Proud of podcasting and such….

While today has been a tiring week work-wise, with various commitments seeming to spill over and clash with each other, I did have a fantastic lesson today with my media studies group and my year 11 English class.

For the first time I’ve managed to successfully use podcasting in a lesson to really enhance students’ learning. I think the past few times there has always been some sort of technical hitch and maybe one or two students have managed to produce something resembling a podcast, but it has been a stressful process. My ultimate aim is to bring other teachers in the school on board with podcasting and to do this, I want to make sure the process is relatively linkable to the philosophy of ‘plug in and play’. I’m beginning to get much more comfortable with Audacity and that seems to be making it quicker for students to pick it up. Although we’re still having issues with microphones (although I hope to get hold of this at some point), everyone managed to record something and most managed to edit it. The editing was done with aid from the excellent websites freeplaymusic and soundjay, the former offering some fantastic quality instrumental MP3s. I intend to blog about freeplaymusic and the impact its had on my teaching another time – this isn’t the only context in which I use it.

My media group did some fantastic work for me too, some in class, some out of it. They were doing the usual task of filming an advert for a given audience, but some really took the initiative – one filmed a 2 minute film out of school which was fantastic. The other’s trajectory you might be able to guess from below!

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Eduism and Audacity – Open Source

 

So, as I see it, the term ‘Open Source’ seems to mean something that is free and can be developed and added to by anyone who downloads that. I find it remarkable and incredibly promising that such an idea exists. I know I’m sounding all airy-fairey and preachy there, but I do find it remarkable and affirming that such a culture continues to permeate the internet. Microsith still has the ultimate dominion, particularly over the ICT technology we use in school, and yet, this stuff is out there.

Do teachers really have the time, the inclination and the ability to find it and use it effectively,  though? I guess that’s why this is here and I guess I want to start meeting with that question on a regular basis.

My first two pieces of software that I have been curiously prodding are audacity and Eduism. Both are free and both are very different, but ultimately, I see them as very social uses of technology, that which at its core, I don’t see enough of in the use of ICT in schools. Over the next few weeks I intend to blog about my use of them and the varying degrees of sucess I have with them.

As this is my first blog I suppose I should end by saying something witty and erudite: How about something like, ‘using big words at the ends of sentences won’t necessarily endear you to others?’

Yes, I suppose that’ll do.

 A still from Eduism