What I’ve been up to this week.
Yesterday my colleague Laura Hilliger and I had the opportunity to talk to the good people at the National Writing Project about Mozilla’s work. We discussed the Web, Mozilla’s mission, and Web Literacies.
You can check out the audio at the link below, or click here or here. 🙂
Like tens of thousands of people around the world I’m a regular listener to the BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed podcast. In fact, as it’s usually around 27 minutes long it’s perfect for my 5k runs (including warm-up and warm-down, obviously…)
For those of you who don’t listen to it, Laurie Taylor – who’s voice makes the show worth listening to in its own right – divides the near half-hour into three sections. The first part deals with a recent paper or book in the area of Sociology, the short middle bit deals with listener correspondence, and the final part deals with contemporary issues related to Sociology.
The episode on 1 August 2012 was entitled Jobs for the Boys and is summarised as follows on the BBC website:
Laurie Taylor talks to Professor Irena Grugulis about her contention that working class people don’t get job opportunities in the UK TV and film industry because they don’t have the right accents, clothes, backgrounds or friends. The media expert, Sir Peter Bazalgette and Professor of Sociology, Mike Savage, respond to this research and explore nepotism, networking and discrimination in the media world and beyond.
As I walked back to my house after a run to the beach and back again last week I couldn’t help but think that the show had missed out something really important: the role of online social networking.To my mind, social networks like Twitter allow people to build up useful contacts and ‘Personal Learning Networks’ (PLNs) based on interest rather than class.
I quickly fired off an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and low and behold it was featured in the middle bit of this week’s show! (15 August 2012: Breaking Rules – Wall Street women) I found out, fittingly, through various people telling me via social media.
You can download every episode of Thinking Allowed via the BBC website, including this week’s show. But if you’re interested in just the bit where I’m mentioned (of course you are!) then you can find it embedded below or on the Internet Archive. 🙂
In the spirit of owning my own data and keeping everyone up-to-date with when stuff is published elsewhere, this is a heads-up that Andy Stewart, co-kickstarter of Purpos/ed and I were interviewed by the Ed Tech Crew recently. We covered everything from Purpos/ed itself to my doctoral thesis and productivity.
Give it a listen! (Running time: 1 hour 25 mins. Size: 61.9 MB)
I’ve got a backup copy saved locally and have uploaded another to the Internet Archive for safekeeping (in case the link above goes down).
I was interviewed last week by Tim Bradburn of Connected Teaching (@cpd4teachers) who was interested in having me expand up the ideas contained in #uppingyourgame: an educator’s guide to productivity.
In the extracts below (taken from the interview) I explain my belief that productivity is a learned behaviour based upon serenity, reliability and focus. 🙂
(if you’re reading this via email or in a feed reader you may need to click through!)
David Noble, a Scottish educator with a long track record of innovative and supportive blogging and podcasting, interviewed me last month. He too is doing an Ed.D. and has interviewed me as part of it. 🙂
Before reading this, you should have gone through the steps indicated in these two posts:
- >> Podcasting: Step 1 – RSS and setting up a teacher blog
- >> Podcasting: Step 2 – Recording and editing your podcast
In this last part of the Podcasting guide, we’re going to convert our audio masterpiece to a format suitable for mobile audio players and the Internet, and make it available as a podcast! This will involve 3 steps:
1. Converting your audio to MP3
2. Sending your MP3 file to your blog
3. Getting your students/colleagues to subscribe to your podcast
To get started, follow the guide below! 🙂
Read/act on this first: Podcasting: Step 1 – RSS and setting up a teacher blog
In the last session we set up a blog and learned what RSS was. Let’s just remind ourselves of what podcasting is, shall we?
So podcasting is when you deliver audio files to ‘subscribers’ automatically using an RSS feed. This RSS feed is generated automatically by the Posterous-powered blog you set up in Step 1. 🙂
In this session we’re going to be using a program called Audacity. This is available for all platforms – Windows, Mac and Linux. It is free and Open Source software. Audacity is already installed on the computers we shall be using at school, but if you need to download it at home, you can find it here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net
Note: we will need a ‘plugin’ for Audacity to be able to export to MP3 format, but we’ll leave that for next session!
Instead of re-inventing the wheel, we’ll be making use of the excellent video guides to using Audacity that can be found here: http://www.how-to-podcast-tutorial.com/17-audacity-tutorial.htm
These are the ones you should focus on today:
- The editing tools
- Basic editing and trimming your audio
- Importing audio and adding music to your podcast
When you save your audio, just save it as a WAV file. We’ll work on exporting to MP3 next time. If you’re looking for music that you can legally and safely use in your podcasts, check out the links at the bottom of the Wikipedia page for ‘Podsafe’.
Over the next three weeks, staff e-learning sessions will focus on getting started with podcasting. This first session starts off with the basics you will need as a teacher before even pressing that ‘record’ button:
- An understanding of what RSS is.
- A blog onto which to put MP3 files.
The easiest way to get your head around what RSS is and how it means that audio files can be delivered to interested parties automatically is by watching this excellent explanatory video prepared by CommonCraft:
A podcast differs from simply placing an audio file on the Internet because of RSS. It means that new content can be ‘pushed’ to interested parties rather than them having to manually check for updates. The process of interested parties requesting that podcasts are delivered automatically is known as ‘subscribing’.
Now that you know what RSS is, you need to have a mechanism by which you can generate one. In our case, this is going to be a blog. Anything that you add to a blog post will be automagically turned into a subscribable podcast.
To learn how to set up a blog, check out the elearnr guide entitled:
Creating a homework blog in 3 simple steps using email
If you want to jump ahead and have a go podcasting before the next session, you should visit the Box of Tricks website where José Picardo has put together an excellent short presentation entitled Podcasting in Five Easy Steps. 😀
I’m delighted to be able to invite everyone in the edublogosphere to a special EdTechRoundup meeting this Sunday (6th July) at 8pm BST (your local time here). As usual we’ll be rounding up what we’ve found useful in the world of educational technology, but we also have a special guest!
Mike Jones, Divisional Director of Core Projects & Technologies (UK) Ltd. shall be joining us. If you remember, a couple of weeks ago there were some issues surrounding comments I made about their VLE product TALMOS. Mike shall be giving the other side of the story and helping us get at whether there is (or should be) a personal/professional divide.
Do join us if you can! 😀