I listened to a podcast called “YouRock on YouTube,” which was episode #163 on Google Educast (https://soundcloud.com/googlecast). This series of podcasts is meant to keep educators up to date on Google education products and applications. It’s run as a panel of educators discussing the newest technology and their classroom experiences with it. A summary of this episode appears at the end of this blog post.
The question posed to our ED554 class is: Can podcasts be a useful medium for professional education? My answer is: Absolutely! I found tons of podcasts on BAM! Radio Network that I’ve added to my “must hear” list. And I have always enjoyed listening to talk radio and podcasts like TedTalks and NPR’s Fresh Air. I wonder, though, if some content is more suitable for podcasting than others. Broad topics can be easy to absorb by listening alone, but specific content can be difficult. For example, this particular Educast episode offered a wealth of new ideas, including interesting websites and apps, but I found myself pausing the podcast several times so I could write down these “nuggets.” Also, I was frequently pausing and rewinding when I couldn’t make out the names of the sites/apps they were discussing (one panelist had an accent and another spoke very fast). An “enhanced podcast” in this case, one that had a visual to go along with it, would have been useful.
Here’s a “visual” that I made, with highlights from Educast #163. Feel free to add it on to your podcast, Google!
→ Google now offers an experts directory that includes all Google-certified teachers and trainers, by location. So if your school needs help implementing a new technology, they can find a contact here: https://edudirectory.withgoogle.com/en.
→ A new guide is out called “Bringing Learning Online: A Guide to Activating Technology in Schools,” which can help walk schools through getting online and bringing them into the 21st century. The panelists do admit that the content is Google-centric. https://www.google.com/edu/access/
→ Google hangout now offers a “status” option. The moderators were singing the praises of this feature. Among other things, it prevents students from seeing a teacher’s personal, Google-hangout messages coming through her projected screen. The teacher would just have to list her status as “teaching now,” for example.
→ For film-making in the classroom, YouTube offers a “Creator Academy” at https://creatoracademy.withgoogle.com/page/education. Here students can learn the art of capturing viewers, growing your audience and even making money.
→ You can take screenshots on a chrome book. You can also get a listing of al keyboard shortcuts by entering<?>. These and other fun facts are from omgchrome.com.
→ Android phones now allow for free screen casting, where pausing stopping and starting again are allowed, as is recording in HD and posting videos straight to YouTube.
→ CS First is a product that offers everything a teacher might need to know about teaching coding (even if the teacher himself does not know how to code). The package includes 2 weeks of lesson plans that can be used in the classroom or in computer science clubs. http://www.cs-first.com
Even to writing up this summary of the Educast postcast required my going online to verify sites and fill in holes. Again, an enhanced podcast — which might include resource notes — for an information-rich presentation like this would have been helpful.