says, “by engaging parents as partners in the education process.” The research on the benefits of parent engagement and school achievement are indisputable. Our infrastructure is in place, now it’s a matter of creating the expectations and dedicating the time necessary for teachers and parents to collaboratively advance student learning for all.

This is a great post Bob. Engaging with parents is such a wicked educational problem. I remember developing a focus a few years ago as a part of my Google Certified Educator experience:

How Might We ENGAGE PARENTS in a CULTURAL SHIFT to make RELATIONSHIPS and CONNECTIONS the focus of learning?

What I learnt from the experience is that it is not as simple as just inviting parents in.  I developed the eBox blog as a way of engaging, however it never really took. Since then applications like Seesaw have really opened up this space.

 

Replied to 4 Ways that Google Might be Hurting Education

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This is such an interesting post Bernard. In regards to the ‘commercialisation of educators’, I am a Google Certified Innovator and enjoyed my experience at Google. However, it was the opportunity to work with other passionate educators which was the boon, not the focus on tools.

I was a Google Educator before they changed the program, but my credentials have since lapsed. I could justify completing the credentials as it is a core part of my current work. However, I have concerns about ticking a box. I prefer to use my time to develop my own capacity myself, documented in my monthly newsletter. I think that Rafranz Davis captures some of the issues too.

In regards to the influence of Google, I am more concerned about the influence of GAFA, FANGS or whatever acronym you choose to use. I am happy to support teachers where they are at. I have written about Apple, Adobe and Microsoft. I have also written about open software and managing my own domain. In regards to disclosure, I would like to think that I am transparent, but I guess I could always do better.

Replied to Pickles and Shoe Tying

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I love this comment Alan:

What I think is worth writing about are things in your day that nibble at your attention. That make you pause, ever so briefly.

I think sometimes I forget this. Interestingly, Kin Lane shared something similar lately to:

It would KILL ME to not be able to tell stories. I need storytelling to do what I do. To work through ideas. It is how I learn from others.

You have both reinvigorated me to stop worrying and just get back to sharing and storytelling.

Replied to Why I Hate Homework and How the Research Backs Me Up (Imagination Soup)

Do your students spend hours a night doing homework? Mine do. And I hate it- maybe even more than they do. Most of the time they just do it and don't complain. But I'm complaining! I'd so much rather my kids get much needed down-time after school to: play, nap, read, run, swing, dance, twirl, build, create, draw, invent, or design.

Thanks for the great post Melissa. I could not agree more about homework. I feel like so many elements in education the high ground is so often held by those more conservative. Personally, I would love to scrap homework, however it is not always the overall consensus. Also, there are many parents out there who seem to believe that homework is somehow essential to success. In the end, I feel that homework underwrites the relationships that we as teachers continually try and build with students. There is nothing more depressing than the awkward conversation with parents seeming whinging about the failure to submit homework.