WordPress for iPhone, Stumble Upon

Well, this has got to be good… Here I am using my iPhone once again to send information to my blog. This time it is a short note to describe adding a ‘Stumble Upon’ button to your WordPress themes.

I noticed that last week the hits rose quite dramatically on a particular item t do with iPhones and on further investigation it turned out that a visitor had added my site to StumbleUpon and thus the sudden influx. It was enough to encourage me to make it even easier for that to happen in future.

A quick visit to Stumbleupon.com and I had the code I needed to enter into the theme files I am using, but it needed some editing. Adding the ‘title’ attribute from WordPress code endured that the specific page or post gets tagged.

I’ll monitor traffic over the next couple of weeks to see what happens, but I am not expecting much.

Just to finish by saying I rote this entry using my iPhone, and as you can see, it has arrived safely on the site. I am a fan of the wordpress app for iPhone now… but have been a fan of Stumble Upon for years! 🙂

Testing the iphone app for WordPress

So here I am posting directly to my blog using my iPhone. It is slower to type than using a keyboard, of course, but it is at least available to me from anywhere.

And as you can see… I can add an image, too. In this case it is a picture of my recently bashed car – thanks to Robert from Princes Park Manor, N11 who looks left when pulling out of a junction whilst turning right. Twit. Good job it was at walking speed otherwise the damage would be far worse.

Do I still think that mobile phones are good tools for learning? Well yes, actually, and probably more so than before. I am typing at a reasonable speed and am not struggling too much. I have Internet access, can post short texts to a site and basically do most things I would expect to do in a normal lesson if asked to research information or put some text together. Of isn’t yet perfect but it isn’t at all bad.

Bring on more… And soon!!


Wanstead High School Creativity Day

On Monday, my colleague Matthew and I, accompanied by two work experience lads, went to Wanstead High School to run an animation day on the theme of Dr Who.

We worked with twenty young people from Yr 7 to Yr 9 and took them through the stages of creating a stop frame animation using the ever brilliant ‘iStopMotion’ from Boinx. Adding audio using Garage Band from Apple was also included in the day and we then created videos for YouTube.

The children had not made an animation before this, although several had used Mac computers and were familiar with Garage Band. Given the relative lack of experience with the software they were very easily able to achieve a result… but we already know that the vast majority of children that age, when given the right tools and right challenge, will work their socks off to get their ideas translated into film.

It was a delight to work with such a focussed group, and our thanks go to Carolan Murray for inviting us to the school. The workshop was arranged through various email messages, and Carolan had no real idea of the quality (or otherwise!) that she would get by inviting us in… hopefully we didn’t disappoint!

RSC Jisc Barnfield College

The work for today was for the RSC/Jisc conference at Barnfield College – probably best described as an ‘e-Fair’ it brought together people from the colleges around the Eastern Region to explore the issues realting to new technologies and learning.

We were delighted to be asked to support the event through the innovative SMS text application which is currently known as ‘Walls iStream’… I know, I know… we’ll need a better name than that! Still, it will do as a working name for now, and certainly gets people thinking!

The system allows you to send a normal SMS message that appears almost instantly on a screen. We have versions which run off a local phone connected to a laptop through bluetooth, and we have a version which operates through an SMS gateway. Both are identical to look at.

What we find when we deploy this software is that people immediately find a use for it that is different to the original purpose, which was to support speakers at conferences and collect delegates’ views. Today was no exception and plenty of people talked to us about how they might use it with learners, with staff for ICT development and lots more, too.

If you’d like a copy of the software, or access to use it for an event, please contact Cleveratom on 0845 868 9020 and we will work with you to make sure it is fit for your needs.

Walls iStream currently looks like this:

Walls iStream software

BCSE Seminar 2008, Building Better Schools, BSF

Friday 27th June was the date for the BCSE seminar at Westminster Academy where architects, construction companies, designers and all interested in the BSF (Building Schools for the Future) Programme met up to look at some of the issues they all face.

Cleveratom were there to provide an interactive session and encourage the delegates to ask questions. To do this I worked with half of the group (there were just too many delegates to fit in one room) and used the ever improving SMS tools that we are developing. The current incarnation is dubbed as ‘Walls iStream’, meaning text that is streamed onto a wall… Hais has been refining the interface and making it more linear than the previous versions, although we see a space for both in the future. The current version looks like this:

Walls iStream screen capture

What we have seen is that architects are desperately keen to get the design of new schools right, and that they are under immense pressures from a number of different angles to confrm in one way or another with guidelines that limit the way spaces can be developed.

The BCSE event served to really highlight some of the issues to a wider audience and encouraged wider dialogue between people involved in BSF work.

Ty Goddard is the director for BCSE and is known as a strong campaigner for good design in schools. The responses from the event will be used to inform a document to go back to the Select Committee and let them know what is happening ‘on the street’. This is no easy task and there are many diverse views to consider.

The blog site for the seminar is http://www.buildingbetterschools.org.uk and you might like to sign up there and continue (or engage in) some of the dialogue as it unfolds. Participants at the seminar are particularly encouraged to make their views known (and felt) but anyone with an interest should have a sign in and join in the debate.