Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts

It seemed to take ages to arrive, but Will Richardson’s book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts & Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms finally arrived in the school library yesterday and it looks good, a simple introduction to some of the key tools and just the kind of thing you’d want to leave around the staff room for staff to pick up and browse, and get the idea.

Chapters include, The Read-Write Web, Weblogs: Pedagogy and Practice, Wikis, RSS, Flickr and Podcasting.  I’m looking forward to perusing it in more detail, and then sharing it around.

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21s Century Learning #19 – A Conversation with Richard Kassissieh

I enjoy most of the edtechtalk podcasts, but this one, a conversation with Richard Kassissieh struck a real chord with me. It was both sad and somehow also heartening to hear in this podcast echoes of a conversation I’d been involved in a meeting today.

The converation was about integrating web 2.0 applications into our online learning platform and the conflict between buying in solutions, building our own, or going open-source. EdTech Talk # 19 is about an hour long podcast and it sounds like real practitioners engaged in real learning conversations; and that’s gotta be a good thing.

The Conversation Shifts?

A nice quote in Will Richardson’s always interesting blog today, he describes a very positive meeting of teachers and educators who ‘get it’, and makes the point:

I wonder if maybe, and it’s a big MAYBE, we’re nearing another level in the conversation. It’s one where we talk about
how the realities of the ways in which our kids are already starting to learn outside of school need to be leveraged inside of school. One where we really start to take a look at teachers as learners modeling learning first. And it’s one where people start to recognize that this isn’t about technology as much as it’s about assembling a new vision for their own practice and for their students’ education.

The Open Text Podcast

Inspired again by Melbourne teacher Jo McLeay and her willingness to embrace new technologies in the classroom and share those authentic experiences. Her latest foray into web 2.0 learning is a series of podcasts called The Open Text, where she, and other teachers, discuss current texts as revision aids for classroom teachers. Simple, and really effective. Podcasts have been posted about texts like Gattaca, Henry Lawson and The Wife of Martin Guerre.

Podomatic looks like an interesting way to post podcasts too, taking a lot of the organizational work out of simply posting to a web site yourself and working out all that rss stuff. I’ve posted the last three Wozcasts to a podomatic site I set up and if it looks stable and works consistently, that might where all my future podcasts will be located.

Jo McLeay blogs at The Open Classroom

Holidays, Web 2.0 tools and Japanese beer

Well, I just fell across the line at the end of term this time around, coming down with the dreaded winter cold on the last day of term! I did just make it to school though, for a long meeting I’d been looking forward to for weeks;  trying to nail down some of the specifications on the web 2.0 tools we want to have in the school, specifically blogs, wikis and podcasting.

It was good to try to tease out some of the really specific things we want to see in these tools down to the levels of security and access and customisation required.  The decision has been made that these tools have to live within our intranet environment, and whether you question the wisdom of that or not, that’s the framework.

We’ve got some excellent programmers at the College but the more the lists of specifications and details and requirements for these tools grew, the more I began to think that the best option was to buy/download and install a purpose-built third party tool like WordPress or PbWiki, rather than try to re-create those environments ourselves.
Then it was time to go home for the September holidays. I joined some staff at the Undertaker for a couple of recuperative Asashi‘s (I’ve got to prepare for Japan) and then home to bed. Where I spent the next two days!

Wozcast 13


The Curriculum Corporation
13th Annual Conference in Adelaide, August 14th and 15: The Vision Splendid: ICT Research, Pedagogy, Implementation for schools

This podcast talks about some of the sessions I attended, particularly:

Effective integration of dynamic representations and collaboration to enhance mathematics and science learning by Jeremy Roschelle, Director of the Centre for Technology in Learning at SRI International.

Evaluating the Learning Federation’s online curriculum content: implications for teaching and curriculum by Professor Peter Freebody, Professor of Education at University of QLD.

Are video games good for learning? by Professor James Paul Gee, Teacher Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)

Searching for disruptive pedagogies: Matching pedagogies to the technologies by Professor John Hedberg, Millennium Innovations Chair in ICT and Education and Director of the Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre at Macquarie University.

There’s also a brief mention of a new edublog I like by Graham Wegner called Teaching Generation Y

Download Wozcast 13 directly from the link or subscribe via:

Recorded 28/8/2006

EdTechTalk Re-runs: Blogging Episode


The EdTechTalk guys are on holidays and re-releasing some of their earlier podcasts to fill in the silence. I missed some of these early shows and recommend this one: 21st Century Learning #2, originally released in June, which talks about some of the practical considerations and hazards in setting up blogging in schools.  We’re talking currently about these implementation issues, so maybe that’s why the show appealed.

Questions like what blogging software to use, whether to install it on the school server or run it off-site, the degree of freedom to create blogs, to post, and to comment, and the layers and levels of security needed are all questions schools have to grapple with.

You can see the show notes, and subscribe from the link below.

Any teacher that can be replaced by a podcast should be

From the Sydney Morning Herald, some evidence that the fears some hold that if lectures were podcast students may not turn up. I’ve heard this arguement put too about putting lecture notes online after the lecture. ‘They wont come to the lecture’ the doomsayers proclaim. But if there’s not more to be gained by being there than reading the notes, why should they? Good lecturers create an atmosphere of inquiry and excitement that no reading of the notes can replicate.

WHEN Nathan Moss began podcasting his introductory psychology lectures last semester, he assumed no one was listening to them.

His classes stayed full and no one commented on the podcasts that he was taking up to six hours to prepare each week, until the time he was late putting them on the website. “I started getting all these emails saying, ‘Where are the podcasts?”‘ said Dr Moss, a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology.

“It was really good because the [lecture] numbers weren’t going down at all, so they were using them to revise,” he said.

Podcasting has emerged as the latest innovation in university classroom teaching.Business and education lecturers are using it at Wollongong University,arts and medical lecturers are using it at the University of Sydney, and various disciplines are using it at Macquarie University, Newcastle University, the University of NSW and the University of Technology, Sydney.

UNSW started using podcasting this year through Lectopia, a technology developed by the University of Western Australia that is now licensed to 30 per cent of Australian universities.Lecturers request to have their classes podcast over the telephone and may provide PowerPoint presentations.

Students log in to use the recorded material on the internet and can download it onto an iPod or MP3 player.

The university introduced it for students with disabilities or poor English, only to discover other students were using it too, said Professor Tony Koppi, director of UNSW’s Educational and Technology Centre.

At UTS the dean of education, Shirley Alexander, oopposed a systemic rollout of podcasting on the ground that lecturers
may limit interactive activities in class that cannot be recorded. “A lecture is not just a dissemination of information,” Dr Alexander said. “Lectures can be and should be a lot more than that.

“[The US education thinker] David Thornburg said, ‘Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer should be.’

“I would modify that and say any teacher that can be replaced by a podcast should be.”

A Vision Splendid

Off to the Curriculum Corporation 13th National Conference beginning on Monday in Adelaide: The focus is on ICT and all that jazz. I can feel a podcast coming on!

About the Conference: A vision splendid

The vision to transform school education through the use of ICT has been in existence for more than two decades.

leading researchers, policymakers and practitioners in exploring recent
trends and vital factors that will make this vision a
reality. Reflect on innovative approaches to ICT integration,
together with controversial and thoughtful research in this field.

The thematic strands that will be the focus of the Conference include:

  • Use of ICT to provide personalised learning advantage to accommodate student diversity
  • Professional development opportunities and resources to support learning
  • Effective ICT integration into teaching practice and curriculum delivery

Keynote speakers

  • Professor James Paul Gee, Teacher Education, University of Wisconsin, USA
  • Jeremy Roschelle, Director, Centre for Technology in Learning, SRI International, USA
  • Jillian Dellit, Director, The Le@rning Federation Secretariat, SA
  • Professor Peter Freebody, Faculty of Education, University of Queensland, Qld
  • Professor John Hedberg, Australian Centre for Educational Studies, Macquarie University, NSW