Since this day of the week ends in “Y” that means it’s time to write another blog post about SPLOTs.
No actually it’s the flip of the calendar month that triggered this post. April means it’s been a year since I was offered, out of the blue, a year long fellowship from Reclaim Hosting, to support work on improving SPLOTs and other stuff. A huge bonus of this was working with them to add two SPLOTs and three WordPress Calling Card themes to their set of cpanel featured apps- these are one click installs of fully functional versions of these sites, even with cheesy demo content.
The checkered flag is waved on that year, and I cannot shout out and link enough thanks to Reclaim for the show of support, especially during a few months when my work dried up.
This moment also triggered an idea I have been wanting to do to show thanks to not only Reclaim, but other supporters of this work. So now there are icons and links on the github repo sites plus the footer of the main splot.ca site and a special thanks page to boot.
First on the list has to be Thompson Rivers University, where the first SPLOTs were hatched and incubated during a 2014-2015 Open Learning Fellowship set up for me by Brian Lamb. Of course, Brian gets the true TRU credit for coming up with the acronym and concept. The very first one, The Comparator, is the roughest and least fleshed out, but the next one TRU Writer and TRU Collector are the ones that have been widely used and fleshed out later. SPLOTs would never have happened without this special time to focus on pure R&D in the kind of educational technology people did not wince at then.
I’ve already done the first shout outs for Reclaim Hosting, but it’s worth thanking them beyond the Fellowship for so actively promoting SPLOTs in their workshops (and currently giffed up on a display at OER19). A year ago in March I got to present about SPLOTs in a SPLOT at the Reclaim Workshop in Fredericksburg. If you are not hosting on Reclaim, you are silly.
Maybe it was not the entire University of Saskatchewan behind this, but a year ago in December I got a small incentive via JR Dingwall to create a SPLOT like TRU Collector for video content. I’d been mulling it before as an extension of TRU Sounder (an audio SPLOT), so JR’s request was enough to kick into gear creation of SPLOTbox. The site he made with it as a place for students to curate videos about Geology remains one of my favorite use cases.
Just in, a small grant from the OpenETC in British Columbia helped support a range of SPLOT improvements across the Free Range where they roam. This educational coop has been offering SPLOT powered sites hosted in WordPress to BC faculty and students (e.g. the BIOL421 site “Insects, Fungi, and Society” where UNBC students use TRU Writer to publish short papers).
I very much appreciate the patrons who provide a small amount of monthly support via my patreon tin cup. This means some 30+ individuals have said this stuff matters. I try and post a monthly update there. There’s room for more of course, so here comes the BIG BEGGING BUTTON link. In a dream this might be enough to more fully support development work, but believe me, every penny helps.
There is plenty of room for more icon buttons and links, so if there is some kind of idea your organization and your wealthy Aunt Irma wants rendered as a SPLOT (or something else), operators are standing by. I should say that these contributions are far from something to live off of; they fill some space between juggling multiple contract projects. I have no job that pays for my development time, nothing that pays into a retirement fund, I get no funds to jet off to conferences.
I do this because, well I enjoy it and it’s rewarding to see what people do with these things.
Enough shameless pitching, I loathe this. There’s code to be wrangled. But I must again thank all the people behind these icons, that is where this really happens.
Featured Image: Another Library of Congress public domain gem I found by complete accident with the Free to Use Browser Extension (makes opening a new browser tab an act of random public domain serendipity). This one of the 1912 motor race resonated because of an earlier image made from a similar car. I modified Wagner Flagging Joe Dawson — Indianapolis (LOC) flickr photo by The Library of Congress shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) by changing the handwritten text at the top.