Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week 9: Podcasts, E-Books and Audiobooks, Readings and Summary

Thing #21: I looked at podcast.com and found a podcast from one of my favorite personal finance gurus, Dave Ramsey. I signed up for an account and added a widget to my bookmarks. I am a huge i-tunes fan and like to buy one song at a time and also listen to podcasts from the Breadloaf conferences from Middlebury College.

We use podcasts quite a bit as part of our curriculum in our school. One of my favorite projects is an English Class project that includes the students reading the stories they have just written.

Thing #22: Ebooks and audiobooks have come up as a discussion topic for me a lot lately. I work in a private school but work-out with teachers from various public schools in the area. One local public high school is going to move to an all e-book textbook format when they build their new high school that is slated to be completed by 2012. There is a private school in Massachussets that has eliminated it's entire book collection and is moving entirely to e-books and kindle. This has been a huge debate on Independent School Technolgy listserves.

I have mixed feelings about both these proposals. I do like using e-books and audio books but I guess the way I was taught as a kid or my own learning style prevents me from really retaining information I read on a screen. I can read short articles or emails and retain it but have problems when I have to read large chapters. I do thinks some students are like that as well. When I teach research classes and inundate students with options for using books, databases, or qualified web sites, some kids will just gravitate towards books. I think this observation is interesting and therefore think that e-books and audiobooks are part of the ever expanding options for students but will never replace books entirely.

I love project Gutenburg and we have a project here that requires students to write an "odyssey" referencing books that were published 100 years or more. I tell my kids to go there all the time. I looked at "Best Places to Get Free Books,"and
LibriVox but didn't find anything I was interested in. I was looking for the "Epic of Gilgamesh" and did find it through my local library's catalog as an audiobook.

Thing #23: I have to say I think this is a great program and have recommended it to our technology integration director at school. I think it would be a good way for teachers who are not familiar with technology to get a handle on 2.0.

Reading: The most fascinating part of the chapter for me in Courtney about podcasting was the Legal Issues section. I think the fact that podcasting does not require a FCC license opens up all kinds of issues both good and bad. The good issues are based in the idea that there is an opportunity to provide all kinds of content, but there are also negative sides to open content. I do agree that if librarians are in doubt about the content of a podcst, "Legal advice should be consulted." (Courtney, 43).

Summary: My favorite things were the visual ideas like flixter and LTC. I think the program filled in a lot of gaps for me in terms of understanding different 2.0 options for use in the classroom. Some things I did not know very much about and other things I knew about but could not see their applications to classroom learning. One sentence I would use to describe this program would be, "A comprehensive, clear, tool for learning important 2.0 technologies and how to use them for classroom learning."

1 comment:

  1. glad you noted the legalities issues; I would worry about digital only libraries too; what happens with power outs? It's harder to go back with audio, and there's less pacing control for the user to manage