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  • H-Blog writes:
    June 10th, 201100:10at
    Profile photo of H-Blog

    Thanks for the comments folks, you’ve all been very kind. I’m sort of wondering where the Nay-sayers have got to?

    Some very good points being made here in the comments. Jackie and Danny hit the nail on the head when they say training is a key issue, and as for Carol not being ‘allowed’ the key, I just can’t understand that. I can’t begin to think what the objection there would be. Don’t know if you’re on Twitter Carol, but if you are get in touch (@don_iain) and I might be able to help you get your key – if your enthusiasm hasn’t been dulled that is!

    Matt – I totally agree with your assertion about the ICT magic bullet – and it does seem like the iPad is the new one! I hadn’t heard of Total Cost of Ownership before, will need to look into it.

    I think Ross makes a great point when he points out that ‘effective’ isn’t the same as ‘all the time’, and Danny’s 3-option observation is an astute one. His concerns about those who did not take advantage of previous opportunities also not taking advantage of new opportunities seems well-founded.

  • IWB Challenge (weekly | The IWB Challenge Blog) writes:
    June 12th, 201112:32at

    […] The H-Blog » Blog Archive » IWBs – the eternal battle continues…. […]

  • The H-Blog» Blog Archive » TeachMeet 365 writes:
    September 23rd, 201104:09at

    […] have mentioned before how great I think it would be for TeachMeet to grow and develop beyond the techie focus it is […]

  • Tom Barrett writes:
    September 23rd, 201109:02at
  • Eylan Ezekiel writes:
    September 23rd, 201109:10at

    Brilliant idea -I think the DIY aspect of Teachmeet needs to be released again. Sponsors and venues are essential to broader inspriration and I love the flavours that this model has created.

    However, that needs to be fed more by lots of little stepping stones – to more effectively enable teachers to make their own way across the gulf between aspiration and inertia.

    I offer to set up TM365/Ox/1 at the Rusty Bike
    Looking forward to the wiki, etc…

  • Lynne Williams writes:
    September 23rd, 201111:50at

    We completely agree with your idea. We already have informal drinks/chat with our teacher friends, but offer to extend this and set up TM365/Cardiff/1….

  • Colin Maxwell writes:
    September 23rd, 201113:05at

    Getting back to basics and making it less intimidating for newcomers is a great idea. We held a Teachmeet internally within Carnegie College a few weeks ago. Turnout was small, but there was a variety of interesting presentations and it was good to find out about activities that were going on around us that we’d never heard of.

  • Ann D'Arcy writes:
    September 23rd, 201113:26at

    Last week was my 1st TeachMeet. I was a bit overwhelmed by it but did enjoy it and, I hope, benefit from it. I’m in the prcess of persuading my SMT to allow me to organize and host a KidsMeet in North Glasgow. I’d certainly be happy to plan a local TeachMeet. I think my first would be in the school where I’m comfortable and at home. After that the world would be our oyster. I retire next December, maybe organizing these could be my hobby then!

  • Linda Lapere writes:
    September 24th, 201109:39at

    My HT has pushed for these so our school is hosting the first one next month which I’m presenting. Focus is on ICT, 10 min presentation (ish. Could be longer if I get carried away and enthusiastic!) followed by chats. Going to focus on the sharing of ideas and just what’s out there which is the greatest part of TeachMeets – meeting other teachers & being inspired while making professional friends.
    Small, local ones are definitely the way forward I think. Building on confidence so who knows what might happen at next year’s SLFTM? I might have the courage to stand up there!

  • Ian Stuart writes:
    September 24th, 201109:56at

    I really like that idea of regular monthly chats. Its like an informal TLC.
    Loved the small teachmeets and small online (Its a location thing) meetings

  • Colin Maxwell writes:
    September 24th, 201111:02at

    If we get another mass of snow this winter and there are school closures again I’ll set up another TeachmeetUKSnow, but it will be at 24 hours notice in case of a sudden thaw!

  • Kenny Pieper writes:
    September 24th, 201112:04at

    This is a great idea. Teachmeet needs to get back to basics, I think. Teachmeet SLF11 was great but perhaps might be Intimidating for those less confident about presenting to their peers. Smaller, more classroom based work on a regular basis would be more encouraging.

  • Drew writes:
    September 24th, 201118:42at

    I’m with you on this. Had some thoughts on this topic a wee while ago –

    Might try and run the idea past the SLT and see if we can do something at my school….

  • | In response to Islay ICT – TeachMeet & SLF writes:
    September 25th, 201117:05at

    […] Iain Hallahan suggests in his TeachMeet365 blog post there is a growing will to return the stripped down, low key, local roots of TeachMeet. I think […]

  • BrainPOP UK | Update on our TeachMeet sponsorship | POPtalk writes:
    September 26th, 201116:39at

    […] we question is there a need for sponsorship at all? Look at Iain Hallahan’s new “TeachMeet 365” project for inspiration. His initiative has made this decision […]

  • I promised thoughts on #tmfuture: here they are « chrisrat's blog writes:
    October 27th, 201108:34at

    […] this more generally. I know that TeachMeet has much more of a history than I have with it, reading Iain Hallahan’s blog post, it seems I have come across TM very late – and I am very jealous of those who have been with […]

  • Almost done « Kyle's Weblog writes:
    April 10th, 201200:38at

    […] called TeachMeetNJ and if you’ve never heard of a TeachMeet, then check out this link for the history of […]

  • Jeff writes:
    May 25th, 201203:49at

    Too bad the UK did such an IWB bender … we are only partially doing that here in Canada.

    If IWB’s have not already been naturally embraced and used powerfully by teachers (no matter what level of training is provided) then they likely never will be. The best kinds of technology are adopted effectively *without* significant amounts of formal training.

    Rather than waste even more $ on IWB training take a look at the factors which actually DO influence learning for lesser cost (google “Visible Learning” from John Hattie for some good starting points).

    Our own districts are struggling to provide solid wireless, teacher devices and basic projection. IWB should be a much lower priority.

  • zero peroxide writes:
    October 1st, 201204:29at

    An insightful blog post there mate ! Thank you for posting .

  • Jamie writes:
    October 28th, 201223:18at

    That is fantastic, put a wee smile on my face while I was reading that! These kind of things should be on class room walls.

  • The H-Blog» Blog Archive » Inclusive Technologies for Reading – #ITR12 « DyslexicIT writes:
    November 5th, 201217:41at

    […] on Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  • Lucy Bronwin writes:
    November 10th, 201217:57at

    Wow, that’s really interesting. Thanks

  • Monika Fischer-Keogh writes:
    November 11th, 201210:58at

    Hi Ian, that sounds really good. I have started us delicious but then moved over to Diigo. I might reconsider or look for the same features on Diigo. Thanks for your great tip.

  • John writes:
    November 12th, 201213:36at

    Hi Ian,
    I moved from delicious when it looked like disappearing to pinboard.
    There are a few things I like about
    You pay for it, it is not expensive, but hopefully that will mean the service is not at risk.
    It imports delicious links and imports new ones. I still post to my delicious account as various bookmarklets are in place.
    It supports the delicious api (1 think) which lets you use widgets etc

    I used to get some useful links via delicious’s for: tag that doesn’t happen any more I guess folk share via twitter now.

  • H-Blog writes:
    November 13th, 201212:29at
    Profile photo of H-Blog

    Thanks for the comments folks.

    John – I too was worried when I thought I might be losing delicious, and had worked out how to export my links. More recently however there have been a number of developments on Delicious and it looks like it is going to be around for a while yet! Pinboard sounds very interesting though, I may have a look at it.

  • The H-Blog» Blog Archive » Shortcut Shenanigans writes:
    November 14th, 201200:10at

    […] for Reading course has seen me working on Structured Documents. As well as attempting a strctured blog post previously, this has also seen me creating documents with structure using Word. Now, having used […]

  • Lucy Bronwin writes:
    November 15th, 201200:48at

    Yay! So what about a little bit of music then, fairground, jazz, reggae, Scottish pipes?

  • Doug Belshaw writes:
    November 21st, 201208:24at

    Hi Iain,

    Thanks for writing this up! 🙂

    I can promise the whole process will be way easier next year when we’ve got Open Badger up and running. Also, have you tried

  • H-Blog writes:
    November 22nd, 201216:13at
    Profile photo of H-Blog

    Hey there Doug!

    Not a problem writing it up. Actually, I felt that once I had done the detective work and found OpenBadges and ForAllBadges that the whole process was actually fairly easy! My ‘fudged’ display solution is actually working well, and because it utilises the infrastructure that is already built there is very little additional time put into it, meaning I won’t feel scunnered when a better solution comes my way in six months or a year.

    David Muir is in the same school as me these days, and he had pointed me towards – it looks good too, although I find the back-end, management side of ForAllBadges looks like a better fit for what I am trying to achieve and has better potential for getting colleagues on board.

    Going to be posting a new post with some of my thoughts on ForAllBadges soon, would be interested in your thoughts on my thoughts! Started asking on the ForAllBadges thread in the Google group, but turns out they are pretty meaty so I will blog here, summarize there and post the link. Hoping to get the ForAllBadgers involved in the discussion too, and hear what they have to say.

  • Fearghal writes:
    November 24th, 201210:32at

    Wow! Thank you for the nominations for pedagoo, PedagooFriday, Jamie & my own blog 🙂

    You’re a star.

  • H-Blog writes:
    November 24th, 201214:24at
    Profile photo of H-Blog

    Not at all Fearghal. Thank you all. Well deserved.

  • John writes:
    November 25th, 201218:30at

    Hi Iain,
    Very useful write up and exploration.
    Am I right in thinking that ForAllBadges could be used without Mozilla backpack?

  • H-Blog writes:
    November 25th, 201219:50at
    Profile photo of H-Blog

    Hey there John.

    Yeah. In fact, our whole system from badge issue to display inside fronter works without involving the OpenBadge backpack. The badge journal inside ForAllBadges (which is what we are using to display the badges inside fronter) allows the user to send badges to their backpack, and from there they can manage badges into groups as well as aggregating badges from various sources. The way we are set up though, there is no demand on the user to do so, and therefore it is entirely up to them whether or not they choose to do so.

    There is one more very distinct advantage to the Backpack badge display page compared to the ForAllBadges badge journal, but I’ll be looking at that in a bit more depth in an upcoming post, so I’ll not go into it here in the comments!!!

  • Carol Skov writes:
    November 27th, 201217:47at

    Informative blog, thank you. Learnt two new things – adding alt text to an image and the accessibility checker in word 2010. Carol itr12

  • Jamie writes:
    December 3rd, 201219:27at

    Thank you for the nomination! What a great surprise!

  • David Ball writes:
    January 23rd, 201310:04at

    Thanks very much for linking to my article. I’ve not had any experience with Windows Narrator, but according to the user survey by webaim, this isn’t even in the top 10 most used software that blind users use.

    When I did my testing I used JAWS (the most popular worldwide, but costs a small fortune), and NVDA which is free.

    You mentioned how hard the voice is to understand. Listening to your clip I can understand why! The voice for JAWS isn’t too bad actually, it’s legible and many blind users have the speed cranked right up to speeds far greater than I can comprehend. The free NVDA voice isn’t great, but I found it okay once I got used to it. You can also choose different voices, and I hear you can download a better voice but this costs money or I’ve heard some blind users download new voices illegally.

    Whilst I agree mostly that we need “a better way” like you mentioned, I’ve done some chatting to some blind and screenreader users recently, and what I’ve found is that actually they’re mostly quite happy with the way the screenreader reads out everything. I considered changing the way I make websites and remove a lot of what they would consider as clutter, but in doing so we’re giving them a different experience, instead of giving them the freedom and the right to the same experience that a sighted user has.

    It could be that blind users just don’t know any better so accept this, but it’s a tricky line between tailoring their experience to make it better, and empowering them with access to full information on the page.

  • H-Blog writes:
    January 23rd, 201323:15at
    Profile photo of H-Blog

    Hey there Dave. Not a problem linking to your article; it’s a great article, and that survey you’ve posted here is pretty useful too.

    Yeah, when I was looking at using some of the software, I thought I would start by looking at what came built in to the computer first. Narrator sounds alright, but it is very difficult to control – although in fairness, I’m finding that with most of the software. I tried installing ChromeVox then, but it wouldn’t load in. I have managed it now, but it still seems a bit buggy. I looked at Thunder then, and also had a look at WebAnywhere. Even with okay vision and looking at the shortcuts, I can’t really get any of them to do what I want. WebAnywhere seems to be the most agreeable at the moment, although it seems much more prone to incorrect pronumciation. I saw a video for NVDA, and maybe it’s the one I should have started with.

    I can’t have made myself clear enough in the post – I didn’t really mean that I couldn’t understand the voices – mostly I could – it’s just that I found the very act of listening to them very, very hard work, and for different reasons for each of them! The speed is one thing, but even slowed down a bit they aren’t easy to listen to. WebAnywhere sounds quite mechanical, but reads all the text easily (even if it makes some mistakes). Narrator sounds better, but getting it to read what you want is tortuous. ChromeVox sounds good and seems quite easy to navigate to where you want it to read, but it keeps hanging in the middle of reading selected text. The Chirbit voice does not sound very good at all in the embedded player – it did sound a bit better in the website itself – but it was the easiest way I could think of to come up with a synthetic voice to embed in the blog. CALL Scotland have produced the Scottish Voices – Stuart and Heather – and they seem quite easy on the ear, although I have not given them a proper test drive just yet, and they can be difficult to get hold of. That’s interesting about the illegal downloading – I wouldn’t have thought of it, although as soon as you said it I thought “Well, yeah, I suppose you would have that issue!”

    What you said about blind and screen reader users and that they are happy with the current interfaces is very interesting. On one hand, I suppose it backs up what I was saying about practice – the more you try something the better you get. I reckon if the users that the technology is intended for are happy with it, then that’s all that counts, but from a technical standpoint I don’t know that it is replicating the sighted user experience – unless of course there are ways of customising the screenreaders that I’m not aware of (although that is quite, quite possible!). I mean, generally, as a sighted user I know what bit of a webpage I’m going to look at first, and my eyes are straight onto it as the page loads in. I don’t need to scan through the address bar or any menus or links to get to it. Can a screenreader be set in that way – to jump to the ‘main’pane on a page loading? Plus, while I can understand that the users are happy enough with what they have, if they were able to start again and design an interface from scratch now, using all of today’s technology, would the screenreader format be what they would come up with? I would have thought a more Siri-like experience could have been a good starting point.

    As for designing resources, be they web based or otherwise, I’m more confused than ever. Using the screenreaders has made me examine how useful ‘alt text’ can be, but I guess the best way to find out would be to do what you have done and speak to those who will be using the technology.

    Thanks again for your original post, and for your comment which has helped clarify a lot of thinking!

  • Trisha/atechnotebook/possibility/mostlyerror writes:
    February 8th, 201320:00at


    Just completed the quiz — enjoyed and learnt some new things (even though I lost against myself…). Well done.


  • Text to Speech Quiz | atechnotebook writes:
    February 20th, 201318:56at

    […] H-blog […]

  • Martha writes:
    February 20th, 201322:31at

    If you would like to check out a variety of concept mapping methods with diagrams, etc. check out what we have prepared on
    With our best wishes!
    Martha and Team.

  • The H-Blog» Blog Archive » Easy Openbadging writes:
    June 9th, 201323:39at

    […] the problem. 2 minutes is not a very long time, particularly to talk about something you have been working on for months and have found out so much about. So, to keep things short, I decided to create an OpenBadge for all the participants of […]

  • Easy Openbadging | writes:
    June 13th, 201306:32at

    […] the problem. 2 minutes is not a very long time, particularly to talk about something you have been working on for months and have found out so much about. So, to keep things short, I decided to create an OpenBadge for all the participants of […]

  • Easy Openbadging | writes:
    June 13th, 201306:32at

    […] post can also be found on Iain’s blog (The H-Blog) at Related Posts:TeachMeet Pedagoo❤Libraries #tmlovelibrariesTeachMeet […]

  • More about teachmeets | SELMAS writes:
    September 11th, 201319:04at

    […] More about teachmeets […]

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