Playing with Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~Arthur C. Clarke

Apple Podcast event

I attended an Apple sponsored Podcast event in Columbus last Wednesday. It ended as a convincing sales pitch for Garageband 3. The focus was on the use of Podcasts in education with a number of examples of some very cool Podcasts being produced by elementary and secondary students.

Two references were given for information on Podcasting:

The first gives some tools and examples of educational Podcasts.

The majority of the session focused on using Garageband 3 to produce an enhanced Podcast. An enhanced Podcast is one which contains video or stills. Garageband 3 makes it very easy to create enhanced Podcasts, but you can only have a single video or stills. You cannot have both stills and video in an enhanced Podcast created with Garageband 3 (or at least I haven’t figured out how to do it).

I had one idea for using enhanced Podcasts with our education department. Now they have a reading buddy. Each college student is paired with a third grader and they trade a paper book back and forth. The elementary students color, draw, and write in the journal and the college students respond in kind. I thought that at the end of the year it might be interesting to have the buddies meet face-to-face and turn the book into an enhanced Podcast by scanning the pages and putting them in as stills. Each person could record what they had written and the students would have something they could share with relatives far away. It would also help students identify errors in their writing as it is often easier to spot an error when listening to what you wrote.

The other idea that came out of the session was the OSU horticulture department‘s introduction of blogging to students. They use a six step approach for WordPress:

  1. Find a story and develop an abstract and post it
  2. Same as 1 but also put in an in-line image
  3. Same as 2 but put in an audio file
  4. Same as 3 but use audio blogger (might use Skype?) to have them include their own audio
  5. Do everything in 4 but pick your own story idea
  6. Use Joomla to create a Web site and incorporate the content in the blogs

I am going to try to modify this and encourage Faculty to take a similar approach when incorporating blogs into their courses. Peter’s class was just sort of thrown in with a sink-or-swim approach, but the course is really all about technology and this approach is kind of appropriate.

The last part was about hosting, but we have that kind of worked out so I didn’t pay too much attention.

Update: Got another link from our Apple rep