Wednesday, March 29, 2006
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: http://hcscience.blogspot.com
Comments and questions, as always, welcomed!
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
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
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
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 http://www.youtube.com and http://video.google.com. 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 PodcastingSeveral 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 Blogger.com that will allow you to create postings without going to the blogger.com site. This is a test posting using that widget, which can be found at http://www.google.com/macwidgets/
As always, your comments and suggestions welcomed!
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
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: http://www.wikipedia.org
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.
- Here's an example of a book for K-12 students that is being written collaboratively using a wiki: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior_Big_Cats
- Here's an example of a book for K-12 teachers: ttp://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blended_Learning_in_K-12
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
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!