Tuesday, May 31, 2005

16th Podcast: Comments and Podcast Sites

Click to play or download.Sweet 16, Boo-YA!

Show Notes:

Like the background music? It's mine.

In this podcast I also respond to comments by Flint and Deb.

I have several podcast directories to reccomend:

And I wrapped things up by plugging these podcasts:

  • Tips from the Top Floor - A must listen for anyone interested in improving their skill with a digital camera.
  • Teach42.com - The home of Steve Dembo: The man, the myth, the legend.
  • Connect Learning - Another great project by David Warlick. This man's really got his hands full!
  • History According to Bob - All the cool history that we didn't learn in school ... but should have.

Monday, May 30, 2005

New background music!

No podcast this time (perhaps tomorrow, I do have some things to talk
about...), but I just took some time to play around with GarageBand to
make some
new background music

Now I'm not saying that I dislike the
background music I've been using recently
, but I felt it was time for a
change for two reasons: 1) I could do it and 2) I like being
able to depend less on the efforts of others.

The time may very
well come soon where I begin to show case musicians in my podcasts again,
but for now I'd like to just toot my own horn (figuratively speaking,
since there aren't any horns in
this song

I hope you like it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Viral Game Thingie

Don't blame me for this little foray into random listing of things, blame Steve Dembo for emailing me. I promise to return to the usual topics of conversation after this.

Well, there's another meme going around. I participated and have picked you five to pass it along to. So if you want to participate in a schoolyard game of tag, please feel free to answer the following questions on your blog. If you hate this sort of thing and find it childish and lame, feel free to delete the email and never think about it again!

Here's what you need to list -

First 5 Songs in Shuffle of Entire Music Library

Toccata et Fugue (D minus Mix) - KRYPTONIC

The Remedy (I Won't Worry) - Jason Mraz

Appalachian Spring-Variations on a Shaker Hymn - Aaron Copland (Detroit Symphony Orchestra)

My Girlfriend - Reliant K

Warp - Yuki Kajiura (.Hack soundtrack)

Current Book You are Reading (or lightly leafing through)

Digital Photography Hacks - Not everything in this book is really a "hack" per se, but it's still a good book for anyone interested in being serious with a digital camera (even a cheaper digital).

Last Movie Seen in a Theater and Where

Hoo boy, that was a while ago .... I think it was "Master of Disguise" and it was in a theater just outside of Reading, PA.

Five People To Whom You'll Pass This

I'd rather not write all their names here (I'm not sure how they would feel about me doing so), but It'll mostly be family and friends outside of the school setting.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

15th Podcast: DSL and Creative Commons

Click to play or download.Beware the ides of ... podcasting

Show Notes:

A Basement of Broken Dreams - An album by John Holowach, hosted on archive.org. I used his song called My Piano Sings (Part 3).

Thanks for the listener mail, Steve! Comments are always appreciated.

CreativeCommons.org - A nice site for anyone who wants to share their works without making it public domain.

Yahoo! Creative Commons Search - use Yahoo's search engine to look for things licensed under Creative Commons.

Lawrence Lessig - an author, blogger, and supporter of Creative Commons licensing.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Ender's Game and Education

circuit boardI recently revisited Ender's Game, a very decent sci-fi story, if somewhat unbelievable when it comes to child psychology.

I'd already read the book once, but that was back before I was a teacher. Back then, it just struck me as an enthralling story with plenty of plot twists. (I was once told that the art of writing a good story involves creating a character you like and then visiting hardships upon that character. Ender's Game does just that.)

But now I've been teaching for a few years and I have a lot more tech experience under my belt. When I went back to read the story one of the first things that struck me was that everyone had a computer.


Sure, the students called them "desks," but really they were tricked out wireless laptops. Even before Ender left Earth to learn in the high tech battle school it was obvious that the 1:1 student to computer ratio wasn't just present, it was expected. There were no books, save for the electronic files the students could access. The internet was still in it's infancy when the book was written, but Orson Scott Card had gotten a fleeting taste of it and imagined a world where students could find ways to communicate with the world over the 'nets. The anonymity of the internet was present as well, and in fact played a key role in the story along with self-paced life long learning.

So why am I talking with this? No reason, I suppose. I just thought it was cool that even in 1977 (the book's earliest copyright date) there were pioneers who were thinking about what computers could do for education.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

14th Podcast: Risks and Email

Click to play or download.It's the 14th! Valentine's day!

... no, wait, it's the 14th podcast. Sorry about that.

Take a survey, win a pro account for Flickr.

Show Notes:

A Basement of Broken Dreams - An album by John Holowach, hosted on archive.org. I used his song called My Piano Sings (Part 3).

If you don't push the students you'll always have good results, but if you push the students then they will LEARN.

When sending email about the art schedule, some messages aren't finding their way to my gmail account. Chalk it up to computer glitch or user error, but art sign-ups were up 100 percent so I still think my system works.

Podcast Alley: Education Podcasts - Lots of good podcasts here, many of them much better than my own. I recommend casting your vote for Connect Learning (ranked 13th place), or the one for which I cast my vote: Teach42 (ranked 4th place). Either of these is worth a spot at number 1.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

13th Podcast: Ratings and Performance

Click to play or download.Lucky 13!

Take a survey, win a pro account for Flickr.

Show Notes:

A Basement of Broken Dreams - An album by John Holowach, hosted on archive.org. I used his song called My Piano Sings (Part 3).

Egad! How the heck did I make 10th place in Podcast Alley's education section? I mean, I appreciate it and all, but how did that happen? To those of you who are listening / reading this, some comments on why you keep coming back would be greatly appreciated.

I think the biggest hurdle we must overcome if we want teachers to catch on to podcasts is the fact that it's still a little too technical. If we try to throw everything we know at someone all at once they won't get any of it. People digest things better with small bites.

Teachers need to stop lecturing and start performing. Walk around the classroom, tell jokes, make silly voices, and so on. It may sound goofy, but if get your students' attention then they're more likely to learn.

Friday, May 13, 2005

12th Podcast: Blog Safety and T-Shirts

Click to play or download.12th podcast, now there's one for every month! (But if you only listen to one podcast a month you're not truly taking full advantage of the media, are you?)

Take a survey, win a pro account for Flickr.

Show Notes:

A Basement of Broken Dreams - An album by John Holowach, hosted on archive.org. I used his song called My Piano Sings (Part 3).

BlogMeister - a blogging engine for teachers and students created by David Warlick. I highly recommend that you also check out his other sites, including his blog and his podcasts.

CafePress.com - they make stuff with your designs. You can use it just for fun, or perhaps for a fundraiser. I already have two three designs up, if you care to look at them:

Podcasts in Education: Share the Kool-Aid, Ask me about my podcast, and My mp3s are legal.

Podcast Alley: Education Podcasts - C'mon, you know you want to vote for me ... right?

T-shirts, etc. (UPDATE)

I'm thinking of opening I've opened up a CafePress account and started putting some Blog / Podcast / Geek / Teacher / Artist / etc. designs up there. Everything's being sold "at cost," so CafePress makes a profit but I don't. Why? because I'm not that interested in making money here. I just want to get these designs out.

In any case, I'm trying to think of some good slogans. So far, I have:
  1. Blogs in Education: Share the Kool-Aid.
  2. Podcasts in Education: Share the Kool-Aid.
  3. Ask me about my podcast.
  4. I podcast, therefore I am.
  5. Art Class: It's not just a 2nd recess anymore.
  6. Have you blogged today?
  7. Have you read a blog today?
  8. My MP3s are legal.
  9. Have you told a teacher about podcasting today?
  10. Have you told a teacher about blogging today?
I'll be posting pictures to Flickr as well. If anyone wants to make their own shirt with my design or wants me to design something with a slogan of their own invention, let me know.

Anyone else have some good ideas?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

11th Podcast: Survey, PMA, CafePress

Click to play or download.Eleventh place is the 10th looser, but only if it's a contest.

Show Notes:

A Basement of Broken Dreams - An album by John Holowach, hosted on archive.org. I used his song called My Piano Sings (Part 3).

Take a survey, win a pro account for Flickr.

Positive mental attitudes are contagious, as are negative ones. Which type are you spreading?

CafePress.com - they make stuff with your designs. You can use it just for fun, or perhaps for a fundraiser.

Podcast Alley: Education Podcasts - C'mon, you know you want to vote for me ... right?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Podcasting 101 Challenge

Those of us who listen to podcasts already know how to get them, listen to them, and in most cases record them. Something I've noticed when looking around is that there's very little documentation on podcasting that will make sense to people who go into it knowing absolutely nothing about it. What we need if we truly want to podvangelize is something like "Podcasting for Dummies" that will explain the basics without going over the heads of the more technologically impaired educators.

Now I know many of us do Podcasting 101 in-services / lectures / etc. and even record them and put them online, but that still hits only two demographics: a) the people in the room with you and b) people who are already knowledgeable enough to download your podcast on podcasting. Everything else I've seen so far was written for us, not the people figuring out podcasting for the first time.

What I suggest is that those of us who are doing our best to explain podcasting put our knowledge in a medium that will reach the people who need it. (If it's in print form on paper or on a web site it's easier to distribute, right?) I made a mediocre attempt on Friday with my "Missing the Conference? Not a Problem!" post, but I've a feeling that others could do a much better job than I did.

So ... anyone want to give it a shot?

Friday, May 06, 2005

Missing the conference? Not a problem!

The following article is for the benefit of people who've yet to get their
feet wet in the wonderful world of podcasts. If you're already very
familiar with the subject, then it is my recommendation that you share
this article or one like it with someone who you think would like
listening to podcasts - if only they knew what they were. I'm not going
into great depth here, but that should keep people's eyes from glazing
over. I've written this out to be printer friendly, so if you're the type
who likes to help anonymously you could always print it out and leave it
strategically in the teacher's lounge.

Due to a
misunderstanding I recently missed out on attending this year's
MICCA conference
(online at http://www.miccaonline.org/). I would have
liked to go, but I'm not as upset about it as I thought I would be.

Why? Because thanks to the internet I can have guest speakers (and even
whole conferences) come to me!

Now I know that when most people
think of the World Wide Web they think of text and pictures, with the
occasional animation available. That's mainly holdover from the days when
our 28.8k modems couldn't handle more than that, but now even for those of
us using 56k modems (let alone broadband) there are many more resources
out there. You see, there are many people out there who will record
lectures, ideas, ponderings, and the like as audio files and place them
online. Others can then download these lectures (referred to as
"podcasts," although the term is a bit of a misnomer) and *poof!* -
instant conference session.

These lectures can be on just about any
topic, including but not limited to history (
, literacy and technology (
), and even school psychology (
)! Occasionally an aspiring teacher will
record several sessions (with permission, of course) at an actual
conference and put them online for your listening pleasure.

tickle your fancy so far? Well there are many more where those came from.
When I'm looking for new sites with recorded lectures I usually head over
to a site called
Podcast Alley
(http://www.podcastalley.com/) and browse through the
Education genre. At the time I'm writing this there are 80 different sites
registered in that category alone.

If you try these files out and
you find that you like some of them there are even ways to automate
downloading new files to your computer or MP3 player. However that gets a
little more complicated so when you're ready for that you can ask the
person who pointed you here for help or email me at TheArtGuy [at]

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

10th Podcast: Spam and Kool-Aid

Click to play or download.Top ten! (If you only count my podcasts...)

Show Notes:

A Basement of Broken Dreams - An album by John Holowach, hosted on archive.org. I used his song called My Piano Sings (Part 3).

Using email to achieve a paperless system only works if your emails aren't blocked by another teacher's spam filter.

When podvangelizing, it's best to break it down and keep it simple. (Does that mean you share Kool-Aid that's been watered down?) Also, you can leave printouts from various podvangelizing websites in strategic locations (like the teacher's lounge).

On a spur of the moment I decided to make some podvangelism banners. Feel free to move these to your own server and use them. (1, 2, 3)

David Warlick - This wonder of the educational corner of the internet has many pages, including his blog and his podcasts.

Teach42.com: The web site of Steve Dembo - the man, the myth, and my inspiration for podcasting.

Podcast Alley: Education Podcasts - C'mon, you know you want to vote for me ... right?

(No longer) In search of a blog

Ok, I've been looking at various blog engines I can use with my Art Club
next year and so far I'm not happy with any of them. You see I want to
have students from grades 3 thru 6 blogging about the artworks they're
working on, but since they're so young I want to have some administrative
control over what the students put on their accounts.

I've had a
few people suggest software solutions, but I'm looking for an existing
blog service. David Warlick's got a nice one called
, but it's having server problems at the moment so I'm
looking for alternatives. If you've seen a blog service that you think
might suit my needs, by all means please leave me a comment.

I've got a Blogmeister account set up and ready to go
. I almost can't wait
until next school year to get started! Yes I know that's a template and I
don't think they're editable, but the templates still look nice and the
back end stuff so far seems to be very, very sweet.

Monday, May 02, 2005

9th Podcast: Paperless, RAM, and a Printmaker

Click to play or download.Here we are on cloud nine, even if it does get a little staticy at the end.

Shownote Links:

A Basement of Broken Dreams - An album by John Holowach, hosted on archive.org. I used his song called My Piano Sings (Part 3).

Having teachers email me their paperwork works nicer than having them hand me paper, and I get the same participation rate.

When installing RAM, make sure you do it right the first time. Also, when you don't have a deadline and a project begins to annoy you, just walk away for a while.

Intaglio and Mezzotint Etchings - The website of a Resident Printmaker and instructor at the Montpelier Cultural Arts Center in Laurel, Maryland.

Podcast Alley: Education Podcasts - C'mon, you know you want to vote for me ... right?