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Monday, November 28, 2011

Podcasting: Can You Hear Me? Loud and Clear!

A podcast is a succession of audio or video digital media files that can be downloaded and played on a player such as an iPod.  To be honest, I've only listened to a podcast for class and in truth, it bored me to tears.  The reason?  It was an hour long and the monotone voices were too much to bear.  However, not all podcasts are boring.  Although anyone with an audio file and an internet can make a podcast, it appears that there is an art to successful podcasting.  Here is what I have learned:

  • Make it short (20 minutes is good).
  • Do NOT ramble or talk about your "technical difficulties".  We all have them.  I want to hear what you have to say about the topic.
  • Check out PodCast Awards ( for the highest rated podcasts, all separated by category.
  • Keep in mind your audience.

According to Ashley Deal in Podcasting.  A Teaching with Technology White Paper. from EDUCAUSE, "Many students perceive lecture podcasts as a tool for review, rather than as a replacement for attending lectures".  I tend to disagree somewhat.  If a student is sick, why can't he or she listen/watch the podcast to help make up for it?  Maybe follow it with a summary of the podcast.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Window to Educational Blogging

Blogging: what gives?  People across the world have been blogging for years.  From personal blogs to mommy blogs to adventure blogs to political blogs, it has given many people around the world a platform to express their thoughts and ideas.  While some blogs are funny (, while others are more "business-like" ( ).  Some are a mixture of everything: news, entertainment, health, and so on ( 

Blogging can be a great educational tool.  According to Stephen Downes in EDUCAUSE Review on Educational Blogging:

"The students at St-Joseph are reflective of a trend that is sweeping the world of online learning: the use of weblogs to support learning. And even though the world of fifth grade may seem remote to educators in the college and university system, these students, when they enter postsecondary education, may have had more experience writing online for an audience than writing with a pen and paper for a teacher. Such students will bring with them a new set of skills and attitudes."

It allows students to interact and collaborate online to make their learning richer with new skills.  I, for one, am glad I began this blog for my class as it has given me not only practice, but a platform to speak my mind about technology and education.  I can share videos and links that I think are helpful to others.  I can receive comments and respond (interacting with others).  There is so much blogging can do, especially in education.  We just need to open our eyes..

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mobile Learning

In the past several weeks, we have discussed e-books, open education, participatory learning, shared online video, and many more.  This week, we will discuss mobile learning and where we are headed with it.  In Seeds Of Empowerment, an amazing project brought on by Paul Kim of Stanford University.  They find ways to bring access to an education to those who cannot afford it.  If UNESCO's reports that 400 million people will never see a book in their lives is not motivation enough, then what is.  Seeds of Empowerment's mission is:

"The Seeds of Empowerment team intends to develop and implement projects that will 'plant seeds of hope and opportunity' for the underserved around the world. Our projects use cutting-edge technology to create self-sustaining business models that empower the powerless by improving their access to an education".  Below is a video detailing their Mobile Science Project:

Mobile learning is opening the doors to learn anywhere and at anytime.  Seeds of Empowerment is only one project that is taking off and helping provide those who do not have access to it a global solution.  Where is our contribution?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Virtual Reality and Gaming: The New Direction in Learning?

I must admit that although I think educational games are a great way to learn, I have yet to sit back, relax, and play a few educational games on my iPad.  My kids use it more than I do!  But I am intrigued by virtual reality.  In class, we were presented with QR code, or Quick Response code, that is a two-dimensional matrix barcode (  Basically you scan and wallah!  You get a video or a link to a website or promotional video or whatever it may be.  It is actually quite fun!

Check out the QR code for my blog:


If you have a QR scanner on your smart phone, it will take you directly to my blog.  Aah, the wonders of technology when you finally understand it!

Second Life is another an online virtual world.  Users can create avatars to use it to interact with one another.  At work, people can hold virtual meetings with one another.  In school, it can be used with students interacting with one another.  In the military, there can be virtual "war rooms" for army personnel to practice. 

Here is a look at a YouTube video explaining Second Life for all you visual learners:

Second Life is collaborative, interactive, global, and a learning tool.  As interesting as it may seem, I do not have much interest in it.  Just my thoughts..