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: http://www.edukast.com/techpodzone/

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 http://www.simteacher.com

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: http://www.estesrockets.com/cgi-bin/products.cgi?view,620 Put in your order at your local hobby shop!