Sunday, December 31, 2006

Using the Internet in the K-12 Classroom

Happy New Year, "Teach with Tech" listeners!

Soon the new semester will be upon us, here at Indiana University. As I have since 1998, I'll be teaching my online course, Education W505: Using the Internet in the K-12 Classroom. I'm looking forward to the new semester, and meeting the new students. Of course, the class has changed over the years I've taught it, just as the Internet has grown and developed. The basic idea of the course is that I lead students through the basic tools of the Internet (email, the Web, chat/instant messaging, learning management systems, etc.) and we discuss how they can be integrated into the student's current or future teaching. Recently, I've added podcasts, blogs and wikis into the class. The activities and projects all revolve around creating things that can actually be used by the students in their teaching. I've been really pleased and impressed with the work that my students have done in this course, creating webpages, webquests, etc. The capstone activity involves creating an instructional unit that integrates the Internet. One of my favorite aspects of teaching this course is that the students are so diverse--while I welcome students from Indiana, it is always nice to have students from out of state or out of the country. This past semester I had a student in Taiwan, and I've had them from Dubai, Japan, England, Pakistan, etc. over the years. I'm still looking for a few more students for this semester (which starts January 9th). Interested? Check it out at:

Only a week or so before I leave for the MacWorldExpo convention! Can't wait! I'm sure I'll have lots to share in the podcast when I get back.

The International Student Media Festival will start accepting K-12 media project entries on February 1st! Time to start thinking about your class's entry, if you haven't already.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Episode 16: "What is Web 2.0?" Show Notes

Well, the episode is out there! Go get it! Great for listening to while shopping, or driving to Grandma's!

Articles for this Episode:

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2006:,9171,1569514,00.html

Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning?

What is Web 2.0?

Featured Websites:

Second Life:
Student-Centered Learning Management System:
Easy sharing of large documents: and
Slashtmp (IU only): (instructions)
Google Docs & Spreadsheets:
Google Labs: (including all the other Google tools we mentioned)
Innovative use of widgets:
Breeze/Contact competitor:
Blog Search Engine:
Teaching via the iPod:

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Congratulations! You're a Winner!

"Teach with Tech" Episode 16 will be recorded tomorrow, Thursday, December 20th, and it's all about you, yes, you! Just like the current issue of Time magazine is, and for the same reasons, more or less. Congratulations on your Person of the Year--should we say Teacher of the Year or Faculty Member of the Year?--status! How did you earn this award? It's because you are part of Web 2.0! What does that mean? Tune in to Episode 16. Our old friend Mark Millard of the Teaching and Learning with Technologies Centers at Indiana University will be joining us to discuss this very topic.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Episode 16 Is On Its Way!

Yes, it's about that time again! You can feel the excitement in the air! Episode 15, which is of course, still available, discussed digital video analysis and continued the steady increase in listeners, was released about a month ago. Episode 16 of "Teach with Tech" will be here before you know it!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Teachers' TV!

This posting is a continuation of the previous one about using online video...

teacher's tv

This is quite an exciting find! Teachers' TV has over a thousand online video programs (or programmes as these Brits would have it) on K-12 teacher professional development topics.

The first one I watched was:
Internet Research and Podcasting
This episode covers webquests and podcasting as used in secondary classrooms. Plus a number of excellent tech tips--for example, an elementary teacher says she has her students turn off their monitors when they are supposed to be paying attention to her in the computer lab.

The streaming was pretty darn slow, even with my broadband connection from the university, so I'd suggest downloading these very professionally produced Windows Media and Qucktime files (it seems you have to register to download the files, though you can view them without registering; registration is free). They also sell DVDs of some shows.

This episode was, of course, about teaching with technology. However, the majority of these videos are not about teaching with technology, but instead range all over the K-12 age range and content areas.

Other examples:
Body Image for Beginners
Much of this one is teachers talking about the subject, but it also features fascinating but kinda saddening clips from interviews from fifth-grade students who are already quite aware that they are "too fat" or "too freckled."

KS1 Literacy: Laying the Foundations 2
in this video, an experienced teacher describes and shows a Vygotsky-based approach to early language and literacy learning. The fact that you can actually see what she is talking about in action in the classroom really makes this video useful.

The site is well-constructed. You can bookmark the various videos you are interested in (important when there are so many), and it keeps track of recently viewed videos so you can easily find them.

But that's not all.... (Like they say in the late-night infomercials.) When you visit this site, you also get

InClass tv

This, a subsite of, hosts a collection of videos for showing to students, again ranging all over the K-12 curriculum. Of course, some kids may have problems at time understanding the English accents.

The home page highlights videos on math (or maths), PE and social studies.

All in all, a tremendous source of videos for K-12 teachers!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Integrating Online Video Into Your Teaching

Incorporating Online Video Into Your Teaching

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video clip worth? Already, if you're like most teachers, you have a few selected VHS or DVDs that you cue up to illustrate various points or concepts, incite student interest, start conversations, etc. Of course, you don't watch the whole 90 minute movie, you just show just that choice section. Many teachers are starting to create their own DVDs with just the video segments that they want to use in class, to avoid fumbling with a remote control in front of the students. But often, it is hard to find just the right clip from your personal video library or the school media center...and buying new tapes and DVDs...who has the budget for that?

Well, there is another option now, online streaming video clips. You have probably heard of YouTube, for example. A great source of videos of Chinese kids singing along to Backstreet Bouys songs and America's Worst Home Videos. But there is some educational content there if you search hard enough. And Ive found some sites below that provide educational clips, free of charge, over the Internet. If your classroom has a good broadband connection, you might well want to consider using clips from some of these sources in your teaching.

Video Sources

Google Video


These are the famous, hugely popular sites for finding online video clips. The vast majority, of course, of these clips aren't educational in nature. (Though Google at least has an Education category.) But, depending on u your subject, it's worth a look. One nice thing about Google Video is that you can download most clips instead of having to rely on a live internet connection--which is great for teachers. You'll know the clip is safely on your hard drive when you're presenting it to a classroom of kids. Of course, when searching these sites, be aware that there is a lot of "inappropriate" content. And your school may block the site as well, because of that and/or bandwidth issues.

AOL Video: Learning and Adventure
Quite a few videos here for use with K-12 students.

UnitedStreaming Video
Claims to be "in more than half of US Schools". Could this be true? 40,000 video clips correlated to state standards. Try it free for 30 days.


This site, from Wisconsin, has a database of 297 videoclips, each linked to state K-12 standards. Even if you're not from Wisconsin, you may find something useful here. I had some difficulty on my Mac, though, getting them to play.

Multimedia Seeds: Video Clips
This page has a good list of sites that offer video clips in a range of content areas

Annenberg Media

A wide variety of streaming videos for both K-12 and college instructors who are seeking to enhance their professional development. Many are targeted at K-12 teacher professional development such as "Essential Science for Teachers: Physical Sciences", "inside Writing Communities: Grades 3-5" and "In Search of the Novel." The latter covers how to teach 10 novels to high school students. Well worth checking out!

Resourses about Using Video in Your Teaching

(I wish I could find more of these...any suggestions?)

Seeing is Believing: Harnessing Online Video Clips to Enhance Learning
" Most teachers have come to understand that Net-Geners relate best to curriculum when teachers incorporate the medium that captivates them the most -- video -- to help translate abstract concepts or events into their reality."

Video Clips / Vodcasts for Online Literature Courses: The Allure of the Moving Image
For those of you considering creating your own video clips, whether for an online course or face-to-face, here are some good guidelines to follow. The "E-Learning Queen" focuses on content here, not technical issues, which makes this particularly useful, I think. Has examples of clips.

Would love to add on to these lists. Feel free to share suggestions via comments.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Episode 15: (Digital Video Analysis) is Online!

Episode 15 Now Available!

Hello again!

The Instructional Consulting Office is pleased to announce that "Teach with Tech" Episode 15 is now available for your listening pleasure. This podcast episode is entitled "Digital Video Analysis." This episode features an interview with Jon Tapp, the Director of Computer Services at the Vanderbilt University Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. Jon is the developer of a program called ProcoderDV. ProcoderDV is designed for those doing reasearch requiring the analysis of digital video files, such as classroom interactions, counseling sessions, etc.

What is a podcast? A podcast is like a short radio show in digital format. You can download the mp3 audio file and play it on your computer, or put it on your iPod or similar digital audio player.

Episode 15 is available, as are all the previous episodes of "Teach with Tech", at

You can subscribe to the series via iTunes by using this URL:

Comments and questions welcomed!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Resources for Research Using Digital Video

Digital Video Analysis Resources

Here are some resources mentioned or alluded to during my interview with Jon Tapp in Episode 15:

Procoder's site, again

MOOSES (Multi-Option Observation System for Experimental Studies).

INTMAN (Interval Manager for Windows and PocketPC)

The Kennedy Center for Research on Human Developments site with a link to Jon Tapp and his bio in the people section.

Many projects that use Procoder are about autism and fall under the research portion of the TRIAD autism group (Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorder):

The first ProcoderDV customer was this project at IU: Children's School Success. They have been going for a few years now:

Another group using it is the Early Language Learning Project:

If you have a research project using digital video (doesn't have to use Procoder), I'd be happy to highlight it here. Or you can add a link to it in the comments.


Episode 15: Analysis of Video Documents, My New Snowball

My "Rig"

In case you were wondering what my recording setup looks like, here it is. I've got a MacBook Pro and a Blue Snowball microphone. The Snowball is a new purchase; before that I was just using the microphone built into the laptop. This is the first episode recorded with the new microphone. For this episode, I used iChat, Apple's instant messaging tool to connect with my interview subject, and Garageband to record the session. When I clicked on the record button in GB, it announced that it saw that I had an audioconferencing session going, and asked if I wanted to record it. Then it put myself and my subject on individual tracks, allowing for adjustments to either side without affecting the other, and panning one person to the left, the other to the right for a stereo effect. The Blue microphone looks cool, don't you think? It requires the download of a firmware update in order to record podcasts, as it comes set up to record things at a louder volume, like musical instruments, but once you've installed the firmware update, it seems to work fine. The audio quality of iChat doesn't seem to be quite as good as Skype, which I have used in the past in conjunction with Audio Hijack to record the session--GB doesn't recognize that you are in a Skype session the way it does with iChat. But hopefully, the sound quality is good enough.

Episode 15: Video Analysis Software

Episode 15 has been recorded and may even be online before the day (Friday) is over. This episode features an interview, the first interview I have done with a software developer. This developer is also an educational researcher, which provides him with unique insights into the creation of his software package--he's a user as well as a developer. His name is Jon Tapp, from the Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt University, and he's the man behind ProcoderDV.

It seems like every semester, my office gets more and more requests to help faculty as they work with digital video. Sometimes the faculty member just wants to record a lecture, or capture an existing clip for use in a PowerPoint, but often the faculty member is involved in a research project that incorporates video documents of child behavior, classroom interactions or counseling sessions. Sometimes they have hours and hours of this sort of raw video data to process. Usually this involves identifying types of behavior and then noting when and for how long the behavior takes place. Doing this sort of analysis manually can be quite time-consuming and the resulting data hard to work with. But a tool like Procoder DV makes this type of qualitative data analysis much easier. Which is why I decided to interview Jon Tapp for Episode 15. I thought that many "Teach with Tech" listeners would be interested in hearing about this type of software. Let me know what you think. And if there are other pieces of education-related software that I should focus on, let me know.

Well, back to editing Episode 15. Thanks for reading this!


Friday, October 20, 2006

More Episode 14 Info

Some additional information about Episode 14 (ISMF):

You can check out the project created by the Cannelton, IN Elementary School Media Club, a website titled "The Moon and Beyond," which is one of the projects profiled in the podcast, at:

I don't have a URL for the other project, but it was created by kids at Heard Elementary Academy in Savannah, GA (there were quite a few projects from GA at the ISMF), specifically from the Gifted Education Program, which is led by Allison Roberts, Kim Mercer and Sally Watson. Kudos to both groups!

The enthusiasm of both the adults and the kids that I interviewed was inspiring, and I can tell that these media projects have made a big impact on the students.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Episode 14 (International Student Media Festival) is Available!

Episode 14 is now available! Some of you may be listening to it right now. This episode features a few short, entertaining and informative interviews with teacher, parent and student participants of the International Student Media Festival (, recently held in Dallas, Texas. This festival highlights the creative work of K-12 students in a number of formats, such as still photgraphy, web design, and digital video. The episode is the shortest "Teach with Tech" so far, at under fifteen minutes, so it's a quick, fun listen. Hopefully, it will inspire some of you K-12 teachers to start projects with your students for next year's ISMF.

The blog has undergone a slight facelift, with the new Blogger dashboard. Hopefully, it is more readable now. I'm thinking a specific "Teach with Tech" logo would be nice to have sometime...

I've got a couple of interviews coming up, as well as some more material that might make it into a podcast, so stay tuned....


Monday, October 16, 2006

Back from AECT! & Podcasting Screencast

Had a great time at the Association for Educational Communication conference in Dallas, Texas. Met a lot of charming, inteliigent people and saw some old friends. As I suspected, I barely got out of the conference hotel, so I don't have a great sense of what Dallas has to offer, though I did enjoy the Mexican food at RJs on the West End.

At AECT, I presented on the topic of "Podcasting: A New Medium for Distance Learning." It was a packed room and numerous people asked me for a copy of my slides. Better than that, I've created an enhanced podcast or screencast for you, for free download. Just click on the title above. You will probably find that it opens in iTunes, but Quicktime Player should work fine, too. (Actually, I just tried this out, on Windows---for some reason, the slides are almost unreadable in Quicktime, so you will want to use iTunes after all.) I may make this a part of a "Teach with Tech" (Enhanced Podcast) series, along with my HTML tutorial, and make it subscribable. But I don't want to confuse things and upload it along with the regular "Teach with Tech." By the way, I used Profcast to make the screencast and it couldn't have been easier.

Also, while at AECT, I participated in a Skypecast, which is a live broadcast over Skype, in a show called "EdTechTalk Brainstorm." It was a lot of fun, partly because of my co-guest (is that a word?) Jennifer Maddrell, who is an IU grad student in Instructional Systems Technology. We will both be appearing on EdTech Weekly this coming Sunday at 7pm Bloomington time. They should also have an mp3 archive of this past Sunday's session up soon, so check it out. Not that my contributions were all that meaningful, but....

Do you know about the International Student Media Festival? Sponsored by AECT, it is a wonderful opportunity for K-12 students to show off their work, in areas such as still photography, stills with audio, websites, and digital video productions. I assisted as one of the judges this year, and also attended some of the events, such as Marco Torres' inspiring keynote, and the viewing of K-6 projects. I also interviewed some parents and kids, who were very excited about the ISMF. More about this in a future podcast.

More to come....


Monday, October 09, 2006

Off to AECT!

This week, I will be in Dallas, at the Association of Educational Communications and Technology conference, along with some familiar "Teach with Tech" voices--Anne Ottenbreit-Leftwich and Mark Millard, two IU colleagues. I'm busy loading up my iPod with podcast episodes for the trip, including This Week in Tech, Security Now!, MacObserver's Weekly Roundup, The Tech Teachers, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! (NPR's news game show), Bill Maher, PennRadio.... Alas, no Smelly Monkeys (no new episode since September 3!). All of these can be found on iTunes, so I'm not going to provide URLs here.

I also downloaded the first two episodes of EdTechTalk Weekly, which is a roundtable discussion of the week's educational technology news. More about this show later....

I plan to do some podcasting from the conference. Might even make a blog posting, if I have time. Should be at least one new "Teach with Tech" episode before October is over, maybe more!

Stay Tuned,

Monday, September 25, 2006

Episode 13 is Online!, Internet Safety, and More Wikis!

Episode 13: "College Teaching Tech Tips!" is now available!

A number of quick and easy ways to integrate technology into the college classroom are discussed during this, our second, interview with Anne T. Ottenbreit-Leftwich, from the Indiana University School of Education. This time, she puts her experiences working in Instructional Consulting-type office at Purdue to good use as we discuss a wide range of ways that instructors can integrate technology into their teaching--or just improve their teaching in general. The tips come fast and furious in this one, so buckle your seat belts!

Internet Safety for Kids

In my online course, we have a weekly chat, and last Sunday's chat was about Internet Safety. I shared this URL with them, and I'll share it with you. It gives a nice list of tips to share with kids about keeping safe on the Net:

They have some useful videos on the site, too. Check out the ones about cyberbullying. Did you even know there was such a thing?

More Wikis!

Anne just sent me this cool link, full of ideas on how to use wikis in the classroom.
projects# Considerations_and_suggestions

Till next time,

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Podcasting comes to Oncourse, Skype Video, Packetville

Podcasting comes to Oncourse

Here at Indiana University, we use Oncourse CL as our learning management system. It is part of the Sakai Project, and other institutions have the same system under a different name. It is similar to Blackboard and WebCT, which are popular commercial systems. The Oncourse Developers have now added a podcast tool to the system. It can be turned on by going to Site Setup link on the lefthand navigation bar, choosing Edit Tools and selecting Podcasts. Then it will appear in the lefthand navigation bar, visible to the students. You can upload an mp3 file, and Oncourse will host it. Then, you fill out a few form fields which creates the RSS file, which is also hosted on Oncourse. Finally, it provides you with the URL to enter into iTunes or whatever podcatcher or ipod directory you want, which allows people to subscribe to it. Or the students can download it immediately from Oncourse. I'm giving my W505 students the option to create podcasts this semester; I hope at least a few of them take me up on it.

Skype now does PC-Mac Video

For the longest time, the only way to do free videoconferencing between the PC and the Mac was to use AOL Instant Messenger, which interfaced with iChat. But now Skype is offering a new version of its Mac client with videoconferencing capabilities--it worke with the iSight cam from Apple.


I haven't had a lot of time to explore this K-12 resource yet, but it looks pretty impressive. I played a game about packets which got across the idea of how information travels over the internet pretty well. Worth checking out!

That's all for now,

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Episode 13 on its way!

Episode 13 has been recorded! As promised, it's the second visit to the "Teach with Tech" studios from Anne Ottenbreit-Leftwich, who recently joined the Indiana University Instructional Systems Technology faculty. Hailing from our rival, Purdue, she has wonderful ideas for integrating technology into teaching. This time, we discuss a wide range of ideas for using technology in the college classroom. We had a great time sharing tips and techniques, and I'm sure our listeners will find some useful new ideas in our discussion.

I hate to be a tease, but I think I'm going to hold onto this one for a week or two, though, and release it near the end of the month, to keep to the normal once-a-month schedule.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Podfade, More Opera 9, Space Podcasts!

Podfade? Not me!

Our colleagues in podcasting, the Smelly Monkeys, are facing a problem that podcasters have if they don't release episodes in a regular fashion--the audience fades away. They address this issue amusingly in their Episode 50, which came out on Sept.1, quite a long while after the previous episode, July 30. (In case you don't remember who the Monkeys of Smell are, check out Teach with Tech Episode 9, and visit their site--

This brings up the issue of podfade--podcasts being abandoned, or seemingly being abandoned. Wired made a big deal of this in a recent article--(,70171-0.html?tw=wn_index_1). Of course, this is to be expected to some extent--how many web pages were abandoned after the initial surge of excitement about the WWW? As a podcaster, you do have some control over the appearance of podfade--here's a good article on the subject: Basically, the advice is what I call the "Peanuts Rule" or if you prefer something more modern, "The Calvin and Hobbes" Rule. The rule is basically to avoid time-sensitive references in your podcasts. The reason, one reason anyway, that the two comics I mention don't seem dated today, as they appear in the newspapers in reruns, is because of that. Charlie Brown never referenced the Vietnam War, and Calvin never pretended to be invading Iraq (the first time).

The most obvious rule though, is the "Nike Rule"--Just do it. Get off your butt and make another episode! This is especially challenging, I know, if you're a K-12 teacher or professor, as you have lots of other things to do. But if you want to keep whatever audience you have, and to make it grow, you have to make sure people know the podcast is a going concern, and worth investing time in, which means keeping to a schedule.

Which means sometimes it may be better to delay episodes, too. This Friday, i plan to record another episode with Anne Ottenbreit-Leftwich, about easy ways to integrate technology into the curriculum, and I know I'll be very excited to share it all with you immediately--but I will probably put off releasing it until near the end of the month, to keep the program on a roughly monthly schedule.

More Opera 9 News

"Letters, we get letters..." I love listener mail, especially when it includes useful technology tips! A "Teach with Tech" listener, Troy Hicks, writes:

"I just wanted to touch base with you about your Teach with Tech podcast. I have been listening for a few months and I appreciate how you discuss new technologies and contextualize them in K-12 and higher ed applications.

Just a quick comment on your Opera segment from last month. I have been an Opera user for a few years (yes, I paid for it a long time ago, before Opera 9, because I thought it was that good). Besides all the great tips that you gave (I didn’t even realize the one about the trashcan), you might also want to think about telling your faculty and students that there are some handy mouse features that you can use on a PC or Mac (if you have a 2 button mouse).

* Want more info about a word or phrase on a page that you are viewing? Highlight it, then right click and select one of the many search features.
* Want to email someone, but you aren’t using Opera as your email client? Right click on the email address, copy it, and paste it in your email client.
* Want to navigate web pages faster? Use Mouse gestures:
* Got a URL that you have copied or a word that you want to copy from somewhere and search using Opera? Right click in the address box or search box and choose “paste and go” to effectively paste and hit enter at the same time.

There are more mouse tools that I am sure are out there that I don’t even know, but these — along with the tips you offered — make my browsing life much easier." Thanks, Troy! Check out his blog at

I welcome more listener contributions! Or just emails of praise!

Space Podcast

A cool new resource, especially for elementary science, from the NASA site:

Isn't that the bummer about Pluto, by the way?


Friday, September 01, 2006

Episode 12 is Online!

Hello again, Teach with Tech fans!

Episode 12 is now available, and visible in iTunes. It focuses on two big topics: using wikis in the classroom, and the new features of Apple's upcoming version of OSX, Leopard, including Time Machine and Webclip, and improvements to iChat, Mail and Widgets.
I had a great time discussing these topics with Mark Millard, from
Indiana University's
Teaching and Learning with Technology Centers.

With both of these topics, we go beyond the general discussion of the cool technology and talk about how instructors, college and K-12, can use them. We welcome your suggestions, too!

Do you wiki?
Our learning management system, Oncourse, part of the Sakai Project, now has a wiki, and instructors are starting to use it, including myself, with my online course. Hey, this is a good time for a shoutout to my new Education W505: Using the Internet in the K-12 Classroom students! (It's not too late to join us!)

Just a reminder, you can find our episodes in this fine educational podcast directory (as well as at the IC website, iTunes, etc.):

I'm happy to announce that Anne Ottenbreit-Leftwich will be joining us again, to talk about quick and easy ways to integrate technology into your teaching. This time, we focus on the college classroom. We'll both also be appearing at the AECT National Conference (Mark, too!) in Dallas in October. And yes, we will be podcasting from the event!


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Updates: Powerpoint Jeopardy!, Opera 9

Hello again!

More Powerpoint Games.

I'm preparing a Powerpoint game (which we discussed in Episode 10) about Indiana University to use with our Partners in Education program, so I thought I'd share some related resources that I found:

Powerpoint Jeopardy Games
A great selection of K-12 Jeopardy games from some Kentucky teachers.

Powerpoint Activities
Has links to a Hollywood Squares and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire templates too. The Millionaire one is very cool, but I wish it came with instructions.

Opera 9 Problem fixed.
In a previous entry here, I mentioned I was having problems with YouTube and Google Video working on Opera on my MacBook Pro. Well, the sites seem to use Flash to present their videos. It turns out that you need to delete a file called Flash Plugin Enabler.plugin from the HD/Library/Internet Plugins/ folder. Then restart
Opera and you've got videos!

Stay tuned for Episode 12!


Monday, August 14, 2006

News, Info and Tips!

New Center at IU. One of the most commonly cited criticisms of educational research is that teachers don't use it, that the connection between the university teacher education programs and the everyday K-12 classroom is not being made. Well, the Indiana University School of Education is seeking to bridge that gap by creating the Center for Educational Sciences Research and P-16 Collaboration. This center will be focused on presenting best practices to teachers in the Indianapolis area (at least at first), primarily in the Math and Science Education areas.

More on Opera 9. I really like Opera's Magic Wand feature, too. All modern web browsers have some scheme to save login information, but the Magic Wand is a pretty elegant way to do it. Not only does it make logging in to site with saved information as easy as clicking on the wand, but if you have say, two different Hotmail accounts, it allows you to choose between them when logging in. This is something I haven't seen before.

One negative for Opera 9 is that it doesn't seem to work with YouTube or Google Video. I downloaded an Opera widget for You Tube but that doesn't let me search for videos successfully.

Oncourse Wiki. IU's learning management system, Oncourse CL, part of the Sakai Project, now has a wiki system. A wiki, in case you didn't attend our Podcasts, Blogs and Wikis workshop, is a collaborative writing tool that allows people to work on the same document through a web interface. Wikipedia is the most famous example, though I note places like Amazon are starting to incorporate them too. Previous postings on this blog provide links to K-12 and postsecondary Wiki resources.

Search Engine Security and Ego Searching. The recent release by AOL of subscribers' search terms brings up concerns about the security of your search history. People have used this database and tracked down individual users, even though AOL stripped out usernames from the records. One reason they were able to do this was because of ego searching. Ego searching (as opposed to Eggo searching) is the looking up of one's own name in a search engine. This can be a useful way of finding out what people are saying about you, and obviously there are business and professional reasons to do it, but it also makes it easier to identify your individual search history if those records get out in the future. Wired has a good article with tips on protecting your private search information.

Try Something New for the New School Year! Why not try a new way to use technology in your teaching this school year? Episode 10 talked about a few. You could also consider using podcasts as an assignment option, instead of another paper; create a class calendar using iPhoto; videoconferencing with a guest expert or another classroom somewhere else in the world; using web-based video clips (check and see if your school has subscribed to a service like UnitedStreaming); creating a class blog to share information with parents and grandparents; have students create a wiki about your city or town; use GoogleEarth to plan simulated trips to other countries, or to look up where news events are taking place; check out how hot it is for our soldiers in Iraq today through the web; educate your students about the dangers of giving out too much information online, in places like MySpace; build a simulated rocket and fly it; search out the meaning of your name and where it comes from; make your own class t-shirts based on student designs using iron-ons.... That's just a start! Hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration for new things to try! Would love to hear additional ideas (and some good postsecondary ideas too!)--either add them by commenting here or email me at

Monday, August 07, 2006

Episode 11 Notes! Now with Wikiality!

 Well, the Fall semester is just about upon us here at Indiana University, as it is for most of you, I am sure, whether you are teaching at the college or K-12 level.  So Episode 11 is officially our "Back to School" edition.  I'll be teaching my online course again starting at the end of this 
month.  It's called Education W505: Using the Internet in the K12 Classroom

I'm revising  the course now to incorporate some new content that I want to 
cover.  Also, this will be the first time I teach without a print textbook to fall back on.  This will make the course cheaper for students, and they'll have the 
most up-to-date information from online sources.  Still time to register--the course doesn't start till 8/29.  International students welcome!  (Sorry this paragraph breaks so strangely--something is wrong with the text wrapping here.)

Did you hear about Stephen Colbert encouraging his audience to purposely falsify a Wikipedia posting on elephants--to state that the population of African elephants had recently tripled?   Naughty, naughty, Stephen--but it does serve as an important reminder to
consider the implications of "Wiki-ality." This is something we should discuss with our students when having them do Internet-based research. See it for yourself by clicking here.

Bringing democracy to knowledge, indeed!  Anyway, back to the new episode of "Teach with Tech."  Basically, the show is as described below in the previous posting.  Would love to hear what you think (

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Episode 11 on its way!

Don't fear, brave Teach with Tech fans!   Episode 11 is being recorded as we speak, more or less, and should be online before the month is over.

This episode's topics:
  • The new Opera browser (very cool!)
  • The future of digital video: Hard-drive based camcorders and still cameras that can shoot DVD-quality video
  • "Podcasts Coming to IU"--a recent Indiana Daily Student headline.  "Coming?"  What about Teach with Tech?  What about the Bonkcasts?  And my own podcasts for my W505 students?  Not to mention instructors using the iStream (IU login required) service to publish their podcasts.   Podcasts have been at IU since mid-2005!  But you, loyal listener, already knew that, didn't you?
  • and more!
Watch this space!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Show Notes from Episode 10

Here are some links about various things that were mentioned in Episode 10. I'm not really going to describe these, though. If you're interested in more information about them, and how they relate to each other, listen to the podcast...

Jeopardy Powerpoint Template

Microsoft Office Templates

Don't have Office? OpenOffice uses Microsoft Templates

Google Earth

Flash Earth: A Web-based interface for Google Earth and Windows Live Local


United Streaming

Peg Ertmer

The Global Campfire

Anne Ottenbreich-Leftwich

Comments, suggestions, additions welcomed! If you're going to plug your own podcast with your comment, fine, but please give a few specific comments about "Teach with Tech" first.


Friday, June 30, 2006

Teaching with Technology Tips Websites

Well, Episode 10, titled "Somewhat Fewer than 50 Tips for Teaching with Technology in Your Classroom Tomorrow!" has been recorded and is being edited. It should be out the door by Monday. Just barely missing my target of getting one out every month. To tide you over until the podcast is available, here are some neat technology tips websites....

Marilyn Western's Technology Tips for Classroom Teachers
I like "101 Uses for a Classroom Computer"
Some broken links though that are annoying.

Tammy's Technology Tips for Teachers
Has some interesting student projects.

Teaching TIps Newsletter Archive
Over 300 brief newsletters with links to various tools and resources, including a "Teaching Tip of the Week" Might be worth subscribing to!

Teaching with Technology
Scholastic provides advice on using cameras, making digital movies, and managing your classroom computer center, as well as having a database of online activities. I like their ePals (keypals) pages:

Technology and Learning: The Resource for Education Technology Leaders
This site has interesting articles on new technologies such as clickers (personal response systems), smartboards, tablet PCs, wireless sound reinforcement systems and more. Has a grants database to help fund your school's projects!
Lots of tutorials here:

Teaching and Learning with Technology Tips
This site focuses on higher education, and includes diversity and classroom management tips. Talks a lot about ANGEL, which is a particular learning management system, but you could replace the references with Blackboard or WebCT or whatever you're using. Table format is easy to read quickly.

This episode's interviewee, Anne Ottenbreit-Leftwich, provides a couple more sites:

"Here's a list of websites I compiled for teachers at a local school of the top websites I thought were great for teachers:

Here's another really great one by Annette Lamb - 7 Simple Ways to begin using technology:

More suggestions are welcomed!

Check back on Monday, July 3rd for the new episode!


Sunday, June 11, 2006

50 Ways to Use Technology in Your Classroom Tomorrow!

Well, on it's way in the sense that there is a plan to do it sometime this month.... But it will be worth waiting for. I've really enjoyed these recent interviews about podcasting, but I do realize that creating podcasts isn't for every teacher in every situation. In this next episode, I will broaden the scope quite a bit and discuss other options for the technology-using teacher.

I am pleased to announce that Anne T. Ottenbreit-Leftwich, who has just joined us in the Instructional Systems Technology department here at Indiana University, will be my guest in the next podcast episode, and we will be discussing "50 Ways to Use Technology in Your Classroom Tomorrow." I very much look forward to our conversation!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Episode 9 is Available!

Hopefully, those of you who have subscribed, through iTunes and elsewhere, are downloading it at this very minute! There are links on the right hand sidebar to download it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Episode 9 is on its way!

Sorry for the delay with the episode, but I think you'll agree it was worth it once you hear it. I had a lot of fun interviewing the Smelly Monkeys (Gareth, Trevor and Simon). I'll have to admit that this strays a bit from our usual teaching-related topics, but its a wonderful example of a parent-child project that utilizes technology. As Gareth told me, there are many benefits to the child with a project like this.

"These include:
* The ability to synthesize ideas and communicate to an audience
* Family bonding
* Interaction (through me) with an international audience
* Timing and presentation, and
* Role playing & humor (Simon surprised me in show #44 when describing how it works for his brother to play the serious role against his obnoxious role)"

As I said in a previous post, why not consider doing something like this with your kids?

5/17 ADDITION: I should also say that listening to this show may have some benefits to parents. Gareth does a wonderful job of managing these two rambunctious boys. Listen to the calm, affectionate way he keeps them on track throughout the episodes. When one of them begins to get too wild, he distracts them instead of getting angry or punitive. Anyway, I was impressed, and I think some parents out there could improve their relationships with their kids by using his interactions with the boys as a model. END OF ADDITION

I'm finishing up the editing right now. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I had to edit out most of the questions that the boys fired at me (my answers weren't all that interesting anyway, though if someone really wants to know my favorite beer and baseball team, just email me). Due to Audio Hijack's only recording their side of the conversation, I also have had to rerecord all my questions. Hopefully, that won't be too obvious in the end product. The combination of iChat and Garageband really makes these online interviews easy, but I have yet to have an interviewee that is on a Mac and therefore has iChat, and I've had intermittent problems with using AOL Instant Messenger, which is compatible with iChat but for some reason some Windows people have problems with the invitations to chat--they can't find them or don't get them or something. I think the audio with Skype is better than with iChat, but this having it only get half of the conversation is annoying and makes more work for me. :(

Episode 9 may be online as soon as later today... Watch this space....


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Episode 9: A Barrelfull of Smelly Monkeys!

As you may know, monkeys are all the rage in podcastdom. Ricky Gervais has his Monkey News, Penn Gillette has his Monkey Tuesday... So I thought this program needed some monkey content as well. So, Episode 9 will now focus on the Smelly Monkeys (, who are described in the previous posting. As for the other content, I'm not sure if I'll get to it or not, as I expect the conversation with the Smelly Monkeys to be pretty engaging and entertaining, as well as insightful.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Episode 9 Notes

Episode 9 Notes:

Here, in advance of the new podcast episode, are some notes about what I plan to cover, more or less, and relevant links. Comments, suggestions and additions welcomed!

Bootcamp, Smelly Monkeys, and More!

Macs have been able to run Microsoft operating systems for a long, long time now, with programs like Virtual PC. But never before has the experience been exactly like running Windows on an Intel machine. Now, with the new Intel-based Macs, you can boot up in Windows and have the full, normal experience of running it on a Dell or Gateway. For Mac-using educators, that means you can run those programs that are still Windows-only, such as Atlas.ti, Access, Publisher and others.

Google Earth
Wow! Now you can view the earth the way the CIA does, from space down to street level, in high photo resolution. The Grand Canyon is even in a kind of 3D. Imagine teaching geography to kids with a tool like this! And there are professional applications, too. Going to a conference? Check out where the hotel is in relation to the convention center. And it's a free download for Windows and Mac!

Having a built in videocam in your computer, like I do with my MacBook Pro, is really handy. Great for quickly recording classroom activities without hunting down a digital videocamera. Saves time, too, as there is no capturing involved. Kids love the Photo Booth application, where they can take instant pictures of themselves through various fun filters, sort of like a cross between a photo booth in a mall and a set of funhouse mirrors. I'm sure there are Windows machines with these cams as well....

Ace Kids: Podcasting with Class
Some fun podcasts from a class of elementary kids from down under. Love those Australian accents! "It's been great having a worldwide audience and we thoroughly recommend that your teacher learns to podcast!"

Smelly Monkeys
Listen to a father and his 8-year-old twin sons cover a range of topics: baseball, King Kong, tennis, the Pygmy Mouse Lemur, etc. Why not do something like this with your kids?

Children's Literature Podcasts

Club Kidcast
Cuddle up with a blankie and your iPod and listen to "The Princess and the Pea", "Tom Thumb", "The Velveteen Rabbit", and more!

Podcasts for Children
Original stories for children: "The Flying Rock," "The Wishing Chicken" and more. Tested by the author with his own children. Especially good for bedtime, I would think.

The Story Spieler
This site features Peter Pan, The Wonderful Land of Oz, "The Ugly Duckling", "Annie the Goose Girl" and others. Not just children's lit here; a number of recordings on topics kids wouldn't be interested in (nothing offensive, though, that I saw).

Project Gutenberg
This archive of public domain full-text literature now hosts audio versions of many classics. Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe. Some books are read by humans like you and me, some by computer software.

A Proud Teacher Shares...

W505 Student Work: Webquests, Blogs, Educational Websites
Check out my students' excellent work!
Webquests on Tobacco Awareness, Around the World in 18 Weeks, Meet Abraham Lincoln, etc. Blogs on teaching EFL, poetry, homeschooling and more. Websites on topology, spiders, Indiana authors, fractals, magnets and guitars, and other great education-related topics.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Higher Ed Podcasting: Some Thoughts

Over the past year, I've done a number of podcasts and vidcasts with Curt Bonk , who is one of our professors in the Indiana University School of Education, as well as using my own podcasts with my online students.

I think the phenomena of coursecasting, which has gotten a lot of press lately, is a very basic and minimal use of the podcasting medium. Just recording lectures verbatim doesn't really take best advatage of the characteristics of the medium. It also makes a lot of people nervous, since it seems to invite students to not attend class.

A better, higher-level use of podcasting is to use it to deliver content that is not covered in class, rather than duplicate the F2F material. Instead, podcasts can be used to deliver additional/enrichment/supplementary material. As I've said during workshops, podcasts offer a wonderful opportunity to deliver content that you just can't fit into the 50 minutes or whatever length of time you have for class. Or maybe you'd rather do something more interactive than just a lecture. Podcasting the material can free up class time for non-lecture activities, activities that are more involving and engaging for everyone, like small group activities, collaborations, labs, etc.

In the following podcast, you can hear Dr. Bonk and myself discuss Robert Gagné, a major figure in the instructional technology field. You may have heard of his "9 Events of Instruction" or his "Conditions for Learning." Here's the link to the podcast:

I'm more in the Ed McMahon role here than a co-presenter ("Yes, sir! You are correct, sir!").

I think it is important to consider the following when creating these Higher Ed podcasts:
  • Remember your audience, and the context in which they will be taking in the program. Generally, college students listen to these things in spare moments between classes, at the gym, walking to the library, etc. Tasks that usually are fairly brief. I guess if you worked at a commuter campus, you could lengthen the programs, assuming students would listen to them on the drive home. But even so, anything over half an hour is bound to lose you listeners.
  • The tone of podcasts should be friendly, conversational, even humorous if you can carry off that sort of thing. Try to make the podcast enjoyable to listen to. If you can get a colleague to join you, so much the better. If they can provide a second perspective, that could also enrich the content.
  • Provide the jist of things. An overview. Don't load it down with citations and URLs. Chances are, your listener may be in spandex bicycle shorts and not even have a pocket for a pencil and paper when he/she is listening to the program. Put the references in your blog, your learning management system, or email them to the students.
IMHO, of course. Your comments welcomed.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Random Ed Tech Stuff

Hello again, Teach with Tech fans!

Hope you enjoyed the interview with Ray and Hollye in Episode 8! Tons of people have downloaded it already.

For fellow Hoosiers: Did you know the Indiana State Department of Education has a podcast series? I sure didn't, and you can't find it anywhere on their home page, but here it is:
Here's the schedule of podcasts and videostreamed events:
The monthly business meeting is podcast, which sounds deadly dull, but probably has some useful information. A video called "Technology Education: Good News!" sounds interesting, as does the bullying prevention podcast and video. They also have a nice page that collects links to all the relevant software you need to use their site:

More free publicity for the "Tech Teachers"! They build a PC in their new vidcast. I did this once, in a technology workshop. Doesn't give you the street cred of rebuilding a 427 Ford, but a good thing to know how to do. As always:

Have you checked out the TechPodZone? I guess it used to be called the Geek Squad Zone, which evidently is now a Best Buy copyright. They've got an audio player embedded in their page, which makes it easy enough to listen to (though how to subscribe is less obvious, for those who prefer their own player. Show 18 is a nice introduction to podcasting. (Nicer than Teach with Tech Episode 1? You be the judge!) The episode also includes some samples from K-12 student podcasts. The no-longer-Geeks can be found at:

A colleague of mine has a neat-o schoolbased simulation called SimTeacher. Designed for preservice teachers, to give them additional experience with real-world school situations. Check it out at

Also, continuing with our recent rocket theme, Estes has a new rocket that takes video clips during its flight. I remember when there was a similar rocket that shot Super8 film! Check the Oracle out at:,620 Put in your order at your local hobby shop!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Episode 8 is Online!

My goal has been to get one of these episodes online every month and so far, so good, though this one was a bit of a squeaker. (Last October, there were two episodes, I should point out, I guess). Episode 8 is now available for download.

This episode features an interview with Ray and Hollye (the charming couple above), two teachers from Kansas City, MO, who star in the popular podcast (and occasional vidcast) "The Tech Teachers." They recently completed their 30th episode, and so it seemed like a good occasion to interview them about their experiences, as podcasters and educators. If you haven't checked out their show yet, I've provided a short sample in this episode. Links are on the sidebar to go get the show, if you haven't subscribed already.

They also produce the Hard Core Science vidcast:

Comments and questions, as always, welcomed!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More Edblogs!

Well, just got back from our third (face-to-face) workshop on podcasts, wikis and blogs. We'll soon have the video from the first session online, and I'll post the URL so you can check it out. The long-awaited interview with Ray and Hollye will be recorded this weekend, so the long-awaited Episode 8 should follow soon after.

Here's a site with some interesting educational blogs:

NWP Blog Project
Many edblogs here. A quote from one: "Out in Western Massachusetts, we are wrapping up our Technology Initiative Mini-grant program that uses a Weblog platform to connect middle school students from an isolated rural town with students from an urban center."

This blog shares highlights that the bloggers have gleaned from educator blogs, that is, teachers blogging about teaching. Some are humorous, others touching. Lots of links to teacher blogs.

EduBlog Awards 2005
These were given out in December '05, but I didn't hear about them until just now, probably because I'm not on the list :( Well worth checking out.


Friday, March 17, 2006


Hello again, Teach with Tech fans!

The interview with Ray and Hollye was postponed, due to illness; hope to set it up again soon.

I talked about online video resources in my last blog posting, but one of the neat things I didn't mention is about how easy it is to incorporate video from YouTube and GoogleVideo into your website (or blog or LMS). They provide you with the code and it's cut and paste. Comes with an embedded player and everything. Couldn't be easier.

The weather has been beautiful lately (when it's not thunderstorming). Why aren't you outside shooting off rockets? Heck, you can even buy rockets that are prebuilt, if you're not man/woman/child enough to handle gluing on fins. This weekend, why not visit your local hobby shop and pick up something by Estes? Support a local business and a small company from Penrose, Colorado. They even have ones that measure speed and altitude, take pictures and drop eggs on you (sadly, not the same rocket). Here's a video from Google to inspire you.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Spring Break Special Posting!

Before you head out to Florida or Chile or whereever....

A number of interesting things to share in this posting....which is the first, by the way, from my new MacBook Pro laptop! I highly recommend you go out and buy one!

Video Resources on the Web

Have you checked out the vast amounts of video clips available online now? Check out and While most of the clips are entertainment-oriented, there's a surprising amount of educational material as well, from old newsreels to public domain films. I typed in "rockets" for instance and found quite a few videos that I could download for a science lesson. Google seems to be better for teacher use, since you can download videos, while YouTube doesn't want you to (yes, I know you can figure out ways to get past this). I wouldn't want to have to rely on an Internet connection while presenting to a class--you're much safer if you have the file already downloaded on your computer. Since the content on these sites is usually provided by users, the opportunity for inappropriate content and copyright violations is inevitably going to be taken advantage of. I wouldn't send your students to either site, but you might find some useful material yourself.

Higher Ed Podcasting

Several of my Education W505: Using the Internet in the K-12 Classroom students have started blogs. They had the option of doing blogs, podcasts or webquests. About half did blogs, half did webquests. I was disappointed that nobody did a podcast. Maybe no-one had a microphone? You can check them out at

Academic MP3s >> Is It iTime Yet?
"Dorothy Leland, GC&SU president, weighs in on the iPod. “Using a new technology to deliver instruction requires considerable faculty work. This work involves learning about the functionalities of the technology and its academic applications. But it also involves rethinking course objectives and learning outcomes in light of the new pedagogical opportunities that the technology provides.” Leland sees the iPod as a powerful tool in transforming the site of learning from the desk to the pocket: In this new mode, instruction is no longer confined to a limited number of physically stationary sites (e.g., classroom, library, lab, or home office), but can occur almost anywhere a student may be. “This location-independent access to digital multimedia material means that the delivery of instruction is less dependent on time and place,” she says. “The iPod technology also offers the potential to shift the proportion of class time devoted to learning that benefits from face-to-face interactions between faculty and students, and shift preparatory work to outside times and locations.”

This is a really solid, substantial article about podcasting and higher ed. Describes both the opportunities and the challenges of podcasting use in this setting. Describes, in detail, a number of higher ed initiatives utilizing the technology. Probably too focused on the iPod itself. There are other devices that can play mp3s, after all.

New Widget for Mac OSX Dashboard
You can now get a Mac widget from that will allow you to create postings without going to the site. This is a test posting using that widget, which can be found at

As always, your comments and suggestions welcomed!


Episode 8 Preview!

I'm very excited to announce that we will be having two very special guests for Episode 8!

Ray and Hollye from "The Tech Teachers" podcast series will be featured on this next episode, which will be recorded this weekend, and hopefully available online early next week. I have been listening to these two teachers from Kansas City, MO, for quite awhile now. They're up to episode 29, can you believe it? I've discovered a lot of neat teaching tips and tech stuff from listening to their show, and I think you'll enjoy and get a lot from our conversation.

I welcome any questions you might want to ask them.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

K-12 Wiki Resources (Updated!)

K-12 Wiki Resources

In this posting, I'm going to provide a bunch of resources for using Wikis in education, K-12 primarily. (Thanks to Christopher Sessums for the photo of the original Wiki Wiki--a Hawaiian bus.)

First, if you haven't yet, go take a look at Wikipedia:

And then, the more recent Wikia--a collection of wiki-based communities. Have an interest like Star Wars or the Civil War? Start up a wiki on the topic and work together with the world to provide a collaborative resource on the material. Not a lot of K-12 oriented stuff there yet, but you could start up one there.


Make Way for Wikis
Excellent overview of wikis in a K-12 environment. "Teachers and librarians nationwide have begun to explore the role of wikis (pronounced wee-kees or wih-kees) in classroom settings—and the possibilities do appear endless. At Olde Columbine High School in Longmont, CO, Bud Hunt began an experiment last spring using a wiki to teach writing. “The quality of writing across the board was better than any of the work they had done previously,” he says. “I think it was because the students had an authentic audience. They knew others were looking.”

Wiki in a K-12 classroom
Some specific examples of how you might use Wikis in your teaching.
It's on a wiki itself, so feel free to add some more!

Turning Wikipedia into an Asset for Schools

Proposes an activity to check the accuracy of Wikipedia.

High School Students (and Teachers) Write Collaboratively on a Wiki
A teacher provides a screencast to demonstrate "both how simple it is to begin composing together with students, and how profoundly paradigm-shifting a wiki can be in the writing classroom."

Weblogs & Wikis and Feeds, Oh My!
Regular postings on wikis here.

Examples of Educational Wikis
Many, many K-12 wikis linked here, from all around the world!

Holocaust Wiki Project
This teacher is using a wiki to have his students collaboratively write about the horrific events of the holocaust.

Entire textbooks are being written via Wikis at Wikibooks.
Wide Open Spaces: Wikis, Ready or Not
This article focuses on higher ed uses of wikis

Using Wiki in Education

This one also focuses on higher ed, but a lot is applicable to K-12 too.

An interesting online conference in which K-12 teachers worked together to create wiki entries on a number of educational topics

Wiki Grading Rubric
Very useful!

Even humble Bloomington has its own wiki:
Does your own community? A great idea for a class project!

How to get started? Find a free wiki site. Here's one:

If you're an IU student, like those in my Education W505: Using the Internet in the K-12 Classroom course (totally online, open to anyone in the world who is a graduate-level K-12 teacher, librarian, counselor, administrator, homeschooler!), you can use the wiki tool in Oncourse CL.

Feel free to submit further wiki resources. Especially if you're a K-12 teacher using a wiki in your teaching!


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

K-12 Blogging Resources (UPDATED 4/2/07)

K-12 Blogging Resources

I originally made this post last year, but it is substantially updated now. (Thanks to for the image.)

Writing with Web Logs
A good argument for using blogs in the classroom. If you can only read one of these articles, this would be a good one to read. "
The challenge, as it so often is with new uses of technology, is integration. How do educators take advantage of the Web's publishing tools with limited time and resources and in keeping with the standards? Enter a promising new use of technology called Web logs-or blogs, for short. Part Web site, part journal, part free-form writing space, blogs have the potential to enhance writing and literacy skills while offering a uniquely stylized form of expression."

Blogging Techniques for the K-12 Classroom
Here's an informative overview of K-12 blogging from the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Nice diagrams, too.
"Some advantages include:
  • Providing a centralized place for regular writing practice, thus eliminating the need to collect multiple papers from each student.
  • Allowing the teacher and other students to comment and provide feedback on individual posts.
  • Creating a greater sense of community within a class that will more deeply permeate into their personal lives.
  • Giving a voice to students who may not feel comfortable speaking aloud in a classroom setting or who are overshadowed by the more vocal students."
Teachers are Reaching Out to Students with a New Class of Blogs
A good overview of how some Seattle-area elementary teachers are using blogs. "At the end of the year, the third-graders reflected on their experience. "I like blogs because you get to share a creative idea with the world," noted one. "I think I'm a better writer because of my blog," commented another. Added one: "I think that other kids should blog because it's fun and it really helps you learn more and more.""

The Future of K-12 Blogging
Here's a manifesto for K-12 blogging. Focuses on computer science, but interesting for everyone, I think. Sidebar has links to a number of K-12 teacher blogs

Paul Gates' Second Grade Class Blog
Learn about flowers, from second graders! Neat writings, drawings and photos!

WillowWeb Blogs
Yes, it's those kids from Omaha again! Find out what they are doing by checking out their school's blogs.
Check out Mrs. Petta's blog.
Check out her students' blog:
Notice any differences?

New Kids on the Blog
"Richardson encourages teachers to move beyond online diaries, like the ones at Connors-Emerson, and consider using Web logs as thinking tools. In his old journalism class, no trees were killed—every assignment was paperless. And, in a growing number of classrooms, particularly at the secondary level, many teachers are discovering that a Web log serves as the perfect catalyst for critical debate."
"Plourde believes it's the public and immediate nature of blogging that so motivates her kids. "It's like writing in the clouds," she says. Anybody on Earth can read it, although usually it's just Alexa in the other fifth-grade class or Yuxi's mom."

Schools grapple with policing students' online journals
"The worries range from the serious - student safety and cyberbullying - to the mundane, minimizing gossip and protecting students from embarrassment. Some schools are trying to restrict access to the sites, or are holding sessions to educate both parents and students on proper guidelines."

Experts to Students: Watch What You Post
Everyone is always talking about the dangers of predators on the Internet, but the greater danger to many more students may be when future employers or schools look at the things the kids post in their blogs.

A Blogger's Code of Ethics
This is aimed at "professional" bloggers, but could easily be adapted for use with students.

I like this video about blogging in a high school (first one on the page):
Check out the rest of the weblogg-ed site, too!

Why Weblogs?
Need an academic rationale for the use of blogs with your students? Read this:

Why Teachers Blog?
Check out this graphic! Sort of a concept map about teacher blogging.

Two examples of graduate student-created blogs:

Kenny Kimchee's EFL Adventures.
One of my students is a middle school EFL teacher in Japan, and he shared his experiences as a teacher over there. Really well-written, insightful stuff!

Children's Writing
Another one of my students created this blog to show "examples and thoughts about children's writing at various stages of development." I wish she (and Kenny) had kept their blogs going.

I welcome any other suggestions!

Extra Stuff:

Podcast, Blogs and Wikis Video!
Our workshop on podcasts, blogs and wikis went very well! You are more than welcome to check out the video.

Are You Familiar with LoTi?
It stands for Levels of Technology Integration. It's a kind of rubric for evaluating technology integration in a K-12 classroom. Take a look at it and rank yourself, if you're a K-12 teacher and/or your kids' classroom, if you have kids.
According to this blogger,

the LoTi is "valid & reliable assessment tool with over 60 dissertations attesting to its worth, independently validated by Temple University, "


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Episode 7: "K-12 Podcasting" is Online!

Episode 7 is now available for your listening pleasure. It features a fun, informative interview with Tony Vincent, technology specialist from Omaha's public schools, about his experiences with podcasting at his school. It also features snippets from his students' podcasts, which are quite cute and amusing, as well as educational. I bet you'll be singing the "Ideas and Content" song all the rest of the day after you hear it!

This episode is just under half an hour. It won't be split up into segments, since it would mess up the flow of the interview. See the "Get the Podcast" link on the right? Click there to go download it.

Note the post below with references to articles about K-12 podcasting. I was going to mention them in the podcast, but I ran out of time. I may mention them next time. Or maybe not!

Tomorrow, we're giving a face-to-face workshop on Podcasting, Blogs and Wikis here in the IU School of Education, from 10-12 noon. You're all welcome to attend!

Thanks to Tony for this interview, and to his students for their contributions! Any comments about this show are also welcome!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Innovative K-12 Project and iPresent-it!

Hello again, Teach with Tech fans!

The interview with Tony Vincent went very well. Collaboratively, we figured out how to use Garageband to record iChat audio. Which is a great way to do audio interviews, because GB automatically puts each person on a different audio track, and adds chapter marks when the conversation switches from one person to the other. If you're not using GB to record your podcasts...well, you should!

I'm going to mention this in Episode 7, but you blog readers get the early scoop... Tony Vincent has started a neat project, the Our City project. Students create podcasts about their town. His kids did the first one, Omaha. I dibs Bloomington, IN! Lots of information about how your students can join in the fun at:

Also, I just found out about a neat new piece of software that puts Powerpoint and Keynote presentations onto your iPod! And the iPod can then be plugged into a TV. This could be a lot easier than lugging a laptop to your presentations! It's called iPresent-it (Mac only, unfortunately).

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Episode 7 preview: K-12 Podcasting and Vidcasts: Humbug!

Let's focus on K-12 podcasting for this next episode. I have a really cool interview scheduled with Tony Vincent, from Willowdale Elementary School in Omaha, NE.

A lot of the articles out there on K-12 podcasting rehash the same basic information, without specifically talking about using the technology with students. Here are the best of the articles that I've found on K-12 podcasting.

NY Times Article (have to register to read this one)

"It teaches [students] to do research, to communicate in print, to speak effectively and grab attention with sound."

Podcasting craze comes to K-12 Schools (from Education Week)
"Longfellow 7th grader Alyssa M. Gilbertson described the appeal of creating a podcast. “When you're writing an essay,” she said, “you don't try your hardest because after you're done, you throw it away or put it in a box.” But with podcasts, she said, “now we try a lot harder because we want other people to know that we [can] do more. We want people to hear us.”

Exploiting the Educational Uses of Podcasting
"In what ways can the podcasting phenomena be exploited within education? In reality, there are so many possibilities and, ultimately, the creativity and imagination of teachers and learners will drive the educational podcasting agenda in future. However, there are three areas where the potential of podcasting could be realised within schools:
  • Devising a cross-curricular activity;
  • Providing alternative teaching approaches;
  • Promoting and using personalised learning."
iPods Fast Becoming New Teachers' Pet
"Teachers say the benefits of making podcasts are clear: The trendy technology and the possibility of a wider audience motivate students. "My students research better, read more, write better and understand the material," said Beth Sanborn, a fifth-grade teacher at Willowdale Elementary School, near Omaha, where students have been making podcasts since last spring." (***More about Willowdale iin Episode 7!)

Podcasts as Student Projects

"Sprankle notes that the podcasts allow his students to publish to a global community and that motivates them as writers. One a weekly basis, they create successful and purposeful pieces of writing. Sprankile sees his students as “sculptors” of the show and of their learning day. “They ask themselves questions. ‘Is this a podcasting moment? Do I want to share it? Is it meaningful?”"

Podcasting: Transforming Middle Schoolers into "Middle Scholars"
From a student: “Podcasting motivates me because you feel like you are telling the world about little stuff that we do. It makes you feel important and accepted.”—Ryan"
The technology is a tool to implement the curriculum,” Halderson says. “Podcasting is all about learning the content. If you don’t have educational content, you have no podcast; no amount of sound effects, visuals, or music can hide a lack of content in an educational podcast."


I don't know about this whole vidcasting, or video podcasting, or whatever, thing though. Right now, I'm listening, yes listening, to the vidcast of Ray and Hollye's The Tech Teachers ( I started off watching it for the first couple minutes...but it's two people sitting on a couch, for gosh sakes... IMHO, the extra bandwidth and hard drive spaced consumed by the video is wasted. An image of them sitting on the couch attached to the mp3 would be just fine. It's not just them. I watched a recent Mac-related vidcast and it was just two guys standing there talking. To add some visual appeal, they were standing in front of the ocean and occasionally a boat would go by, but geez. There needs to be meaningful video content, folks! Like a product me the new MacBook Pro, or some new software. But if the program is just people talking, keep it in audio-only podcast format.

Oh, and we should talk about enhanced podcasts too...


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Episode 6 is online!

Episode Six is (finally) online! Part of the delay comes from the fact that this was the first episode recorded in the new version of Garageband, which is part of iLife '06. So the episode may sound a bit better than previous ones...let me know what you think. As always, here are the relevant links to the main features of the podcast.
More episodes soon to come! I welcome your comments and suggestions for future podcasts!

All 6 episodes available for free at:
or search for them in iTunes
or get them at the Educate directory