October 14


This post has been reposted here from a course that I am currently doing for Sydney CEO (even though I’m now part of Parramatta 🙂 ) Original post, with the rest of the course, is at shortcomp.blogger.com

A podcasts is simply a free video or audio file that is distributed over the internet
through a podcasting program like iTunes. Video podcasts are often referred to as “Vodcasts”, however, in this post when I refer to podcasts, I mean both audio and video.

The name podcast is an amalgamation of iPod and broadcast, however, you do not
need an iPod or any sort of MP3 player to play them, you can just use a normal

There is great benefit in using podcasts for aiding student understanding of content. There is a wide variety of podcasts availiable on itunes, and through the regular internet that cover a variety of topics. You can do things that can’t be done in the classroom, or just use it as a review of content that involves complex concepts, that will assist students in being able to watch/listen multiple times. They can also be used for teaching concepts on a need-to-know basis, when placed online so that students can watch/listen when they need to know the concept to apply it.

Following is an example of a podcast from Dr Carlson. A colleague of mine, a great science teacher, Oriana Miano showed me this, so credit to her for finding it.

The following is a podcasts that I have created for the purpose of explaining concepts that need going over that students consistantly misunderstand. This podcast was created using a livescribe pen, which is a new technology that records while you write.

Some web-based websites you can find podcasts.
The Education Podcast Network http://epnweb.org/
ABC National Podcasts http://www.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/
CSIRO Podcasts http://www.csiro.au/products/CSIROpod.html
An educational Podcast Directory http://recap.ltd.uk/podcasting/channel-list.php
NASA Podcasting http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/podcasting/
Naked Scientist http://www.thenakedscientists.com/

How to.

Funnily enough, when I was at Freeman(I no longer am), I taught a staff development day with Oriana on how to podcast, so I have included the how-to guide here for anyone to use if they wish to use it. It is PC based, because Freeman is a PC school. Now that I’m a Mac user, I will probably write one for mac when I get some free time (okay, so it will be a while in coming)

One thing that is a little annoying, is trying to access the itunes store through the proxy. After hours of searching, and reflecting, I finally figured out that the proxy settings are set through IE on Windows, and you need to change the proxy settings here, even if you don’t use Internet Explorer regularly. Obviously, on a Mac, it’s easy enough just to change the location setting under the apple menu.

Podcasting Downloading
Free Programs you can use:
Garage Band

Debut Video Capture
Whatever your webcam software is…

Getting Students to create Podcasts/Vodcasts is a really great way to get students to publish their work, particularly those that are more vocal rather than good with writing. It’s also a great way to get those more shy students to “perform” in a lower risk environment. At the moment, in our year 9 program, students are creating a media watch style podcast in order to critique media portrayal of the catholic viewpoint of a topic, and the students are really heavily critically analysing the medias veiwpoints and perspectives of the media.

October 12

Use of Games in the Classroom Classtools

Click here for Industrial Tech Game

I’ve just been trying out ClassTools.net, which is a website where you can easily make interactive flash games with no knowledge of flash programming. I think this is a great idea to make interactive content for your classes very easily. The game above took about 5 minutes to make, and  is easily accessible for both teachers, and even very young students.

The above game is simply the syllabus dot points of one of our topics that we do “Government requirements of Industry” for Industrial Technology. Basically, it’s just the first 3 industry study factors. All I had to do was type in (copy and paste) the dot points in the syllabus into different categories, and hit create. The website then creates the interactive game. Knowing a fair amount about flash programming, this would have taken me a couple of hours to do if not for this website.

They also have a number of different templates that you can use, including a labelling, timeline and venn diagram that looks very useful. It’s so easy that you could even get students to create games themselves and then get them to submit them to a wiki, and students can play each others games.

May 3

IT for Teaching

A definitive List of 30 things?

What would be the 30 things that you would add to a course on Web 2.0 Tools for the classroom?

  1. What is Web 2?
  2. Blogs
  3. Tagging
  4. Wikis
  5. Google Docs
  6. Animations
  7. Comics
  8. Video
  9. Social Bookmarking
  10. RSS
  11. Randomness
  12. Google Earth
  13. Flickr
  14. Other Google Stuff
  15. Social Networking
  16. Presentations
  17. Podcasting: Using
  18. Virtual Worlds
  19. Podcasting: Creating
  20. Twitter
  21. How to use IT with a terrible internet connection: ie, non web based stuff
  22. Creative Commons: Search Responsibly
  23. Combining rich media in blogs, wikis etc.
  24. Drawing Online
  25. Mind mapping
  26. Graphing
  27. Video conferencing
  28. Questionaires
  29. Online Quizes
  30. Just for fun: Applications to the classroom?