Media Sharing and Learning

Teaching Matters Podcast
I listened to the podcast “Building your class site- Google style”.  This podcast described how to set up a Google Site for a teacher using Google sites.  I didn’t know that Google had a site builder.  What was even more interesting to me was that there is a template for a classroom site.  I decided to check it out because my mother-in-law would like to start a class blog and I thought the Google format would suit her needs well.  However, we looked at it this evening and it’s pretty involved to get started so we might work on it over the summer or keep looking for an application that would better suit her needs.

The podcast was okay.  I was able to listen to the speaker and then move to Google to see what she was talking about.  As a visual learner I would have been more satisfied with a YouTube video that used a screen capture video, such as a Jing screencast, that actually showed what she was doing as she was describing it.  I think this is a personal preference thing and it’s not a reflection on podcasts in general.

I have never had a class that had downloadable podcasts available to listen to lectures, although I think it could be a good learning tool. I might be in the minority but I don’t subscribe to any podcasts.  I looked at for some podcasts for the Couch to 5K running program a few years ago, but when I got rid of my iPod Touch last year I quit bothering with them.  I read a lot and have never really given much consideration to listening instead. I could see the usefulness if listening when I’m cooking dinner or walking on the treadmill.

Video ethnography projects
Visions of Students Today.  The beginning of this video was a sensory overload. With so many images and voices talking and flashing at the same time, it was hard to process.  I was interested in the facts that popped up on the screen, “Today’s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games, 20000 hours watching television, games, email, Internet, and cell phones are an integral part of their lives…consuming over 11 hours of media each day.”  This is a powerful message.  An insight into why studies in educational technology are important.  I think a lot of what was in this message was all covered in the John Seely Brown book from a few weeks ago and I saw a clip of the book in the video which confirmed my thought on that.

I think that most of the valuable learning comes from internships and on-the-job training more than what is learned in the classroom.  People used to have apprenticeships and there was a reason for this – people learn by doing.  Participation, collaboration, sharing this is the new culture of learning and the use of media to complement texts is how people will get both formal and informal education.

World Simulation
I thought the World Simulation project was really good.  It was an interesting way to show cultural sensitivity in a group setting.  It definitely pushes the students learning to the next level and beyond.  I was a bit bummed that the blog updates site didn’t work I would have liked to have read some more about it.

Flickr
I have used Flickr to store some photos in the past.  I did not realize that you could join groups and that it was a “community”.  I also had no idea you could RSS people’s photos or apply licensing to your photos – which I thought was great.

I did know that you could use photos from sites like Flickr or Photobucket to link to images on web sites and blogs.  This would be a way to add some images to the blogs we have discussed in previous lessons.

Educational usages of podcasting
In this article I noticed that it said that podcasting is used to help dyslexic students and thought this type of media was an interesting choice for assisted technology.  This is something that I’ve read about recently and think would be a great topic of study.  This is something to give consideration to when selecting Web 2.0 tools to use in education and learning.

Other Thoughts
Is podcasting still as popular as it was when this article was written in 2008?  I looked around for the information after reading the article, but didn’t really come up with an answer.  As I said I’ve never had a podcast offered to go along with a course.  I would think that if an instructor was going to go as far as making a podcast that they would go ahead and add video to it and upload to YouTube instead?

Obviously since this is an educational technology course I think that using Web 2.0 technologies to enhance participatory learning beyond text is a great thing.  But I also think there are a lot of Web 2.0 tools out there and there are a lot of applications that overlap.  For photo sharing there are sites like Flickr and Photobucket as well as Picasa and probably a lot of others I’ve never heard of before. There are quite a few blogging sites out there as well.

I think that educators are going to have to research the various types of media to see what would best fit with their goals and choose a few to work with.  I know as we have been reading I’ve been checking out different sites and it is easy to quickly become overwhelmed with all of the choices available.  If someone used too many different types of media I could see it defeating the purpose and not enhancing it but rather complicating it instead.

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