All posts by John

I am a teacher, currently working in Banton Primary for North Lanarkshire Council. I also act as Product Owner/provide support for Glow Blogs. I like Blogs.

Bootcamp Review

If you signed up for the bootcamp, please fill in this survey it will help us if we organise similar activities. Even if you decided the bootcamp was not for you or you could not take part please fill in the form.

If you took part


Bootcamp Week 10

The Glow Meet will be on Tuesday 5th May at 2pm instead of Monday.

Technical: Questions from the floor. Please email me any questions before the meet if you can.

Discuss: How are you going to maintain your blog. By now you have been blogging for at least 10 weeks, it might be a good idea to review how it is going. It is also a good time to think about how you will manage the blog longer term. Who will post? When will they have the time?

I would also like to collect some feedback on the bootcamp, I will probably send out yet another email next week with either some questions or a link to a survey.

Challenge: #ShareOurLearning
We have set up another blog:

The idea is to let class and school blogs share posts with each other by ‘sending’ some of their best posts to this blog.

This is how:
Create a new category or tag on your blog: shareourlearning
Make a post using that category or tag
Visit the page to join ShareOurLearning

And fill in the form, you will need the URL of your post.

I’ll add your blog into the mix. Whenever you have an interesting post that showcases what you are learning, categorize it shareourlearning, it will be cross posted to the #ShareOurLearning blog.

Once you are set up the cross posting happens automatically, it can take up to an hour to appear on the sharing blog.
Anyone trying to leave a comment on your post will click on the link and that will take them to your own blog.

This project is not limited to the bootcamp class blogs from around Scotland are invited to join in.

As usual get in touch if you have questions or need a hand.

Although the bootcamp is over I am always happy to talk about blogging:-)

Bootcamp Week 9

As usual the GlowMeet will take place at 2pm Monday afternoon 27th April

This weeks we are breaking from, technical, discuss, do pattern as there is not much tech involved.
If you are missing that you might like to check out the new Jetpack plugin, I’ve started a blog showing some of the features at:
There is more to come.

Discussion,: making connections, why would you want to. In what way will having partners and groups help you learn.

Challenge: We will look at Quad blogging and 100 word challenge
Our challenge this week is to take part in the 100wc

There is a requirement for class teachers to sign up before their class start submitting work.

You do NOT need to do this:-) 

I’ve contacted the organiser and have stood in as teacher for submissions from  Glow blogs.

What your pupils need to do is:

  1. Write a blog post responding to the challenge. (Remember to categorise it bootcamp.)
  2. Copy the url to their post.
  3. Use that url to fill in the form on the 100wc post, same link;

We have now had 9 weeks of the bootcamp, so next week will be the last one.

As always please get in touch if you have any questions or think I can help.

Bootcamp Week 8

As usual the GlowMeet will take place at 2pm this (Monday 20th April) afternoon:

The weeks program:

Technical Media: audio, video, embeds…

From the Glow Blog help, Adding Media: Download: Audio and Video MS docx | Audio and Video PDF


Why would you use, text, images, audio, video


Make posts using different media:
Create some media, Audio or Video about your learning, post it to your blog.
Find an interesting video on youTube or Vimeo and post that to your blog.

Notes: Clustermaps had some problems just after we suggested using the service. You need to go through the process of setting up an account again and replacing the code in the widget.

Sue,The Edublogger suggested we could add our blogs to their list:

Bootcamp Week 7

As usual the GlowMeet will take place at 2pm this afternoon:
The weeks program:

Technical Blogrolls AKA Link lists

We will look at how to add a link list to the side of our blogs.
Link lists can be used to provide links or sets of links for all sorts of purposes.

For class blogs they are particularly useful for linking to other classes that you may become involved with or giving your pupils quick access to resources for learning.


It is probably a good idea to start thinking about Community now.

Community is very important in blogging but less formal than in other online learning spaces.
Think about who your blogging friends are. Who you should have on your link role. With class blogging it can be very powerful to make informal links, usually via comments with other like minded bloggers. This can be local or at the other side of the world.


You can also find a list of the home page for each LA which in turn will list the 40 most recently updated blog here: Glow Blog Links


Here are couple of lists of blogs that are elsewhere in the world.

Some of the links will be dead by now, but some will still be active. The second list has some details about the classes involved

Blogging Challenge

Find some inspiration.
Visit some other class blogs, see if you can find something interesting that you could blog about or give a response to.

Blog about this, linking to the post that inspired.

Remember to categorise you posts bootcamp.

We will have a two week break from the bootcamp for the Easter holidays. After today the next week will begin: 20th April 2015

Bootcamp Week 6

Technical More on Images

We will look at Galleries in a bit more detail, captioning images and using featured images on posts. We will also look at how featured content works in the twentyfourteen theme.

Adding an image gallery wp4 | Glow Blog Help
Adding an Image Gallery MS docx
Adding an Image Gallery PDF

Adding a Gallery And Featured Images:


Talk about safety aspects of photos.
What makes a good photo. How to improve your photos, here are a few tips:

  • Hold the camera still, elbows in, make a triangle.
  • Think before you shoot
  • Take more than one photo
  • Change Angles
  • Zoom with your feet
  • Place the subject off-centre
  • Keep the sun behind you (unless you want a silhouette)
  • Learn about the rule of thirds

Taking pictures a pdf of some ideas for improving your photos.

Teachers, it is a really good idea, in my opinion, to make sure that pupils can take photos, transfer them onto computers and organise them.  A wee bit of practise will save staff a lot of trouble.

Blogging Challenge

Post a photo every day, or take them and post a gallery on Friday. Do not just post the photo, explain why you like it, how you took it…
Here are ten ideas

  • Take a photo of two things that do not belong together.
  • Let’s play with movement. Get a shot of something in motion.
  • Make a photograph that features a circle today.
  • Yellow is an attention-getting colour. A photo is dominated by yellow.
  • Take a photo in which a mirror is a major element
  • Make a photo that freezes or isolates the motion of an object
  • Get closer and fill the frame.
  • Yellow is an attention-getting colour. A photo is dominated by yellow.
  • Emphasise the sky by placing the horizon very low or very high.
  • Forced perspective – make something small look big, or big look small.

Bootcamp Week 5

We now have 50 blogs involved in the bootcamp. Together there has been over 320 posts made.

Technical Themes & Profiles

We will look at changing theme. You may not actually want to change themes on your blog, it can have major effects but the Glow meet and Video here will show you how.

Themes wp4 | Glow Blog Help
Themes PDF
Themes MS docx

We will look at changing the information on our profile. We can do a couple of useful things, change the name that or posts are attributed to and make our name a link to our own sites when posting comments.

User Profiles | Glow Blog Help
Glow Blogs Profile MS docx
Glow Blogs Profile PDF


Commenting, how does that differ from posting to your own blog?
You cannot edit your own comments.

Blogging Challenge

Make 3 posts, comment on 3 other post

  1. Share a photograph of your classroom. Explain about the different parts of it and how it is being used
  2. Publish some written work
  3. Publish some share writing
  4. Share your classroom rules or agreement if you have one
  5. Take a photo of a class display
  6. Make a gallery of some art work
  7. What’s your favorite sport and why?
  8. Write about the design of your favorite game
  9. Make a list: Reasons I did not do my homework, 10 bests things about my school, what makes a good computer game
  10. Write a book review
  11. Create a tutorial on how to do something
  12. Something else

Bootcamp Week 4



Plugins add functionality to your blog. We have only a few plugins available at the moment on Glow Blogs.
More information on Plugins wp4 on the Glow Blog Help where you can download Plugins MS docx or Plugins PDF


After using the blog for a few weeks it might be a good idea to think a bit abut how you want the blog to be updated. How this can fit into your classroom routine.

  • Whole Class, as shared writing, on a smartboard or screen
  • All the Class Individually, generates a lot of posts often similar…
  • Pairs, individuals, good idea to have a partner that checks sense, grammar and spelling (and typos;-)).
  • Have a rota

We need to remind ourselves that when blogging we are taking on some responsibility for how our class and school appears to the world.

Blogging Challenge

This week we want to use our blog to share a resource by posting about another useful internet site. We can use this post to practise posting screenshots and making links in our post.

Remember to categorize your posts bootcamp!