Sunday, August 5, 2007


I-tunes has a special section of the store (thanks, Jackie for telling me about this) where you can download educational podcasts. The link at right for "No Strings Attached" is a homepage where over 100 educational videos are catalogued and broken down by content and grade level. The one I downloaded and viewed was on graphing equations on the computer. The teacher was using all Apple products and software packages (I wonder who paid for this).

Podcasting revisited

I used google documents to upload and save the directions for downloading Audacity and LAME in order to create MP3-formatted files for use on websites.


The link above is for my wikispace. It is a "private" wiki, but if you register with wikispaces (free), you will be able to view my wikispace and many other educational wikis. I posted a link in the right margin with resources on how to use wikis in education.

This wikispace also allows you to connect to a blog and set up a discussion board. When I went to the FAQ section for teachers, I discovered that you can e-mail your student list with pre-selected user names and passwords to wikispace and wikispace will set up an account for each student on your behalf. This means that I could create a class wikispace for each of my classes and keep track of who is participating in the discussion or adding to the wikispace.

What is a wiki?

In the words of its creator, a wiki is "the simplest online database that could possibly work." Prior to this class, the only "wiki" I was familiar with was Wikipedia. I had seen displays in the school library warning against the validity of some Wikipedia entries. While caution is needed, Wikipedia is still a valid resource for internet research. It should not be the only source a student uses and the information found on Wikipedia should be verified against another more reputable source before being included in a paper, project, or presentation.

The concept of anyone being able to add or modify content on a website is appealing. It would solve the issue of the lack of a platform for online discussions. At my school, the faculty has a shared drive where we can save files for our colleagues to access. The downside of this capability is that it can only be accessed on the school/county server. What happens when a teacher is at home and needs a file from the shared drive? A wiki would solve this problem. Permissions would have to be set in order to keep students from viewing and editing files, if possible.

Podcasting Part 3

Here is a way I can see myself using podcasting. I use my equation editor software package to show the steps of solving an equation in one variable (for those non-math people out there, please bear with me). Unless I write the steps as a proof, students may not be able to follow along with the reasoning behind each step. Podcasting could solve this problem. I could record my explanation of each step from original equation to final solution. This could be used by students at home as they do their homework or by students who missed class.

Podcasting Part 2

Ok, the downloading of the software and the recording the podcast was easy. Placing it on the web- not so easy. I pulled out my handy copy of "Building a Web Site for Dummies" and located the appropriate html command. Now that I know what to do, it's not so bad. I included podcasts in two of my website projects. The links are below.
Me reading the 1st Amendment Very exciting!

A welcome to the website - for my telecollaboration project

Saturday, August 4, 2007


I had previously been introduced to podcasting and my county offered a few courses on setting up podcasting on our class websites, but I had not taken the time to look at the directions. I requested them via e-mail from a technology person in the main county office and she sent me very simple instructions. I will attach them to this blog site for reference. I downloaded Audacity and LAME (which enables Audacity to export a wav. file as an MP3 file) to my computer and the podcasting began.

Blogging Part 2

Another application for blogging would be setting up a blog for teachers. For example, I use a curriculum called "Cognitive Tutor." The cognitive tutor curriculum is based on 60% teacher-facilitated groupwork and 40% self-paced independent student practice on the computer. Due to the relative "newness" of the curriculum and its adoption by the county in which I teach, I thought it might be helpful if teachers could post to a blog regarding questions and lesson ideas. A discussion board would be the preferred platform for this type of communication but, as it is currently unavailable within the county system, this blogging platform seems to be the next best method of communication. An e-mail list-serv would work as well but, as a teacher, my inbox is always full of countywide and schoolwide e-mails- not to mention communication from parents and students. The blog presents a forum that can be accessed as needed.