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!