Archive for November, 2008

Podcasting

One of the tools I didn’t get up to in the Online Pedagogy workshop at ETA conference was podcasting.

For those after some information:

  • A podcast is an audio (sometimes also video) recording that can be downloaded, ‘streamed’ and subscribed to by users.
  • The word originally was a blend of the words ‘iPod’ and ‘Broadcast’, but they can actually be used anywhere (not just iPods!), so now the word stands for ‘Personal On Demand broadCAST’
  • I use Audacity to record my podcasts.  It is free, and very easy to use – you just need a microphone plugged into your computer.
  • And I use PodBean (www.podbean.com) to put my podcasts up on the web.  It is like a blog, but for your podcasts.

I also heard that podOmatic is a good site for podcasting.  It looks like you can record straight on to the podOmatic website, cutting out the need to use Audacity.  Persoanlly, I like to use Audacity first, so that I have the sounds file saved on my own computer.  This means it is backed up, I can use it without being online, and if you wanted to you could even get the files put up on your school website or intranet (one day I plan to actually do this!)

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Getting students involved in blogging

Barriers to getting involved:

  • Access issues – power in rural and remote areas
  • Equity issues – not all students are digitally literate
  • Equipment access – access to computer labs, laptops, broadband
  • Home access – students with no computers or internet access at home
  • Behaviour management – ICT TOO EXCITING!

Please add any ideas you have for overcoming these barriers…

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Online Pedagogy

In today’s conference workshop I will be exploring four important issues relating to learning and teaching strategies for using online tools:

  1. How the purpose of your site relates to its form
  2. The intended teacher-student dynamic online
  3. Students and internet safety
  4. Getting students involved and monitoring contributions

Please respond with comments to this post if you have any questions, information or anecdotes from your own teaching context.

(DET Interim Guidelines for using blogs and wikis)

(from the ETA Annual Conference @ UNSW )

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Connectivism

Thanks to Darcy for tweeting this link to the Connectivism Wiki.

There are some great ideas here – I especially like the entry on Externalising Ourselves.  I am going to use a quote from this in my ETA Conference presentation on Saturday about Online Learning and Pedagogy:

The ability to connect concepts and ideas and to understand and be understood by others requires that we render our thoughts in some type of format that permits communication. The development of symbols, language, and writing permits externalization of thought and thereby the capacity to create and network concepts and ideas.

The same wiki page also has a link to a very interesting document about Connectivism as a Learning Theory.  I had to laugh at the title, as it sums up so many arguments discussions I have had with people about using online tools, for teaching or otherwise: ‘Connectivism: Learning Theory, or Pastime of the Self-Amused’!

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STOP WORK

I’ve just come home from this morning’s stopwork meeting organised by the NSW Teachers Federation.

Read more about the Teachers Federation Staffing, Standards and Salaries campaign here.

The meeting finished half an hour ago, but I am resisting the urge to use the time to finish off some school work…not just because I think it is important for teachers to ‘stay true’ to the stopwork by, well, stopping work, but also because I am so burned out with school work right now that an imposed 2 hour break is a welcome relief.

Over the past couple of weeks my blog has been neglected, emails have gone unread, and I haven’t even been opening Twitter.  No comment from me about Barack Obama’s historic win in the US election.  No comment (still) about the proposed National Curriculum, and (perhaps worst) no reflection on my teaching or engagement in professional learning.

So, while filling up on petrol that had nearly run dry because I’ve had no time to fill the car, and after picking up some take away breakfast because I had run out of time and skipped mine earlier in the morning, I decided to use the rest of my stopwork time to write this post.

A little bit of a cheat of course, because as far as I’m concerned blogging = professional learning, which = work!  But the school workload atm is so depressingly huge that I’m prepared to cheat on this…until reports are finished at the end of this week, I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to blog again…

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Obama vs Palin

For anyone playing last minute catch-up on the US Presidential election before the votes start rolling in tonight, just compare these.  On one side we have Democrat Barack Obama’s (very heartfelt and sincere, imho) 30 minute ‘infomercial’, and on the other side we have the (ditzy and gullible) Sarah Palin, Republican Vice-President nominee, being pranked by a Canadian radio host pretending to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Surely the game is already over?

Palin pranked by CKOI 96.9 FM Montreal.
And here, Obama…the next US President:

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