Tag Archives: MICCA08

Academic Aesthetic 159: Podcasting Tips and Tricks

I promised to have this uploaded before I crashed for the night – looks like I got to keep my promise.

This is the audio from my presentation at this year’s MICCA conference. Forgive me if I keep things brief as I’m quite wiped by the experience of these past two days.

  • A pdf version of my PowerPoint, including a special bonus slide at the end, is available here.
  • Yes, I really do mention David Warlick that often. It’s only because he does so much to help educators.
  • As I explain in the intro, I was able to use Audacity to remove the background noise but not the slight echo. It annoyed me at first but I got used to it … I think.
  • I may be wrong about the new version of Audacity having LAME built in, but like I say in the podcast I do prefer iTunes for encoding my mp3 files.
  • I also over planned, and had very little time to do practical demonstrations. Perhaps next time I’ll focus on one tool? We’ll see.
  • I’ve said this a lot, but the wiki is still here. Edits are still encouraged.
  • I’m tired. Goodnight.

MICCA Keynote Day 2: FableVision

When I saw that FableVision was the keynote for today, I admit I was a little worried – but only as much as I’m always worried when I see a presentation by someone running a commercial business.  I suppose the idea that a company involved in education is more interested in the business than the education runs deep in me.  Goodness knows, I’ve had my share of bad experiences in this area…

But every now and then, I find a glaring exception.  The DEN, usually, is one.  FableVision is another.  We’re a good way into their presentation so far and they’ve barely even mentioned a product that they sell.  (I think I caught a few references, but they weren’t shameless plugs like I make.)  Rather, they’re talking about using a child’s interests to help them get excited about learning.  It started with a story about the twin brother of one of the founders getting in trouble in math class because he was drawing in class.

As you might imagine, I loved the story.

Raffle time.  Think I’ll end this post here and stop by their booth later.

Now, they’re talking about games in education.  Not much research supporting their importance, but a lot of anecdotal stories and Maryland is apparently at the forefront of the research supporting the idea of good games getting kids into learning.

Ok, now they’re talking about a product, although it’s not being released yet.  I think they spent enough time making the case for keeping the students’ interest to spend some time talking about their bread-and-butter.  (But that’s just my opinion.)

Labyrinth is a math game (mostly) for middle school students that uses a lot of comic book style storytelling to get the kids interested. It’s being privately beta tested at the moment, but the ThinkPort.org booth in the hallway was offering a way to sign up for a chance to try it out.

There are no instructions, leaving the kids to figure out the mechanics.  Makes me think of MYST, a game series that sucked away countless hours of my life in college.

There’s even a way for students to communicate with each other using the “Tasty Pet Communicator ” (the name fits the plot, trust me), although according to the ThinkPort booth there are enough admin rights for teachers to make that communication safe.

“The people who learn the most from educational software are the people who make educational software.”  He told us that quote was a secret.  Gee, I hope no one blogs it…

That was a segway to talking about Scratch and other programs that help students make their own games – products that FableVision doesn’t make.  Encouraging students to compete against them in game development, or trying to encourage students to become future FableVision employees?  You decide.

MICCA, for most of yesterday

Forgive me if this reads like I’m just a bit distracted – I’m writing this during the awards presentations that are preceding today’s keynote. It’s hard for me to do 3 things at once sometimes.

I didn’t blog from any sessions yesterday, as I spent the entire time showing people just how easy podcasting can be at the podcasting booth. As such, I missed all of yesterday’s sessions.

Don’t take this as a complaint, however. I would have loved to see all the cool things that were going on, but I also loved talking with the many cool people who stopped by to learn about a topic which I’m truly passionate about. I remembered several of them from last year, and was pleased to find that they remembered me, as well.

Granted, my extroverted nature makes me stand out in a crowd. Oh, well.

My goal was twofold – first, I wanted to show as many people I could that podcasting was not as scary or difficult that some people seem to think (including that darn “but don’t I need an iPod?” question). The other goal was to get as many people as possible to call in to the Gcast account I set up for MICCA and let us know what they thought of the conference or podcasting in general.

That 2nd part was … not as successful as I would have liked. At least I can promote it again during my presentation today.

More to follow.

At MICCA, before it starts.

Taken with Photo BoothI’m sitting here at my Podcasting Booth, which is unfortunately right next to the conference bookstore. I say “unfortunately” because, as a bookworm, I’ve already found two that I will be buying as soon as they officially open. It’s like those books held a vaccum cleaner up to my wallet and sucked the money right out!

… I have no willpower at all.

Here’s my assessment of what’s going on so far.

+Only took 7 minutes to realize that the horrible beeping noise I was hearing at 4AM this morning was my alarm going off. That’s not much earlier than my usual wake-up time, but it usually takes longer for me to get out of my more primitive “ART GUY SMASH SNOOZE BUTTON!” stage of regaining consciousness.

+Found a good parking spot in a garage right next to the conference hall.

-After trying two other parking lots.

-And it’ll cost almost $30. Ouch.

-When I got here Registration had no list with my name on it.

-Nor did they know where the podcasting booth was.

+A few minutes later they got their computers up and were able to answer both questions.

+Kathy Schrock signed in right next to me.

+She recognized me.

-This boosted my already overinflated ego.

+The wifi for the conference is working.

-For now.

So all things considered, I’d say I’m off to a good start. There are a few obstacles, but most of them are either already resolved or will be soon.

More to follow…

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Academic Aesthetic 158: MICCA Freebies

This time around I might sound a little different – that’s because I’m using my Creative Zen again, rather than GarageBand. I figured since I would be demonstrating it tomorrow I should get back into he process of actually using it.

The books I ramble on about in this episode are Kidcast: Podcasting in the Classroom and Kidcast: Creative Podcasting Activities.

I was a bit hesitant when I got an email from the publisher asking if I wanted to give these books away at my presentation, mostly because I’d like to think I have some level of integrity and I don’t want to look like I’m stooping low to hawk anything that comes by.

When the books showed up, I opened up the first one to give it a read-through.  I have to say, the only thing I didn’t like about them was the fact that they have those plastic ring bindings.  Other than that, I’d say they answer 90% of the questions I get asked about podcasting.  I wouldn’t recommend the Podcasting in the Classroom book to someone who’s been podcasting for a year or more, but if you’re just getting started I’d say it’s definitely worth it to have one of these.

As for the activities book … I didn’t read that one, mostly because I was unsure if I should take the shrink wrap off of it or not.  These are door prizes for people who will be attending my session, after all.

Does this make me a sell-out?

Academic Aesthetic 157

Help!In this podcast I’m looking for a few good podcasters.

I’ll be presenting a session at MICCA called “Podcasting Tips and Tricks.” As I’ve done before (*cough* Edublogging 101 *cough*), I’ve created a wiki rather than print out a bunch of dead tree copies. I think I have it fleshed out enough for a 45 minute presentation, but it could always use more work – that’s where you come in.

If you’re someone who’s learned something while creating podcasts, or even if you just know of a good resource or how-to guide, why not go over to my wiki and add it in? Even if you do nothing more than add a link to someone else’s wiki on podcasting, it’ll still be a big help.

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