#Advent #SugSnips

https://i1.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8201/8162101242_dae954feae.jpgSome readers may remember the series of #SugSnip tweets I posted to Twitter every day of 2011.

I’d started these postings on 1st January 2011 (see my 1st #SugSnip blog post) and they culminated in a publication on ISSUU. The publication had a foreword by James Clay and this year, I am taking a leaf from his book (so to speak) and copying his idea of daily  posts throughout #Advent. In my case I’ll run right through the month.

 – See James’ 2011 musical advent calendar.
– Also watch
his 2012 cinematic calendar as it unfolds this year.

Please read on (beneath the ISSUU book) to learn more about my series of #Advent #SugSnips 

My thanks once again to http://cpwilson.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/embedding-issuu/

I’ve toyed with the idea of delivering #SugSnips again for quite a while as I’ve missed the research involved, it’s been a sort of hobby for me. However, I wanted to present the information in a different way. My first thought was to create a Google Presentation and to post the link to one slide per day. However, this turned out not to be as easy as I’d first thought. Although each slide had a different link the whole presentation was viewable – so not much use for a daily ‘reveal’.

Each of this month’s #Advent #SugSnips has therefore been created as a separate presentation. I had to use Google Chrome to be able to capture each presentation URL (rather than the ‘edit’ URL) but this seems to work OK. You tell me?

I’m also using bit.ly again to create the shortened URLs of this link, reducing it from 114 characters to just 13!

Also like before, because it was the most reliable during 2011, I’m using HootSuite to schedule my Tweets. This time I am also copying the daily posting to Facebook.

Creating the presentations hasn’t been straightforward, but I’ll log that journey later this month. Suffice to say I won’t be recommending the method I’ve used for easy distribution.

I hope you enjoy reading these #SugSnips. I will publish the entire 31 slides as a single presentation in January, along with the bitly bundle. Enjoy.

It’s easy to forget

It’s been a while since I chose to employ any Microsoft OS for my own use. However, most of the places I visit or work with have now moved up to Windows 7 and furthermore, I have been retained to give someone a report on certain aspects of Win 7’s potential. I have therefore bought a copy of Windows 7 and have installed it on my Aldi-Medion (formerly Vista) laptop. Well, number one son Ben has installed it for me – I may well have asked the laptop AND the software to pick a window (through which I would the throw it!)

I have brought the very same laptop on holiday with me, to a) put Win 7 through some easy paces and b) to upload my pics to Flickr and to keep up to my holiday blog. Internetting has been OK but drafting blogs became a tad tricky as I have not yet invested in Office 2010 – which is the plan. I tried the already installed MS Works and (as I have done many times before and many years ago) wondered what its purpose in life was. I then downloaded Open Office 3.0 and I was ready to go.

I missed Microsoft Picture Manager big-time too, I’d thought that was part of Win 7 but it seems it isn’t. On the ‘net, Fotoflexer wouldn’t work for me because it thought I was French and threw me out; Picnik tried to do the same, but I found the button that said ‘hey – I’m English and need English titles etc.’ so was able to crop/edit some pictures for use later.

So, tonight I tried combining all elements in a holiday blog post: Open Office 3.0 draft words, Picnik’d Flickr photos and WordPress. What a disaster!

My lack of recent familiarity with Windows and the ubiquitous Internet Explorer is to blame I think. I know I could use other browsers like Firefox (which is my default on the Mac), Chrome (which is my default on Parallels) or Safari (Which I use now and again) but for the same reasons detailed above – I need to reacquaint myself with it.

I did all the usual things like importing the words into WordPress via the ‘Paste as Plain Text’ facility and importing the picture ‘from URL’ but things just didn’t go right. I could see that I’d lost half of my text after inserting the picture – I wasn’t sure why that happened – and I pasted it right back in. Then, later in the evening I noticed that an complete paragraph had been missed. I’d deleted my original by now too!

I’m not blaming Windows or IE25 (or whatever version it is this week), it was definitely operator error, but it’s amazing how soon you become unfamiliar with a tool, when it’s been updated. Sorry to anyone who read that post and wondered what I was talking about 😦

April slides in

I think that my last post was about ‘tea’. Why tea?

I suspect that this harks back to the way I used to blog. My blog from 2005 to the middle of last year (2009) was at http://www.village-e-learning.co.uk/blog.htm and the only reason I gave it up was the convenience afforded by WordPress, which allows me to edit whenever I have an internet connections, rather than only when I have access to the correct software. I began my Eduvel blog in May 2009, https://eduvel.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/where-will-june-go/ and my ‘style’ of blogging seems to have changed.

Whereas before my blog seemed to be a ramble about my daily/weekly life and work, it seems to have become an occasional ramble about a single subject. The subjects themselves are diverse, so that’s not a problem as I’d hate to be seen as one-subject blogger, but there seems to be less recording of activity (which I use to look back upon my activities and thoughts) and more of individual rants or discussions.

Contrast the older style August ’09 post Wembley with kath-e-gay-oh-my from February 2010.

I don’t mind doing the odd one-subject blog posts, I used to do it anyway, but I seem to have lost the will (ability?) to pen the more diary based ones. The difference showed when I finally tracked down a copy of Front Page 2003 and installed it onto my Parallels based version of XP. It worked a treat and I’d forgotten just how much I enjoyed working with Front Page before my old Toshiba laptop died and had to be re-built. So – now it’s back, I’ve been able to begin the updating of my Village e-Learning site and have taken the time to take a look at my old blog. It reminded me how important it is to put things down on paper (on the web!) if you want to remember it.

So – Easter came and went. We saw Emma’s new, but not yet complete, house and Khawar popped around today. We had mum and dad for tea (not literally) on Monday and that’s that.Word Cloud for this page

Next week I’m working on a European project for a couple of days in Wetherby. Again, Khawar and I will deliver a pedagogical technology workshop to approximately sixteen people from (I think) six countries. I’m really looking forward to that. Then, on Wednesday evening, Sharon and I will retire to Reeth in North Yorkshire for a few days R & R. No phone, no internet; just books, booze, food and walking. Loverly!

Here’s a Word Cloud of this post from http://www.tagxedo.com/


Following a recent comment on one of my pages, I began to ask myself:

“Why DO I have so many blogs?”


“What is their purpose?”

The flippant answer is ‘who cares?” but the longer and more complicated answer is perhaps more interesting:

I’ve experimented with many and various blogging sites ever since I first came across blogging as a tool for education at the 2004 ALT-C Conference in Exeter. http://www.alt.ac.uk/altc2004/. I remember returning to work and asking colleagues to try out the idea and to tell me what they thought. As it turned out not much – only one or two really saw the point. I played with a few sites and hated them – so started to write my own ‘blog’ via html.

For many years I wrote my blog using MS FrontPage 2003 and publishing it to my own domain: http://www.village-e-learning.co.uk/blog.htm. This became much less convenient as new facilities became available via Web 2.0 and as I moved away from my XP laptop to my Vista laptop. The reasons for moving from XP to Vista are too complicated to go into here. At the same time Microsoft refused to update FrontPage for Vista and I’m too busy/slow/stupid (delete to suit) to learn Dreamweaver.

As the inconvenience became more pointed I moved over to WordPress (this blog).

I’d been playing with several blogging sites over the years, mainly to see which supported my needs and which was easiest for my learners to use (these days my learners tend to be teachers or trainers in the wider UK F.E. sector, although a fair proportion are from H.E.). Others have sought this Blog nirvana too: http://www.xlearn.co.uk/2009_09_01_archive.html

I found the change over to WordPress fairly smooth and although it still doesn’t do everything I want it to do, it is available on every machine I sit at and does ‘pretty much’ what I need. I do get irritated that the template I have chosen creates fairly small text (I have to code it slightly bigger myself when I remember) but the alternative is just another level of complexity.

I’ve tried:

* http://moblog.net/dsugden/ initially to send picture via mobile phone – but most blog sites allow this now

* http://touringfishman.blogspot.com/ (Play time version)

* http://dsugblog.blogspot.com/ (Books I read)

Both of the previous two are Google based Blogger sites, one of the first I tried Blogger didn’t fit enough of my needs to host the main blog. However, Blogger is the one I use with ‘new’ bloggers as it is simple to use and can be accessed via a Google login – which is essential for most web-based communications (another blog post maybe?)

* http://sites.google.com/site/dsugden/ This was a facility offered by Google during my visit to the USA in 2006. I experimented with it to keep a holiday diary. It (and the next) used to be ‘Google pages’ but have now become ‘sites.

* http://sites.google.com/site/dsugden/commodities This was a site I developed from the above – thinking to try and make it into a ‘learning’ web

* http://www.myspace.com/dsugden I used the blog facility here to write about ‘food’ but got really bored with it (same with Facebook – which I hate)

* http://dsugden.posterous.com/ was chosen initially as it could be authored via email and any images attached would be nicely inserted. As it developed, it became easy to ‘send to’ other social media and although I decided to make this blog my more chatty arena, it gets pushed to WordPress anyway – so it’s hard to choose between what is work and what is play.

So – again, why so many?

I tried to compartmentalise my blogs during the experimentation period, (blogger = books, MySpace = food etc.) and eventually to use Word Press to blog about e-Learning, m-Learning and teaching and learning generally; but really found it hard to separate my daily life from my daily work. I also found myself in something of a straight jacket and therefore decided to continue what I had started to do way back in 2005 with the Village –e-Learning Blog. They are all about me, what I do and who I am.

Will I open more? Will I try out other social media facilities?

Of course I will.

Season’s Greetings.