Sunday, February 24, 2008

Podcast adventure

To prepare for my podcast adventure I did more reading (and highlighting) of Richardson's book-BLOGS, WIKIS, PODCASTS and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms- my EDES 545 bible. Reading about how easy and versatile podcasting is, made me feel quite hopeful that I could DO this and maybe even enjoy the process. Of course my confidence was also boosted by the fact that my podcast subject was an interview with my three kids. My eldest son, Thomas, podcasts regularly, so I knew that expert technical assistance would be close at hand.

Back to Richardson for a moment. His description is "Podcasting is basically the creation and distribution of amateur radio, plain and do not need a lot of technical expertise to make it work." He lists the requirements needed to create a basic podcast:
  • a digital audio recorder to create and MP3 file (I used my Mac)
  • space on a server to host the file ( I used Tumblr because that's what my son Tom uses)
  • a blog ( got that a while ago!)
  • something to say
Another description of podcasting that I liked came from tech-guy and podcast pioneer, Leo LaPorte who says podcasts are TIVO for the radio. As a rabid CBC listener, who went from full-time home-maker to full-time teacher, the ability to listen to my shows when I can, instead of when they are on is a much appreciated gift. I asked for an Ipod for my last birthday just so I wouldn't have to miss Writers and Company with Eleanor Wachtel

The educational possibilities are very exciting. I can imagine students loving the medium enough to be excited about whatever content they are demonstrating mastery over. My own children, are involved in the performing arts so I can imagine podcasting concerts to share with out of town grandparents, doing a podcast-interview with performers in the musical theatre shows, jazz band concerts etc---though I suppose video would be another option.

I was keen on Richardson's suggestion that the school news/announcements could be podcast. He describes Lincoln (NE) Southwest High School podcast that offers " Feature reports by students on upcoming events, interviews, reviews and whatever else might be of interest"

But there are many more educational possibilities for language, social studies, science classes that Richardson describes, and my brain is cooking with possibilities. The main thing I see as a Teacher Librarian, is now that I know how easy it can be, I will encourage, demonstrate, (and hand-hold if necessary) to help my colleagues use this amazing tool.

That's the great thing about this course as a piece of professional development. I am trying all kinds of technology that I would have avoided like the plague because I would have been afraid of looking stupid, of breaking something etc., all that fear based stuff. My big aha! as a TL is that by collaborating with teachers, especially in the use of technology, I can make using new technology less intimidating and less time-consuming to my already very busy colleagues. Even better, I don't have to be the expert, I can turn to my students for expertise with the technology. In truth, they are the self-trained media specialists.


Linda Morgan said...

Isn't it great that you have built-in tech tutors! I really think there could be a small (or maybe large) cottage industry out there for people who would be willing and able to guide/tutor newcomers to the tech world.

Ronda said...

Hi Steph,

I agree with you that podcasting would be perfect for school announcements. Our SRC does this "live" and sometimes there are some interesting glitches. Podcasting would be a great way to remedy some of the issues!


Arlene said...

Hi Steph, I would have to agree that Will Richardson's Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts... has definitely been a bible for this class! I also agree that there will be some hand holding (or backseat driving?) on our part but it will be worth it. Maybe it will be our students who will take on this role teaching the adults in their life how to use the tools. Arlene