Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Handheld Mo-Blogging

I'm currently trying out blogging apps for my handhelds (Windows Mobile & PalmOS). I am currently posting using AvantBlog an application that allows you to post to a Blogger account. I have 4 blogs to choose from in my blogger account (some I have created, others I have been invited to post to). My interest is mainly how students can post to blogs from a handheld computer without being "connected". AvantBlog allows you to post offline and HotSync to upload the post.
I don't particularly like the small input area or the limited title length. I'd like to try this out with a class that has handhelds in it. Please contact Brian if you are interested. I have also started a new blog on called "Mobile Mind-ed" that will log my thoughts, ideas and experiences using handheld computers in classrooms.

Here goes...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

RSS & You

I have been getting more and more into reading news and blogs over traditional print media for several months. I have set my Firefox browser homepages (yep, you can have two) to bring up Google Reader and my Bloglines account as my virtual newspaper.

I am, admittedly, behind in my reading my feeds from Bloglines. However, this is due to my use of my Dell Axim handheld. I've been playing with a very cool tool called FeederReader. FeederReader allows me to download feeds onto my handheld to read anytime, anywhere. Better yet, I can even download podcast enclosures and listen to them wherever, whenever.

I post this wondering who else out there in our ITS Community is using RSS for professional or educational purposes. Where do you see this in the classroom? Leave a comment below.

Soon all component district ITS members will be invited to post to the ITS Community Blog. If you choose to join you'll simply need to respond to the invitation e-mail coming soon.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Instructional Uses for Podcasting II

Greg Hall and Mark Lohr visited Monroe #1 BOCES presented on Podcasting in education. Greg began by talking about the iPod and how we learn by listening. New Oxford American Dictionary chose Podcasting as the Word of the Year for 2005.

Greg is podcasting this session using ProfCast ($35 or bundled with iLife '06) and I will attempt to link the feed here for you on this blog.

Podcasting is Distribution Simplified. Podcasting is based on RSS (Real Simple Syndication) which is a format for sydicating news and other content, next generation pull technology to customize audio content and is easy to create.
  • Platform Agnostic > Mac & Windows platform
  • Listen Whenever, Wherever
  • Allows for Time and Place "shifting of the Learning Experience
Why iPod+iTunes in Education? Learning to go.

Part I Podcast (Coming soon...Greg is working on it)

Podcasting on a Windows PC
iTunes is dual platform and has Podcasts available in the Music Store section. Furthermore there is an section specifically for educational podcasts. You can download the latest iTunes and start subscribing to podcast feeds easily on a PC.

Audacity is a free, open source program to record and edit audio for podcasts.

Dave M. asked about what book publishers thought about the whole podcasting piece. Greg replied that it "is driving them crazy." The conversation then turned to the differences between streaming media and podcasting media. The difference being the that once you break the network connection between your computer/device you lose the media stream.

Video iPods aren't able to use the iTalk recorder now. iTalk only works on the 3rd & 4th generation iPods. Greg reassured us that "people in storerooms" working feverishly on making a similar attachment for the 5th generation iPod (video iPod).

Back on the Mac side, GarageBand '06 has made it easier and even more versatile to create podcasts from presentations, audio and video. Cool! You can even add links within the podcast! Check it out here.

Through GarageBand you can "Send Song to iTunes" or to the web. The whole iLife '06 package has made it much easier to create, edit and publish podcasts using all types of media, photos, audio & video. If you don't have server space (i.e. - .mac account) you can save your podcast to a folder. This would be particularly useful if teachers have students access information on an intranet.

Podcasts in the Classroom
This is where the rubber meets the road in education. The following are some interesting podcasts created by students in classrooms. The links will take you to the websites.
What's ahead?
Check out Stanford iTunes to see what the future may hold for our schools. Apple is working with higher education to provide content through iTunes for students. There are two sides to the Stanford iTunes site, a public and a private. The private side is where a professors can provide course content for students to access. Anytime, anywhere learning indeed.