Getting @evernote to use markdown (Windows version) @postachio

Previously posted on Postach.io

A quick blog post I hope.

I’ve been using Postachio for ages now – might even be a year – and I genuinely love posting blogs from within Evernote. The one glitch for me has been the inconsistency of markdown in the blog posts. While YouTube videos and hyperlinks worked really well, the text formatting and bullets were stripped from the blogs.

I just posted about [Transferring files from Windows to OpenElec](http://caffeinetangent.postach.io/transferring-files-from-windows-to-openelec-raspberry-pi-ext4) and was beginning to suspect that my choice of theme (or even the customisation I’d made) was to blame. So I backed up my custom source and began to experiment with themes. No change.

Then I spotted [this blog post](http://george.entenman.name/misc/2013-07-22-using-markdown-to-post-to-postachio.html) by George Entenman and, upon reading, I saw a paragraph on **Getting Evernote to use Markdown**. Although his solution related to the Apple Mac version of Evernote it gave me a new direction to explore – and now here is my solution for Windows:

+ In Evernote, select the note you want to use Markdown with.

+ Select *Remove formatting* from the Format menu. Note that all formatting – including setting of hyperlinks – will be removed.

+ The contents of the note will be changed slightly, so check that your images are in the right place.

+ Use [Markdown tags](http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax) to format your blog post as desired.

Hope this helps!

Transferring files from Windows to OpenElec @Raspberry_Pi EXT4

Previously posted on Postach.io

Now that [my Raspberry Pi is set up as a XBMC client](http://caffeinetangent.postach.io/openelec-on-raspberry-pi) (using OpenElec distribution) I wanted to quickly add existing videos stored on my Windows machine.

Unfortunately just plugging in the USB drive is no longer an option. I formatted it as EXT4 in my previous post and while you can download some software to read EXT2/3/4 filesystems, writing files back from within Windows seems tricky, expensive or impossible.

I just read [this blog post](http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=42724) where [Simplesi](http://www.twitter.com/cymplecy)  (hello!) asked a similar question – albeit for a different reason. The main difference is that I am able to set up a network connection between my Windows machine and Raspberry Pi very easily in my home network, I don’t have to rely on the blind eye of the systems admin.

[Screenshot of WinSCP 5.5.2 (Windows 7)](http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WinSCP-5.5.2.png) by Prikryl (CC-SA 3.0)

My solution was to use [WinSCP](http://www.winscp.net) to transfer my video files. Connecting was quick and easy once you know the IP address the Raspberry Pi has been assigned (hint, from a Windows command prompt use *arp -a* to see the connected devices on your network) and the default username and password for OpenElec distribution is root and openelec.

Yes it is slower to send files over WiFi than direct transfer to USB, but it works and – if speed was more important than convenience – I’d probably choose to connect over Ethernet.

OpenELEC on Raspberry Pi

Previously posted on Postach.io

I tried OpenElec last year when I spotted it as one of the options in the Raspberry Pi NOOBS install. Last night, after watching the following video, I decided to try and set up OpenELEC on its own SD card, using a USB drive as storage.

My digital camera died (ok, I crushed the lens mechanism accidentally) so I had a spare 4GB SD card. I visited the OpenELEC website and followed the instructions on how to download and then [set up the SD card using Windows](http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php/Installing_OpenELEC_on_Raspberry_Pi#tab=Windows__28USB_29). It was surprisingly easy (although edit isn’t an option in Windows 7’s CMD line) to get the SD card as required.

Meanwhile my CAS Conference USB was backing up to the HDD so I could reuse it as storage. I had to format it as EXT4 using the MiniTool Partition Wizard software – again, very easy.

I connected the RPi up and booted. I got this error:

I realised, after reading through the instructions again, that I’d forgotten to set my USB partition as primary. Once this was done OpenELEC booted perfectly into XBMC Gotham.

After another reboot to extend the number of USB ports so I could have storage, bluetooth keyboard and WiFi. I worked through the initialisation wizard.

After going into **Programs –> OpenELEC –> Network** and entering the WiFi password I had access to install the plugins. That’ll be a future blog post.

Summary of hardware required:

+ Raspberry Pi Model B (already owned, cost approx £35)

+ 4GB SD card (free, from dead digital camera)

+ 4GB USB drive (free, from CAS Scotland conference)

+ USB WiFi dongle

+ Bluetooth Mini Keyboard

+ Unpowered USB hub

+ HDMI cable (free, came with the TV)

Apple Education Leadership Event: Inspire with iPads #AECC #XMAaberdeen14

Previously posted on Postach.io

http://openclipart.org/detail/193996/working-on-some-cool-@openclipart-new-featurez-by-jonphillips-193996

I was kindly invited along to this Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Council organised event led by Apple Education and XMA. It was held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on a beautiful sunny day. The kind of day that has you wishing they had some outside space for the breakouts. And ice cream.

The theme of the event was undoubtedly narrative. Each keynote or workshop presentation was a variation on the main theme and, as a whole, I feel it was a worthwhile event to have attended. The presenters were good – fantastic in places ( @rankinw ) – and although there was a lot of overlap it was good to see that many different educators recommended the same approaches to learning and teaching using iPads.

I was a bit sad that the workshops didn’t allow the participants to create something that echoed the narrative theme of the event. It was slightly too much show-and-tell and was at odds with what the presenters were trying to get across to the audience: that students learn better when they are involved, engaged and have the opportunity to create knowledge to share with others. However I busied myself getting to grips with Notability and left my paper notepad untouched until I got home and had a chance to think about all the sessions as a whole. I’ll share my summaries with you now. Please accept my apologies for the scribbled notes, I tried my best.

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Bill Rankin commented on the effectiveness of narrative memory, combining theories of Edgar Dale, Lev Vygotsky and Mihaly Czikszentmihaly to find the sweet spot between context, content and curation. He argued that literacy must consider both traditional and emerging strands and that technology can help us transform the development of both in the learner. He also felt that design diversity is essential to fit with the wide range of students’ interests, experiences and potentials.

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David Ryan ‘s presentation on the problems associated with IEPs was good, but covered well-worn ground. I did however enjoy hearing about his work with a small group of students to give ownership of the IEP to the pupil and (to a small extent) their parents. The goal was to give teachers a better understanding of each individual in their class. Personalised learning could then be more effectively designed once strengths and areas for development were known. These allow for the creation of suitable targets which can then be overcome through careful design of learning outcomes throughout their school career.

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Jenni Robertson talked about her work to effectively utilise study leave for National 4 students (who don’t sit final exams as N4 is internally assessed) through essentially project-based learning tasks using iPads – was this the “hard fun” Bill Rankin hoped for in his keynote? – to create narrative responses to questions such as “why is it so hard to remember dreams?”  or to celebrate independent learning through a whole-day equivalent of #geniushour.

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Oscar Stringer wanted us to view the iPad as a “digital pencil case” where components combine to create content greater than the sum of its parts. Examples of app smashing included poetry projects, foreign language meet and greets, avatar-led book reviews, professional quality video-based learning logs and augmented reality displays. The importance of lesson structure and clear outcomes were stressed but the overall message was deep learning through an individual student’s myriad narrative responses.

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Joe Moretti ‘s snapshot tour of how the iPad can be used as a means of augmenting learning and teaching and as a tool for formative assessment was useful for those in the room who were worried (or represented teachers who were worried) about having to recreate old resources anew. Don’t worry! Word and PPT will still work on the iPad, even if you can’t afford an Office 365 licence to unlock the apps. Joe was refreshingly honest about WiFi problems at 2pm killing learning opportunities and showed the audience how AirDrop can help facilitate transfer of data when the network can’t cope. His demo of a Word document being opened in Pages to create an ePub that could be highlighted in iBooks was good. I’d love to know how to get that side-loaded file out of iBooks, with all its user-created annotations, without having to connect it to a PC or Mac…

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Steve Bunce talked about how ICT can be used to teach Computing concepts across all curricular areas: decomposition, pattern matching, algorithms and computational thinking for example. Narrative learning exercises such as songs as flowcharts, choose your own adventures, the Hokey Cokey keynote, Games-Based Learning and through mixing of physical and digital artefacts can be used instead of, or to build up to, programming games or apps on the iPad.