Catharsis – WP Child Theme Evolution

It is always a wonderful feeling to figure something out, especially after having struggled with it. The following is a continued progression from one idea in 2011 to this idea in February of 2014 and then merged with this tangential idea from February 2014. The new child theme is here. So at this point, I have a workflow that starts with a bookmarklet that adds the page to Diigo (maintains my normal workflow) auto creates the WordPress Snap code then FeedWordPress takes the Diigo posts and adds it to a blog The blog now also generates a sortable visual interface of screenshots To business . . . Bookmarklet Modifications I made an addition here, wrapping the comment field in a div I named “show”. I did this because Diigo puts the tags in the body of what becomes the post. So it looks like below. It was irritating because the tags weren’t in any particular div and there was no other easy way to address the pieces I wanted to vanish. I didn’t like that and since this site was purely set for this workflow I went the other route (a fairly nuclear one). I set .entry-content p to display: none. That vanishes it. Since I’d added the additional div piece for the Diigo comments, that stuff was safe from […]

“Unlearning”

I have always been rather irritated1 by the quote attributed to Alvin Toeffler. It was used in the start of the History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education MOOC. The participants are all supposed to be life long unlearners. Cute, pithy, tweetable but I fundamentally disagree with what the words mean. First, the quote- The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. I went wandering to find more about Toeffler and the quote. Know thy enemy2 and all that. The book most often associated with the quote is Future Shock. I find only two uses of the word “illiterate” in Future Shock. I also found a full PDF copy online that returned the same information. I won’t link to it here but you could find it without much issue. I’m amazed what I find by adding filetype:pdf to my Google searches. Anyway, the quote below seems to be the relevant one and it turns out I’m not the first to wander down this path. He does quote Gerjuoy who says something close, but better and harder to quote. Psychologist Herbert Gerjuoy of the Human Resources Research Organization phrases it simply: “The new education must teach the individual how to classify and reclassify information, how to […]

Chi Alignment Workflow Dump

And by chi, obviously I mean chi. Consider this an attempt to clear my head a bit. Bouncing off Jim’s post . . . I decided to look at smoothing off the rough edges of some new elements of my viewing/reading/sharing workflows. Flickr Addition One chunk I hadn’t been happy with but had never fixed was the images from people I follow on Flickr. I glanced at them when I logged in but that was it. I’ve been following more people lately including Alexander Pini1 so I wanted to set that up better. Given I had the full feed of the Flickr Commons in Feedly I figured I’d add this as well. When I didn’t see any obvious RSS icons I flipped into the source code and saw the image below which made me pretty happy- a nice Flickr Easter egg. In any case, the URL is in there as well and it’d probably get picked up automatically but . . . hey maybe that wouldn’t happen sometime and it’s worth remembering you can flip over to source and do a find (ctrl+F or command+F)2 for RSS. Tumblr Dashboard Irritation cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward I’m looking at ways to pull in my Tumblr dashboard but haven’t been thrilled with my options. RSS […]

Charting a Course & Walking at Work

I figured I’d blend this week’s walking at work photos with a larger reflection as they mesh together pretty well. Partially because my reflections are blurry and distorted. The photos actually hurt my head a bit and so does trying to knit all this interesting stuff together. The following is a reflection on the course design process thus far and my own attempts to document the course design process. Messy. cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward I’m going to try to capture some of the conversations that have been going on the past few days between Jon Becker, Gardner Campbell, and myself as we start to pull this summer’s MOOC together. I’m doing this in part to further refine my own thoughts but also to play around with Englebart’s idea of a dynamic knowledge repository (one possible element of the course). This will, of course, represent my own slightly askew view of the proceedings but I trust neither Jon nor Gardner would be shy about throwing their opinions in the mix. cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward The conversations have been wide ranging in many interesting and occasionally confounding ways. With an initial goal not to overly define the destination- not to create the rubric-based “prophylactic effect” (That’s […]

Reddit Pic Requests

It is always strange to wander about in Internet communities with a fairly established culture. Reddit is not someplace I’ve ever spent any real time and while I still haven’t done much with it, I have been checking in on Pic Requests. It is really wild to see the diversity of requests and the speed and skill with which most of the requests are answered. These requests (and responses) run the gamut from – [Request] My grandma is turning 94 on Christmas day. Can someone help me restore an old photo of her and her late husband from when they first met? to [Request] Can you make my sister into a t-rex chasing Johnny Depp? People offer money, services in return, Reddit Gold, or just the challenge. It is amazing how fast and how well most of these requests are answered, often by multiple people. Were I teaching a Photoshop class, this would be where I would hangout as every level of project is offered by people who actually need/want the product. They range from fairly easy functional/technical requests to wide open conceptual pieces. I have been attempting to help some people with repair work. I find it interesting and I’ve always wanted to be better at Photoshop but have a hard time doing work for no reason.1 It is […]

Snowballs and Networks

I’m trying to do a better job documenting how the Internet1 does things that make me happy. It’s fun to watch different flows and people come together to take things to another level. These interactions make up my personal Internet and I hope seeing them might help someone else build their Internet, this amalgam of humans and technology, to make them happy as well. The Input Somewhere in one of my feeds I came across Selfies at Funerals. I had a really hard time figuring out who would do something like that. The amount of ego really amazed me. Open Reflection So I put this out on Twitter2. and the #ds106 assignment response to #funeralselfies is to create the most inappropriate selfie (historical or otherwise) possible — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) October 30, 2013 I made the following bad example after a few of my original thoughts turned out far too gruesome even for me. Feedback/Amplification William Berry then sent me an email that was something like this later blog post. Essentially, William had done a much better example using Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. With this as inspiration, I put in some after trick or treating time and made four historical examples. It’s also now made its way to a #ds106 assignment which four people have completed at this point- […]

Bicolored Beans and Dolch Refrigerator Poetry

I’m amusing myself with Javascript and I’m managing to make things. Last Friday I helped unpack some math manipulatives for our new elementary school. They had many, many things to count. Bicolored beans were one of the items I found particularly odd.1 In any case, given last weeks small foray into JavaScript I knew I could randomize images easily enough. I figured with some wandering I could make items drag-able based on something I saw once upon a time. I didn’t really have much passion for bicolor beans but I thought the things I learned with this simple example would be more broadly applicable and this would be a nice proof of concept. Initial wandering was based on a search for “HTML 5 drag drop list” or something like that. If I recall correctly, I found something that I was able to make work in about ten minutes but it wouldn’t work on touch devices. Given this was really a lower elementary tool (assuming anyone in County was going to use it at all) I needed to rethink things. I narrowed it down to something like “JavaScript drag drop.” That led me to back to my habitual Stackoverflow stomping grounds. I found something there associated with the Dojo JavaScript library. That lead to more searches for “Dojo library drag drop […]

27

Simple?

This is probably too simple. My belief is that we (my colleagues and I) should make/find interesting things. We should publish them online in a way that integrates these interesting things into the frameworks that govern the lives of our teachers (pacing guides, curricular frameworks, state standards). Associated with each interesting thing should be the option to expand outward into the rationale behind its selection/construction and/or towards the tools of its construction. I think this does at least two interesting things. It forces a deliberate rationalization and explanation of what you’re building/linking in and a transparency for the user to see those thoughts and perhaps shape how they think about the media/tools/lesson plans. This framework also provides an example and the tools to make/manipulate what you see. It should be empowering- kind of a “if you like this . . . ” here are the tools to build your own. In both these cases, the instructional rationales and the tutorials on the tools should be fairly common between a wide range of media objects. I’m also hoping they’ll grow organically over time with people adding nuance and depth to various sections as needed. I’m not entirely clear on decent ways to have elements of this happen automatically- similar to the way associated posts occur on some sites. It may be […]

18

Getting it together

This is an interesting time to attempt interesting things. There is a lot being documented at the moment1 that ought to be shaping how we think and what we do in K12. Mike Caulfield’s posts on distributed flips2 and the design of open materials for blended classrooms3 Jim Groom’s posts on creating open source learning environments. Alan Levine’s work with the #ds106 architecture and the idea of a “headless” #ds106 course Dan Meyer’s MakeoverMondays That’s just the tip of the iceberg but I think it’s representative of an interesting mixture of elements- creating/shaping content/media, creating context around that media, and workflows around sharing/authoring that contextualized media in a way that encourages communities that both reinforce and challenge ideas around how to teach. I don’t know if that makes any sense but I’ll try to show how it’s shaping what we’re trying to do in Henrico in the coming year. Needs More and better examples of just about everything – Currently our Henrico 21 site is meant to help show people interesting things to do that fit within our definition of blended/technology-enhanced learning. I think it serves a certain purpose and there are 900 or so lesson plans there but in the end, I don’t think it’s used in a way that justifies the amount of energy that goes into it. […]

15

Numbers and Context

Initiated by ISTE and signed by more than 1,700 educators (emphasis mine) from across the United States, the petition applauds President Obama for his ConnectEd initiative, which aims to connect 99 percent of U.S. students to the internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within five years. – from Tech for Learning For context, almost 30,000 people want to recognize acupuncturists as health care providers.1 Almost 1,200 people want to make Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA” our new national anthem.2 And to make it worse, ISTE claims more than 18,000 educators attended their recent conference. Maybe Jane McGonigal should have made a petition signing game instead of opting for thumb wrestling. 1 No word yet on that same recognition for phrenology. 2 Bruce Springsteen had no comment.