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.

Boots Off

This second iteration of the bootcamp ran during Autumn 2015. We have now turned off the syndication and no more posts will be pulled into this blog.

The Announcments page may be useful in exploring classroom blogging. The original: Blogging Bootcamp has been reorganised to serve as a resource and guide for use by anyone wanting to run a blogging course of their own or to learn a bit more about blogging in the classroom.

Blogging Bootcamp 2 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

What did you find useful

Blogging Bootcamp Week 5

As usual we will have Glow Meets at 2:00pm and 4:15pm on Tuesdays.

2:00pm meet
4:15 meet

Week 5 Slides pptx


This week we will be focusing on posting audio and video. It is also a chance to ask any technical questions. Please bring these up in the Glow Meet or better still drop me a mail so that I can be prepared.

We will also be looking a ways you can join in with communities of bloggers: Making connections Quad blogging, #shareourlearning, the local and global community.

Handbook of Digital Storytelling from Digital Commmonwealth team is a resource which helps people develop digital storytelling skills. Highly recommended.


Review of your blogging so far. What has worked? How are you going to take this forward? Review classroom organisation.

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.


  • join #shareourlearning
  • Make a post using audio or video
  • Review of bootcamp
  • Continue to comment and connect.

Blogging Bootcamp Week 4

As usual there will be 2 Glow Meets of Tuesday 2:00pm and 4:15pm

The powerpoint files and recording will be added to this post after the event.

2pm Meet – watch again | 4:15 Meet – watch again

Slide Week 4

This weeks Tasks:

  • Technical: We are focusing on media. Using Photo Galleries, Audio and Video
  • Discussions: Why would you use different media in blog posts, what are the advantages and disadvantages of text, images, audio and video?
  • Challenges: Photoblitz Create a photo Gallery in response to at least 5 of 10 ideas listed below.


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 –  Glow Blog Help
Adding an Image Gallery MS docx
Adding an Image Gallery PDF

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


Why and when would you use text, images, audio and video? What are the good and bad points of each, both from a creator and consumers point of view?


1. Photoblitz: Create a photo Gallery in response to at least 5 of the following ideas.

  • Take a photo in which a mirror is a major element
  • Confusion – Take a picture of confusion.
  • Make a beautiful photo of something rusted or crushed.
  • Let’s play with movement. Get a shot of something in motion.
  • Make a photo containing stone, water and clouds.
  • Take a photo that makes use of converging lines.
  • Create an interesting photo that includes looking through one
  • object to see another
  • Make a silhouette by aiming the camera into bright light.
  • Make an ordinary object look more interesting, almost
  • supernatural.
  • The theme is blue. Blue Monday? Blue bird? Or something else blue?
  • The edge of a knife, the waters edge, or some other edge.

Try using the captions to explain your photos.

  1. Start thinking about using some audio or video in your blogs.

  2. Make 5 comments on other bootcamp posts.


Blogging Bootcamp Week 3

Week 3 already! I am guessing most folk feel like time is speeding on.
There have been some great posts to the bootcamp this week.

This weeks tasks:

  1. Technical: Widgets, Themes and Plugins
  2. Discussion: Classroom Organisation, Favourite Websites
  3. Challenges: 1. Post favourite websites 2. Post on what we are learning in class. 3. Comment on 3 other posts.



Widgets are used to add features and functionality to the sidebar (usually) of your blog. Widget placement is dependent on themes.

Widgets on Glow Blog Help blog
Download: Widgets docx or Widgets PDF


Plugins add functionality to your blog.
More information on Plugins wp4 on the Glow Blog Help where you can download Plugins MS docx or Plugins PDF

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


How do you organise posting to your blog in the classroom. There are many different ways to do this, what fits your situation best. If you are not in the classroom think about how you can keep up a blog. When should this fit in your day or week?

What is you favourite website? Why? What is good about it? This will help with the Challenge.


Three this week:

  1. Make one or more posts about something you are learning in class currently. Try to include text and pictures.
  2. Write about and link to your favourite website.
  3. Comment on at least 3 other posts in the bootcamp.

How to take a screenshot is a great site to find out how to take a screenshot.

Remember to categorize your posts bootcamp!


Update: I am afraid I did not manage to record the Glow meets for this week. Apologies.  Here are the 2 presentations used:

week-3-2pm meet
week-3-4:15pm meet

Week 2 Glow Meet and Notes

The recordings of yesterday’s Glow Meets are now online:
2pm Pupils Meet

4:15pm Staff Meet

You need your Glow username and password to view them. Hopefully these will help if you did not make the meeting.

It is easy enough to follow the bootcamp without using the meets, as I hope all necessary instructions are in the weekly blog posts.

Remember all of the information about week two is in the blog post:
Blogging Bootcamp Week 2
Where you can pick up the bio poem template.

I’ve added a post about finding images
Finding Images | Blogging Bootcamp #2
Whit a few suggestions about where to get pictures for your blog. If you know any more leave a comment on that post with a link.

Your bootcamp posts are flowing into the bootcamp blog

Please visit them and leave comments. This can be a good way to model writing online for pupils if you are starting blogging. try to to encourage pupils to write about the suggested challenge topics if they are categorising their posts bootcamp.

Remember posts need to be categorised bootcamp to get pulled into the bootcamp.

Continue reading Week 2 Glow Meet and Notes

Finding Images

Lost Boots by Phil.Renaud Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

This came up during the week 2 GlowMeet.
Looking for images for your blog leads you into a potential minefield of copyright.
There are many images on the internet that you can use but that come with certain conditions. These conditions may include things like you can use but not edit, or that you must attribute.

Attribution is quite tricky, it means that you must give credit to the photographer and also respect the rest of their conditions. In the example about, I’ve not edited the picture (NoDerivs), I am not making money on this blog(NonCommercial) and I am attributing and linking back to the owner.

This is pretty difficult for adults and more so for younger pupils.

  1. You have three choices:
    Use only your own images. This gives lots of opportunities for creative photography.
  2. Use images that do not need attribution, public domain ones.
  3. Use creative commons and similarly licensed phptoas and learn to attribute.

Here are a few of the many sites that will help you find images you can use.

  • free stock photos No attribution needed.
  • Pics4Learning | Free photos for education Pics4Learning is a safe, free image library for education. Teachers and students can use the copyright-friendly photos & images for classrooms, multimedia projects, websites, videos, portfolios, or any projects in an educational setting. Instructions given on each image page on how to attribute.
  • Flickr: The Commons and just using the flickr search tools and filtering for creative commons images. There are lots of tools that help you search flickr: my own is A flickr CC search toy
    which allows you to download an image ‘stamped’ with attribution (see the example below). This avoids the need to manually attribute but in no use for headers where you crop the image.IMG_6882a
  • SCRAN is a charity & online learning resource base with over 480,000 images & media from museums, galleries, and archives . Local Authority schools and teachers have full, free access. You need to check attribution and usage rights on any photo you want to use. Update: Feast Your Eyes on Scran | Scranalogue
  • Free Images: Where To Find Royalty Free Stock Photos For Your Blog – Mini-Guide, Part 1 A lot of different sources listed together.
  • Pexels · Free high quality stock photos Many do not need attribution CC0
  • Open Collections | OpenGLAM All collections provide digital scans or photos that can be freely used without any restrictions. We first list the datasets that are completely in the Public Domain: below that we list the sets that are licensed under an open Creative Commons license (CC-BY/CC-BY-SA). The sets within each list have been ordered alphabetically.

‘Portrait of a baby girl’ | Flickr – Photo Sharing!  No known copyright restrictions.

Blogging Bootcamp Week 2

Last week was a quick one. Don’t worry too much if you didn’t keep up and get anything posted. I am a drill sergeant wearing sandals rather than combat boots:-)

As always get in touch if you have any questions and need a hand.

Glow Meets

There will be 2 Glow Meets, 2pm and 4:15 on Tuesday
2pm Glow Meet: Images, why use them, legal and safe, Using nicknames to keep safe, avatars & commenting.
4:14 Glow Meet: Comment settings, Plugins (14 Colors), Images.

The Topics for Week Two are: Images and Plugins
We will also revisit commenting and comment settings.

Images Glow Help Blog links:

Adding an image wp4 | Glow Blog Help
Adding an image to a post MS docx
Adding an image to a post PDF



Plugins add functionality to your blog.
More information on Plugins on the Glow Blog Help where you can download Plugins MS docx or Plugins PDF



Discussion Topics:

Why use images, where to get them and which sort of images should you use, legal and safety considerations.


A picture of learning.
Take a picture that shows what learning looks like in your class. Categorise as bootcamp
Class poem, what are we like, bio-poem. Categorise as bootcamp.

You could do this as a whole class or individually.

Here is a help sheet from readwritthink:

Bio Poem Help Sheet

Here is an example from 2007 on the class blog I was running:


  1. If you have not started this is all you need to do to join in the bootcamp.
  2. Create a Blog
    Make the Blog Public
  3. Create a post, categorise it as bootcamp, send a link to that post to John


We have had a request for the slides used in the Meet.