Tag: podcast

New Podcast: #16–Digital Storytelling-Ric Camacho

In the latest edition of the Moss-Free Show, I decided to show off some local talent. Ric Camacho is a great teacher at Mercer-Bloomberg Learning Center, our district’s alternative high school. Ric decided to give digital storytelling a try with his students this year, many of whom are kids who might struggle with a traditional high school setting. He was kind enough to talk about his experience and the kids’ responses to publishing their writing in such a rich, creative way.

New Podcast: Todd Nesloney Talking Flipped Learning

In this short episode, I had the privilege of interviewing my friend, Todd Nesloney, better known as @TechNinjaTodd of Twitter fame. Todd is a 5th grade math teacher here in Texas who was named one of “20 to Watch” by the National School Board Association this year. Todd and I chatted briefly about what it means to flip a classroom, the challenges, and the benefits.

BISD 12 Second Tech Challenge #3!

So far, 18 teachers and administrators have participated–a great start! Today’s challenge focused on podcasts. Specifically, it focuses on the iTunes tool and its vast library of free, educational podcasts. When you complete the Challenge, be sure to leave a comment here or on the video site and tell everyone what podcast(s) you subscribed to. If you can’t view the video below, click on this link. Thanks, and have fun!


BISD 12 Second Tech Challenge #3 on 12seconds.tv

Oh, one more thing. If you missed out on either of the first two 12 Second Challenges, please don’t hesitate to go back and catch up. There is no due date, other than for the prize drawings, which will occur late in the spring, so feel free to join in!

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Daughter’s Latest Podcast

podcast statistics

Reagan just finished her second podcast, a review of Emma’s Strange Pet, by Jean Little. She really liked this book, because it stars a green anole, one of her favorite backyard visitors. She and I are both amazed at the traffic her little podcast is getting. She has had over 40 subscribers in the past 4 weeks! (See chart above.) What a powerful way to motivate a child to read and to share what they are reading!

Podomatic is a very easy site to use, incidentally. You get 500 mb of free storage with the basic account. By converting your videos to mpeg4 using a converter such as the free one made by Jodix, a 2-3 minute podcast uses just a few mb of memory, so you’ll be able to post many podcasts before having to invest in a free account.

5 Easy Ways to Dip Your Toes in the Web 2.0 Water

Come on in!For any educators out there who like the idea of Web 2.0 and recognize its importance, but are too intimidated or otherwise reluctant to dive right in, I offer the following list of 5 things to try first. I think these tools will give you an idea of how simple it is to create online content and to build an online community.

Blog

Just write. Write about your family, a hobby, your job (carefully, of course), politics, religion, entertainment, or anything that interests you. Start out by committing to blog once per week. Send emails to your friends and family, inviting them to read and join in the conversation. You may be surprised how easy it is to build a loyal following, as they respond to your ideas, expand on them, and argue with them. A very easy site to begin blogging with is Blogger. It’s account setup and user interface are very user-friendly. Others to look at are WordPress, Windows Live Spaces, Blog.com, or Blogster. There are also numerous blogging sites intended for particular audiences, such as Edublogs, of course. Try more than one–they are all free for basic memberships–and see which suits your preferences and needs best. The important thing is to just do it–write, invite, communicate. (You’ll also get more blog traffic if you frequent other blogs, leaving thoughtful or eye-catching comments and including your blog’s address.)

Create a Podcast

This is a very easy way to get content on the web and to get an audience, and it is especially appealing to those who aren’t as big on writing. To create an audio podcast, you need either a computer with a microphone and audio editing software or a cell phone. You can create a free online podcast account at numerous sites, including Podbean, Podomatic, MyPodcast, etc. You can go through the steps of getting your podcast listed in iTunes, if you wish, but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Next, create your first podcast. Use an audio editing program, such as GarageBand (Mac) or Audacity (PC). Record yourself talking about a topic which you are particularly knowledgeable or opinionated about. You might also record homework information or study tips for your students. Edit, if needed/desired, to eliminate unwanted noises, pauses, coughs, etc.. You can go so far as to add musical introductions/endings, but this isn’t a requirement. I found a nice selection at Incompetech.com that is all licensed under Creative Commons as requiring attribution only. If needed, convert your file to mp3 (This is an Export function in Audacity.). Upload your file to your podcast page, give it a description, and invite some friends to listen. They can leave comments and subscribe to your future podcasts. Again, you’re starting a conversation, only this time with your voice. If you want it to be an even easier process, sign up for a Gcast account, and start podcasting via cell phone. Either way, you will find it is a very easy, enjoyable, and efficient way to create content.

Broadcast a PowerPoint

One of the easiest ways there is to share information on the web is to simply upload content that already has been created. PowerPoints are a favorite in many classrooms. One thing that I believe leaves them lacking in terms of usefulness, however, is that they are designed as a one-way communication tool, and generally for a small audience (the teacher). A site that takes PowerPoint to the next level is Slideshare.net. With an account in Slideshare, PowerPoint presentations can be uploaded and converted to a Flash video format. Most formatting is preserved, including slides, illustrations, text, and links. Viewers can check out the show, leave comments on the entire thing or individual slides, embed the show into their blogs, or download it to their own computers. Imagine having a class upload all of their PowerPoint shows, then view classmates’ shows and leave questions/comments–takes PowerPoint from 1-way communication to multi-directional instantly.

Share a Document

The next time you have to create a word processing document, spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation with a group of people, try doing it online. Google Documents is a great place to begin (You can also use sites such as ThinkFree or Zoho, if you prefer.). You’ll need an account (free). Create your document, then click on the Share tab on the right of the screen. You will be able to send an invitation to other users to contribute their own ideas and content to the product you started. It is really amazingly exciting and powerful to watch as the screen automatically refreshes, and changes made by other users automatically appear as you work. You’ll gain a better understanding of the usefulness of this tool for student collaboration.

Stumble

This is the easiest way to discover and bookmark new pages on the web that I have found. You can also recommend sites to others. To sign up, go to StumbleUpon and register, including your interests. You’ll get a browser add-on with the company logo and the word Stumble! on it. When you have a spare second, click this button and a random site appears that is related to the profile you created when you registered. If you like it, click the I like it! button, and it is added to your online bookmarks. You can also recommend new sites using the same button, and they will be shared with other members. It is surprisingly addictive, especially during commercials in the evening, and you will discover parts of the Web you likely never knew existed.

These are just a few tools, but they are all easy to get started with, and they’ll give a good feel for the general idea, that the Internet is now about creating content and creating communities.

Starting Early with Podcasting

I spent a great Sunday afternoon with my 7-year old daughter yesterday, and we finally got around to doing something she’s been wanting to do for awhile–setting up her own podcast. It’s called Reagan Reviews, and she plans on doing reviews of the many, many books she reads.  Book reviews, either audio or video, are a great way to introduce students to podcasting, and the subject matter is endless. The tools we used were an RCA Small Wonder video camera and Adobe Premiere Elements for the editing. We converted the .avi video file to .mpeg using the free Jodix video converter software, which I like for its ease of use–browse to the file and click convert. The host site she’ll be using for now is Podomatic, which offers 500 mb of storage, enough to get her going. Setting up a user account and uploading the podcast with this site were fast and easy, although certainly not easy enough for her to do without my help. I’m working on uploading the video to YouTube, and I’ll be sure to post it here when it’s ready.

(Note–I tried uploading to TeacherTube, but the site hung up in the final stages of the upload. This isn’t the first time this has happened for me. I love the site, and really hope they can invest in some server upgrades. In the meantime, it’s difficult for me to recommend to teachers that they use it for hosting their own videos. If this changes, I’ll be the first to spread the word.)

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