#sugsnip – 200 days – the story so far

I’ve just scheduled the 200th consecutive day of #sugsnips (due to be published on Tuesday 19th July). Here’s a special foretaste for readers of my blog:

#SugSnip The 1967 Welsh Language Act required another Act (1993) to put the language on equal footing with English http://bitly.com/kAspeR

I last wrote about #sugsnips back in April, http://bit.ly/q9HgAD after I’d made the 91st daily posting to Twitter. Since then, I’ve passed the half way point (day 182), at which time I’d made over 200 individual postings – one per day PLUS bonus #sugsnips made especially during ‘named’ or ‘special’ weeks.

#SugSnip That’s 26 weeks done. 6 months. 200 specially researched tweets. Just half way! Thank you all for the RTs and the Papers 😉 BONUS Via Hootsuite

I posted my raison d’être back in January http://bit.ly/pfP9wI. Essentially, this was to create a daily Tweet, which contained some snippet of researched and verified information that could/would be of use or interest to anyone reading it.

Limited as we are by Twitter’s 140-character set-up, the initial challenge was to condense essential information into the Tweet along with relevant links. Research eventually led me to find Fur.ly, which not only shortens links but bundles them together: http://bit.ly/pF8Jzy. Further research led me to Bit.ly, which not only bundled but allowed short descriptions of the individual links contained – these could be used for instruction to readers (learners?) http://bit.ly/q1Ot7m. I still use Bit.ly because of its power. I don’t necessarily use it to its full extent in this exercise, but have done so with other, paid, work.

It’s worth noting here that Xtensis, who have hosted the NLN Materials for many years now, are working on a powerful URL aggregator that has all the potential to knock Bit.ly out of the water. http://www.xtlearn.com – why not register and play? Let Rod and Robin know what you think.

I’ve also tested several Tweet Schedulers during my first 200 days. http://www.twuffer.com has a nice interface and for a while was my first choice – but it missed the odd tweet, meaning that I had to ensure I read my Tweets every day just to check. Ditto: http://www.futuretweets.com – not reliable. I have eventually settled on http://www.hootsuite.com to schedule my #sugnsips. Hootsuite has not (yet?) let me down and presents me with a nice interface for creating and viewing my ‘pending’ Tweets.

#sugsnip readers have been very kind and many have been re-tweeted (RTd) or re-published in one of several http://paper.li/s, especially during ‘special’ weeks. Already researched and ready to go (I have to have a minimum of 50-60 ready for ease of mind) is a ‘Coats’ week (probably over summer!) and a ‘Materials’ week (probably mid September). I’m working on a ‘Wine‘ week too. Each is designed to show how teachers might bundle such short, sharp bits of information for learners to access. 🙂

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Gateshead Induction

It’s been another busy week. I’d reached a stage in April, where I thought all my busy weeks had disappeared along with government interest in post 16 CPD, but since returning from France [link] I’ve been rock-on.

On Monday I was up and out of the house by 5.40am, to catch the early train to Newcastle. I’d been asked by the JISC RSC- Northern, to deliver two half day workshops for them on Mobile Learning. It didn’t start well because of assumptions I’d made. I’d assumed there would be computers available at the venue and had therefore not asked for any. No matter how foolish we think the question, we must never assume that it doesn’t need asking! So finding a room set out cabaret style, with no computers came as a shock.

The wonderful RSC team sorted this out, but it did lead to some uncertainties and some changes to the planned programme. Luckily, those attending seemed to remain engaged and were able to participate in a number of active learning activities. I arrived home about 7.30pm – and I’m still tired.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday I completed the work I’d been doing with Nigel Davies on behalf of another JISC RSC; South East this time. I’d spend much of the previous week on this too. We’d been asked to research and develop a Moodle site that RSC clients could use on the subject of Induction. It took the two of us quite a while to track down everything we could on the subject from relevant web sites. We collaborated initially on an iEtherpad and then organised our findings by using a Mind42 mind map. We also spoke every day via Skype, which allowed us to share screens and re-organise the mind map on the fly.

We then agreed which section each of us would develop. I concentrated on the Generic aspects whilst Nigel concentrated on Learner specific and Staff specific inductions. The course is HUGE. We could not use Moodle-Book, so the ten topics take up a lot of space. However, we were also asked to present the course via Web 2.0 and for this we used Bitly (see my earlier notes regarding Bitly), which we believe worked just fine.

If you are registered with the RSC-SE, you can access the Induction course here: http://moodle-rsc.ukc.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=130

On Thursday I began planning for next week, when I will be working for most of the week with Di Dawson and James Clay at Gloucestershire College, and I attended a training session at RM’s Salford TEN centre, on their re-vamped VLE.

On Friday I travelled to Leeds, to work on the new Leeds College of Music learning platform. This is part of the work I’m doing for Lilian Soon, who is project managing this massive project. After a few visits and only making baby steps, I feel that we made great strides yesterday and that things are beginning to take shape.

Sharon met me off the train and we had a few beers, a curry and caught the 8.00pm bus home. Sorted!