Progress Tracking Google Docs as Tasks?

As part of a new course I’m working on, the course team has been making use of shared Google docs for working up the course proposal and “D0” (zero’th draft; key topics to be covered in each of the weekly sessions). Although the course production hasn’t been approved yet, we’ve started drafting the actual course … Continue reading “Progress Tracking Google Docs as Tasks?”

Confused Again About VM Ecology… I Blame Not Blogging

Via a cc’d tweet from Martin Hawksey, this lovely post from Tom Smith/@everythingabili (who has the best ever twitter bio strapline) on How I Learn ( And What I’m Learning ). I like to think that I used to write blog posts that had the same sort of sense as that post… …but for the … Continue reading “Confused Again About VM Ecology… I Blame Not Blogging”

Anscombe’s Quartet – IPython Notebook

Anyone who’s seen one of my talks that even touches on data and visualisation will probably know how it like to use Anscombe’s Quartet as a demonstration of why it makes sense to look at data, as well as to illustrate the notion of a macroscope, albeit one applied to a case of N=all where … Continue reading “Anscombe’s Quartet – IPython Notebook”

Seven Ways of Running IPython / Jupyter Notebooks

We’re looking at using IPython notebooks for a MOOC on something or other, so here’s a quick review of the different ways I think we can provide access to them. Please let me know via the comments if there are other models… [NOTE: I try to keep this post updated as more services/examples become available…] … Continue reading “Seven Ways of Running IPython / Jupyter Notebooks”

Using Docker to Build Linked Container Course VMs

Having spent bits of last year tinkering with vagrant and puppet as part of a workflow for building and deploying course related VMs in a scaleable way for a distance education context (trying to be OUseful here…) I’ve more recently started pondering whether it makes more sense to create virtual machines from linked data containers. … Continue reading “Using Docker to Build Linked Container Course VMs”

Adding Metadata to Google Docs

A couple of months ago I had started working on an export tool that would export a Google doc in the OU-XML format. The rationale? The first couple of drafts of the teaching material that will be delivered through the VLE in the forthcoming (October, 2015) OU Data management and analysis course (TM351) have been … Continue reading “Adding Metadata to Google Docs”

Code as Magic, and the Vernacular of Data Wrangling Verbs

It’s been some time now since I drafted most of my early unit contributions to the TM351 Data management and analysis course. Part of the point (for me) in drafting that material was to find out what sorts of thing we actually wanted to say and help identify the sorts of abstractions we wanted to … Continue reading “Code as Magic, and the Vernacular of Data Wrangling Verbs”

Recreating a Node.js Installation – Package Versions

Rebuilding a fresh version of the TM351 VM from scratch yesterday, I got an error trying to install tty.js, a node.js app that provides a “terminal desktop in the browser”. Looking into a copy of the VM where tty.js does work, I could discover the version of node I’d previously successfully used, as well as … Continue reading “Recreating a Node.js Installation – Package Versions”

Distributing Software to Students in a BYOD Environment

Reading around a variety of articles on the various ways of deploying software in education, it struck me that in traditional institutions a switch is may be taking place between students making use of centrally provided computing services – including physical access to desktop computers – to students bringing their own devices on which they … Continue reading “Distributing Software to Students in a BYOD Environment”

A DevOps Approach to Common Environment Educational Software Provisioning and Deployment

In Distributing Software to Students in a BYOD Environment, I briefly reviewed a paper that described a paper that reported on the use of Debian metapackages to support the configuration of Linux VMs for particular courses (each course has its own Debian metapackage that could install all the packages required for that course). This idea … Continue reading “A DevOps Approach to Common Environment Educational Software Provisioning and Deployment”