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 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
( 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]

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