John Stewart asked if I had any easy ways to allow users to highlight some text and push that highlighted text to a form. I didn’t but that sounded like something useful in a variety of scenarios so I sketched out a working demo in Codepen which you can see below. It can push the content directly to a form field on the page but I also built a link that would populate to include the highlighted text as a URL parameter and grab the page URL as well. Like most things I make, it’s the result of some Stack Overflow responses being hit several times with a hammer. It’s decently commented up but is not the most optimized of code. This type of construction usually results in new ideas being incorporated on the fly and that makes for ugly code. I am ok with that as this prototype took about 15 minutes to create. We can polish things up if/when we have a more direct audience/intent. Until then, it’s a functional prototype which can be used to get faculty seeing possibilities. See the Pen highlight to field by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen.
Background I like Timeline JS. It’s a nice way to create multimedia timelines. I’d previously done some work that would take WordPress JSON API data and insert it into the Timeline JS view.1 It was nice for creating alternate and standardized views of blogs that might be useful for different reasons. It didn’t serve some other needs and while doing it through a generic URL was handy for many reasons it was odd in other scenarios. As a result I decided to make a new version as a plugin. If you don’t like reading stuff there’s a quick video of how it works below. Plugin Goals First, I wanted this to be a plugin rather than a theme. That adds a bit of complexity because you don’t have control of the whole scenario but it makes it much more portable and more likely to be used as it doesn’t require people to change themes or spin up an additional site. I wanted people to be able to use WordPress rather than a spreadsheet to create the content for Timeline JS. Doing that has a few advantages- the WYSIWYG editor, the ability to upload images directly in WordPress, the ability to use posts you’ve already written, etc. etc. I also wanted people to be able to choose what posts ended up […]
Backstory Driving into work I was listening to NPR and they were interviewing Nikki Giovani a poet from Virginia Tech. In high school I was one of those people who really suffered reading the The Red Wheelbarrow and other non-rhyming poems. They irritated me in the same way people seem to be annoyed by White Paintings or 4’33”. In any case, in college I took lots of English classes. One of those classes was on poetry with Donna Hickey. The class selection was driven more by fitting my schedule and a vague notion that I might minor in English rather than any real interest in poetry. The first day of class she had everyone list their favorite poets. I don’t recall what people chose but I remember feeling like my choices of Shel Silverstein and Dr. Suess was not of the same category. In any case, I had a great deal of fun with the course and using poems as games and puzzles to think around and through. I later took a graduate course with Dr. Hickey1 in poetry and made my first digital liberal arts website around 2001 or 2002. It focused on breaking down various Richard Hugo poems and creating attempts at multimedia experiences.2 That stuff is all long gone from the UR website. I might have backup […]
Lots of remakes going on lately. That’s good in that it means people still want to work with me (now our group) after doing it once and secondly they’re seeing things to change and improve which is how things get better. The harder part to figure out is that in you never really finish anything so you have to keep that partial snowball effect in mind as you figure out how much work you can take on. Or I suggest you do. I at least pretend I do but really if it’s cool and interesting enough I just say yes.1 So anyway, the old RVArts site was decent but it was an early work in terms of my capacity as someone who makes websites.2 This remake is a mix of technical and visual changes. Technically . . . This remake is about harvesting the content students create in a Facebook group and then using it with different material students create in WordPress. Right now the data is pulled from the Facebook group events into WordPress through the Event Aggregator which ties into Event Calendar Pro. Later in the game we opted to jump events right back to Facebook so we could have skipped all that and just used the FB API but sometimes you find that stuff out too late. […]
“You cannot think your way into a new way of living. You have to live your way into a new way of thinking.” – Mike Wesch You can’t beat that quote as a way to frame a course and it’s nice to consider how digital content supports that kind of perspective on learning/living. It’s also a key consideration in how I think about building courses like this. You have to do it. You shouldn’t expect to be perfect the first time, or the second, or ever really but if you’re doing it right improving it should be worth the investment. You should get some joy out of the process and it should alleviate things that cause you pain. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Mike Wesch and Ryan Klataske at Kansas State over the last few years1 on the ANTH101 site. It’s been an interesting progression over time as the course has continued to evolve. We’ve gone done a variety of paths and dealt with human and technical issues. It has been interesting to participate in the ongoing co-evolution of aesthetics, mechanics, and content. It’s also a scenario where I wish I’d have done a much better job with screenshots so I could more accurately show you how the site has evolved.2 After an initial meeting at Kansas State […]
The Eyes of A Child flickr photo by -Jeffrey- shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license Once upon a time there was a young human who loved the beach. She had a toy shovel that she used at the beach all the time. She used that shovel to dig holes and make sand castles. Many fond days at the beach were spent with that shovel. This young human also had a dog. The dog did what dogs do. Her responsibility was to clean up the dog doo when the dog was done. She disliked this task intensely and would often complain about it. “Eureka!”1 exclaimed her parental unit one day. “Our daughter loves her beach shovel! Let’s have her use that shovel to clean up the dog mess instead of using the big metal shovel.” After a few sessions where she was required to use her beach shovel to clean up after the dog her parental unit asked “Isn’t cleaning up after the dog so much fun now? You get to do it with that shovel you love so much.” As you might guess, the daughter did not enjoy the shift. The beach shovel did not make cleaning up dog poo more pleasant. It actually made things worse. It was a poor fit for the unpleasant task compared to the […]
I have1 a number of preconceptions about ol’ Blackboard . . . I figured, like Mikey, Bb wouldn’t eat anything2 and I enviously watched Keegan and others play in the Eden that is Canvas. I decide the other day that I needed to just pry at the edges of Bb and see what I could do. It turns out, there is a whole lot of stuff you can do. I’m not saying it’s necessarily ready for basic faculty use but there are some huge doors we can open up given what’s available. All the following examples were done by going to Build Content>Blank Page then clicking the view HTML button and pasting stuff in. iFrames It seems like I can iframe in anything I want. That really surprised me so I started to see what I might embed. I tested initially on expected things like Google docs and charts — that stuff worked well. But could I do a Google Drive folder like I do in WordPress? Yes. Could I do something a bit less typical like awesome table? Yep . . . Rampages? Yes . . . So I’m pretty sure I’m close to unlimited in what I can iframe in. Jeff has already started roughing out some iframe widgets for Blackboard that meet particular faculty requests. Scripts and […]
*********UPDATE********* The stuff below sort of works, but since there’s only one parent element for all sections it won’t let you click on links later on. That’s no good. It’s also kind of weird to go from interacting with the iframe page to get back into the slideshow navigation (partially because I hid the navigation buttons). So . . . I went this route instead. The following code toggles the slide overlay. I set it up as a button at the top of my slides. It’s full width and black so not obtrusive. Click it lets me fully interact with the iframe page and clicking it again reactivates keyboard navigation for the slide deck. *********END UPDATE********* I’m a fan of reveal.js and have been using it to build all of my recent presentations. It feels like it fits what I do really well. The fact that it’s just a website that behaves a certain way means I can do all kinds of fun things that blend both the web-based examples and my ability to annotate and manipulate the web itself.1 There’s also quite a bit of beauty in tools that continue to offer more opportunities to grow as you learn. Anyway . . . One common action in my presentations is to embed a live website as a full size […]