Eduvel’s 2010 in review

Healthy blog!The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

 

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow. >>

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 72 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 133 posts. There were 11 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about a picture per month. There were also many of David’s Flickr pictures seen – but these are not counted in the stats.

Featured imageThe busiest day of the year was June 9th with 111 views. The most popular post that day was Building VLEs.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were friendfeed.com, twitter.com, village-e-learning.co.uk, morrighan13.wordpress.com, and digg.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for theories of learning, arcs model, el buli, monet painting, and european hierarchy.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Building VLEs June 2010
16 comments

2

iPhone 3GS Accessibility January 2010
4 comments

3

Action Plans November 2009

4

A bit about David May 2009
3 comments

5

iPad in Tulsa August 2010
6 comments

 

This is all pretty much as it came to me from WordPress itself  although I’ve edited the layout and added a couple of things. Happy New Year.

Advertisements

Snowy Wales

What an unusual and interesting few days we have had.

Sharon and I had originally been invited to Steven and Rosie’s for Christmas: just the four of us with a turkey and lots of trimmings. However, this arrangement had to be altered early in December so we decided to come down and spend time with them a week earlier as Sharon would finish work at lunchtime on Wednesday, in plenty of time for us to set off.

Readers of my Saturday Walks blog will know that we stopped off at Karen and Dave’s en route and that we eventually arrived here at Ty Llwyd on Thursday 16th December. Our plan was to return home Sunday 19th or Monday 20th at the latest. This became impossible because of the weather.

Our problem wasn’t the snow that fell heavily on Wales over Thursday night and Friday, but the lane outside the house, which was like an ice-rink. Everyone around Ty Llwyd has 4WD cars and trucks and as a result we were able to get out on Saturday with Steven in his Subaru, but our Ford Focus didn’t have a chance on that surface.

Since Saturday, the road had worsened as tractors, Utes and trailers have driven up and down the lane, moving sheep and feed up around. As it is 1.5 miles to a main road, in either direction and as the top road wasn’t all that clear itself on Saturday, it was with some trepidation that we set off home on Tuesday morning. As suspected, the Focus went about 10 yards and ground to a halt so we had to continue with Stephen towing us up the hill with Rosie’s 4WD Frontera. Half way was as much as it managed before falling foul of the ice. Luckily, a farmer had seen our plight and offered to tow us with his tractor, which was a hairy but successful trip.

So eventually, we got off and on our way home. As we left Aberystwyth and begun to climb into the mountains a light snow started, which made the final drop down towards Newtown fairly hairy too. Nevertheless, from the Red Kite Café, through Llangurig and up as far as Welshpool we saw some of the most beautiful scenery we’ve ever seen. At first the mountains were just brilliantly white, but as the tree line became visible, especially on the lower roads, a combination of hoar frost and snow had made the view even more spectacular. Thank you Wales.

Once home, we found pipes blocked and a topsy turvy central heating system. But we’re on with all that! Isn’t it surprising what a few days of sub-zero temperatures can change?

iPad goes to Chicago

So, day one of my working holiday in the USA. Wherever possible, I am using the iPad as a means on being productive whilst on the move. The first thing I’ve done is but ‘documents to go’ on James Clay’s recommendation and I’m writing this piece, today, on that. I’ve opened a new document and simply started. In landscape mode, the text is big enough and the keyboard is HUGE – certainly big enough for two fingered typing at a speed my brain can keep up with. I’m using documents to goIto draft this, instead of the WordPress App because the App simply isn’t good enough. I could (I know) email this to WordPress, but then the post isn’t formatted in a way I like, so it’s better that I create the text here and then open up the online version when I can and post from there. We’ll see.

We set off last night (Tuesday!) about 5.30pm as we had to drop my brother Andrew and his partner Debbie at the airport for the first leg of their return to Australia. They’d been with us for a month and will finish off their holiday with a few days in Dubai. We then went to the airport Travelodge, where Sharon had secured us a deal that offered a night’s sleep and a meal for two for less than £50. The meal was no better than could be expected but we were let down on the draft beer front! They had none – a myriad of bottled beers but no draft; so we shared a reasonable bottle of Chillean CabSav. Despite it’s proximity to the airport and to the M56 our night was undisturbed by noise.

We’re now in Dusseldorf, waiting for our connection to Chicago – so if there’s WiFi there, I may well post this en route. As it happens, I’ve got a little more to mention now we’re in the air – the food is tremendous! Well done Lufthansa.

I’m writing this in portrait mode now, mainly because I’m working off the seat-back tray and need a little angle. The keyboards is still an ok size, but I’m not working as quickly in this cramped environment. Still, it’s much better than trying with a full size laptop.

Well, the above was written on the iPad but because the WordPress App is functionally useless, I’ve had to finish off on the MacBook Pro – and that’s been a real trial of patience. We’re in Chicago at the moment, we’ve been on the road since 5.30am and it’s almost midnight (18.5 hours?) and our next flight is in about 2 hours (1.75 hour flight!!). Because, even cutting and pasting my notes into the Safari iPad version of Wrodpress didn’t work, I’ve now connected Documents to Go with my Dropbox and Google Docs and have copied the notes to iPad Evernote App. So – I can access the words I wrote on the iPad in any of a number of online places. So – far – so good. If this appears online, we’ll all know that this has worked? Too tired to write more – goodnight.

The Aussies prepare to leave

It’s hard to believe, but in about 24 hours, I’ll be 24 hours from Tulsa. Another Stateside sojourn is in the offing, but this time I’m taking (a lot of) work with me. Mind you working on the Internet with 25mbit broadband is more appealing than working with my maximum 4mbit but often less than 2mbit BT Broadband at home! I also think that the 35-40c degrees of fine weather will suit me better during my time-off days and evenings (A/C permitting) than the intermittent grey cloud and rain we have here.

So we’re taking my brother and his partner back to the airport on Tuesday evening and staying there ourselves for a first-thing Wednesday morning flight to Tulsa via Dusseldorf and Chicago. It really doesn’t seem like a month since they arrived here from Australia.

The last two weeks have passed in a frantic haze. First of all work, and my preparations for the work I must do whilst in the States, took up a lot of my time and then, because Andrew and Debbie (especially Debbie) had wanted to experience France, we took off last Wednesday for a three night stay in Boulogne. Now, I’ve been to Boulogne before and I’ve stayed there overnight before, but have never toured the area surrounding Boulogne and Calais. So that led to an interesting two days driving around.

Our first morning’s objective was to amble over to Watten, on the canal just north of St. Omer. First of all, I hadn’t realised that there was such a network of canals in this part of France, nor that the back roads were so beautiful. We passed through Ardres, where it was market day, so we stopped and had our first ‘real’ coffee. St. Omer was the eventual destination for the day (a place from which you need a compass, SatNav and informed passengers to get out of) before touring the valley just south east of Boulogne (I’ve forgotten the name) and finishing in Montreuil-Sur-Mer.

Our second day saw us on the coast just inside Normandy, at Cayeux-sur-Mer (which is just next door to Brighton!) and in Abbeyville. It had rained fairly hard before we got to Abbeyville, so it was a damp walk around the town – which is probably worth a longer look some day. Cayeaux was a complete surprise as it was quiet, clean, warm (we had lunch in the town square) and easy to park. Once again, the trip was a real taste of France, something I’d not expected this far north.

None of the food we ate on the trip was worth writing about, we just had the usual stuff which is served up for tourists (along with the derision one often feels the French reserve for the English in this part of the world – I don’t feel to be an inconvenience elsewhere in France).

The worst part of our trip was the journey through England. En route, it took 40 minutes to get from the back of the queue for the Dartford Crossing to the toll booth and coming back, about 20 minutes. But then we had roadworks on the M25 which sucked up 40 minutes and a queue to get out of Bishop Stortford services that lasted for 20 minutes. Does anyone think we’re over populated (bearing in mind that France is five times the size and has roughly the same population)?

Busy week

Phew – what a week! I have delivered eight hands-on workshops in four different colleges and a come-and-ask-me day in a Salford School.

In Huddersfield (Kirklees College) on Monday I had been asked to work with the Foundation Learning team to help them understand how some of their new kit could be used. The kit had come from a RSC-YH sponsored ‘Pathfinder’ project but had only just arrived – so not being used yet. The workshop was therefore very timely.  And, much appreciated, although I’d only been required to attend the morning session, they asked if I could stay on and “tell/show them more!” It was a great day.  My own learning was accommodated too as we did a short iPhone App-swapping session too. Best one seen on Monday? Photofunia App: free.

I continued my work with the Albion School in Salford on Tuesday, where we are helping the teaching staff to develop their VLE.  My role, as I’m sure I’ve said before, is to increase their awareness of interactivity alongside the VLE development. As always, it was another enjoyable day.

Then my travelling really started. I was at Newcastle under Lyme College on Wednesday to deliver the first two of six almost identical workshops. Each was tailored for different audiences, but each does in fact delve into the ‘Potential for ‘m” which I have discussed before. The workshop looks at mobile and modern (Web 2.0) tools and how sound pedagogical theory an weave it’s way through their deployment.

Thursday was my hardest day. I left home at 5.50am and got back at 10.10pm. A long long day – but very enjoyable. I’d been asked to work alongside Ron Mitchell at Tower Hamlets College in east London. Now, trains to London are expensive enough but when you leave your ticket at home (doh!!) it becomes an even more expensive proposition. I’d put my outward journey tickets in a waistcoat pocket and then at the last minute, decided to change the waistcoat. Easily done. Luckily, I had my return tickets in my wallet (good job I didn’t change my trousers?) otherwise the journey would have been twice the cost. Working with Ron, and the staff at Tower Hamlets was a real pleasure. Thank you.

Then on Friday, I was at Sheffield College. This was to be my last MoLeNET presentation before the final conference in September. For the third day running the weather was fabulous and everyone seemed keen to learn about ‘m’. Once again, I came away feeling refreshed – although remained dog-tired after such a busy week.

Even Saturday was busy – but in a relaxing, pleasurable way. I met Dave Boulton (and several members of his family) and Vic Dejean, to undertake (it’s a chore – but someone has to do it) the Beer Train Trail from Stalybridge to Huddersfield. This is slightly different to the one Oz Clark and James May did on T.V. and actually takes in several of the villages that the ‘local’ train stops at. I will post the day’s reflexion shortly.

True Grit

Well, the snow finally looks like it might be leaving us. Maybe only for a while, but it will be nice to see what’s underneath again.

I’m not sure exactly when it started to snow, but I had to postpone my visit to Sheffield on 18th December because the slight snow fall had turned to ice and I couldn’t get out of the village. I could, just, but it took and age and the journey wasn’t worth the risk.

The snow was deep and crisp and even throughout Christmas and then it came again. We had about nine inches each time (not exaggerated – I measured it with my trusty – now rusty – blue metal ruler) and then this week we had a final daylong fall of very fine stuff that caused the most problems. Our road by this time was not gritted. This caused me to postpone this week’s trip to Newcastle, partly because the trains to that city were intermittent at best – cancelled at worst.

However, this isn’t a whinging note: I think that Kirklees Council have done a sterling job with the gritting – given that we’ve had a month of what appears to have been the worst winter snow in thirty years. I heard somewhere (maybe I read it) that Kirklees had bought in extra stocks of salt/grit this year and it showed, as the roads were kept pretty clear for the best part of this extended period of bad weather. Of course the side roads were not kept too clear – but then they never were!

Thirty years ago I lived in Golcar, just across the valley from where I live now and for two years running we had to dig ourselves out of the estate. Great fun it was as well; two or three hours digging to make sure we could get out the following day and then off we all went to the pub. None of us seemed to consider NOT going to work during that period. And my own children had a great time playing in the snow with their mates too (so did I).

I have two distinct memories of snow when from I was (much) younger. As a child in the fifties (time passes so slowly when you are very young), the snow seemed interminable, very deep and so much fun. I vaguely remember the milkman’s float having chains on the wheels and those neighbours lucky enough to have cars, changing their types in winter to ones that gripped – these might have been chains too, I can’t recall, but people certainly seemed to get about. Then in the sixties, as a young teenager, it became even more fun with sledging and snowballing and making huge snowmen. We used to make super glass-like icy slides down the footpaths too – brilliant but very deadly. The householders used to throw ash from their coal fires over these to prevent anyone from killing themselves (we hated them for that).

Ash was the grit of the day then: a virtuous circle of fire >> warmth >> useful waste. No big holes in Cheshire.

Well done so far Kirklees Highways Dept. Not so well done Kirklees schools – you have VLEs!

And not so well done Kirklees whatever the bin-men department is called. December 9th was my last gray bin collection. Tut tut.