Open Thinkering


Tag: Flickr

My iPad Mini apps (October 2013)

This morning I went through the apps I had installed on my iPad Mini. I realised I don’t use most of them and so carefully pared them down to fit on one screen. No horizontal scrolling for me!

I’ve uploaded the screenshot to Flickr and added notes with some detail of how I use each app. I’d be interested if you did the same – whatever device you use!

Click here to see the notes

My iPhone apps (April 2013)

Some people are surprised that I use an iPhone 4. It’s true that I’ve tried a Nokia N9 and several Android devices but (at the moment, until something better comes along) you’ll prise my closed proprietary device out of my cold, dead hands. Why? I can trust it to work as expected when I’m travelling. And that’s important.

It’s been a while since I shared the iPhone apps that I use, so I thought it was time for an update. I’m going to use Flickr notes to do this, so to get started click here or on the image below:

iPhone apps (April 2013)

Which apps do you recommend? Why?

Project Reclaim: experimenting with

As part of my ongoing Project Reclaim, and spurred on by D’Arcy Norman’s recent post on abandoning Flickr, I’ve been playing with

In a similar way to the idea behind Unhosted, you bring your own data (i.e. photos) and the application does something with it (i.e. display them nicely, allow you to share them easily). I’m using Dropbox, but you can use Amazon S3, and more.

I like I’ve uploaded two sets, one public and one private. The private one is of my children and shared only with family. The public one is of some photos I took down at Druridge Bay yesterday.

Where do you store your photos? Why?

Seven types of ambiguity and new literacies

Some people talk of ‘learning styles’ but I think that, really, we use each main type of style (kinaesthetic, visual, aural) depending on what it is we’re learning. In fact, as a teacher, I’ve observed this in the classroom.

Those (high-flyers) who have the groundwork understanding to quickly assimilate concepts need merely aural input to learn effectively.

Those (most of the class) who need some consolidation of the groundwork before assimilation need things explained visually.

Those (SEN, etc) who need to re-explain the groundwork completely before moving on need kinaesthetic activities.

Feel free to shoot me down, but that what I’ve observed. And the same is true for my own learning.

At the moment I’m trying to apply Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity to my Ed.D. thesis. Specifically, I’m interested in finding out how terms such as ‘digital literacy’ and ‘electracy’ are ambiguous. It’s confusing. So I did my equivalent of breaking out the Duplo:

Empson, the 1st type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 2nd type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 3rd type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 4th type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 5th type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 6th type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 7th type of ambiguity & literacies

Note that this is visual learning for you but kinaesthetic for me – I did something similar when doing my MA.

Thoughts/comments? Do you do something similar? :-p

My favourite proverbs from around the world.

Recently, I joined Newcastle City Library. Back in the day you had to live in Newcastle or the surrounding area (or be a student there) but times have changed. It’s everything a public library should be: light, clean, welcoming and easy-to-use.

I only had a short time to browse, but a book entitled As They Say In Zanzibar: Proverbial Wisdom From Around The World caught my eye. I love stuff like this; a country’s sayings reveal a lot about it’s culture and people.

Here’s some of my favourite from the (literally) thousands in the book:

Don’t put each foot on a different boat. (China)

Heroism consists in hanging on one minute longer. (Norway)

When it rains, fill the jar. (Turkey)

Hunger doesn’t say, ‘Stale bread,’ and cold doesn’t say ‘Old coat.’ (Georgia)

What is said over the dead lion’s body could not be said to him alive. (Republic of Congo)

No matter how long a log floats on the river it will never be a crocodile. (Mali)

Grief and joy are a revolving wheel. (India)

People who do what they say are not cowards. (Nigeria)

When you show the moon to a child, it sees only your finger. (Zambia)

A basket-maker who makes one basket makes a hundred. (Brazil)

Another reason why I like proverbs is because they’re a great example of what Steve Higgins, my Ed.D. thesis supervisor, would call productive ambiguity. They can be applied to many situations beyond the obvious!

I’d love to have the time to match up all of the wonderful proverbs to relevant Flickr pictures. I’ll have to make do with the rather handy Phrasr to semi-automate stuff instead… :-p

What are YOUR favourite proverbs?

Off-site and cloud-based backup: my solution.

Over Christmas I was talking with someone about backing up data. They quite rightly pointed out something I hadn’t really considered – namely, I may have an Apple Time Capsule, but if my house burned down I’d be a bit stuck. 😮

As a consequence, I’m in the market for an upgrade to a paid-for cloud-based backup solution. I asked a few people on Twitter and in person what they used for off-site backups. They mentioned the four below:

Comparison of cloud-based backup solutions (Jan 2010)

(too small? click on the table to enlarge!)

I tried these out. I found that all of them apart from Dropbox had something lacking:

  • is a bit too business-focused.
  • MobileMe may provide extra features but only 20GB of storage. Also don’t like having to pay in one big chunk for a year’s service.
  • SugarSync is interesting and the cheapest of the options above, but I didn’t like the interface.

As I navigated to the Dropbox website to give them my credit card details, I remembered Zumodrive. I used to use it all of the time last academic year, but hadn’t looked at it for a while. I thought it could be perfect for my needs! Why?

  1. It now has ‘folder linking’. This means changes made in a particular folder are always reflected in Zumodrive with no extra actions needed by the user. This is also the case in the other solutions outlined above, but didn’t used to be the case with Zumodrive (it used to be like an online USB flash drive).
  2. Photos are automatically synced with either iPhoto or Picasa (I use the latter). This is particularly handy for the photos I don’t deem worthy enough to go on my Flickr account.
  3. As with Dropbox and other solutions, you can instantly share any file with others through a link on Zumodrive.
  4. The cheapest upgrade is only $2.99/month.
  5. You can open files from iWork 09.

I signed up for the $6.99/month 25GB option.

However, calculating the amount of data I was going to need to backup overall it looked like I was going to have to spend $9.99/month for 50GB and then, before long, probably have to move up to the 100GB $19.99/month plan. I didn’t like the sound of that.

I tweeted about this and Mark Wagner, amongst others, replied:

Thinking about this, I realised that I’d conflated cloud-based and off-site storage. What I really need is something to sync Documents and other files of my choosing so they’re available quickly and easily (e.g. via my iPhone). And then, separately, I need an ongoing archive of all of my stuff.

I’ve signed up for Mozy. They do unlimited non-commercial storage for $4.95/month. That’s my off-site storage solution. My cloud-based storage solution is going to be a free Dropbox account. Why? Because it’s truly cross-platform, has a great iPhone app and you can gain an extra 250MB storage for every referral you make! 😀

I need 7 more people to sign up for Dropbox to get my maximum referral bonus space (3GB). If you’re going to sign up, would you consider using one of the links to the service in this post please?

What are YOU using? Why?

Wednesday Wisdom #1: Character and intellect

Given that I want to continue to blog every day, I need some structure to keep going. I’ve already instituted the Things I learned this week series which will appear every Sunday on this blog. I enjoyed Balthasar Gracián’s The Art of Worldly Wisdom so much in 2009 that I’m going to couple some highlights with CC-licensed images from Flickr every Wednesday.

Wednesday Wisdom: Character and intellect

You can purchase an inexpensive copy of the book from Amazon or read it online for free via Google Books. 🙂

Mac OSX apps I currently use.

Michael Arrington (of TechCrunch fame) recently posted his fifth annual list of the tech products he loves and uses every day. Paul Stamatiou updates his Stuff I Use page regularly. People often ask me what apps I use, so here goes in the quickest and easiest way I know how – Flickr with notes*

(if it’s too small to read, you might want to click through!)

* Want to do this yourself? Try this script (which I used) or Mbedr. 🙂