Posts Tagged ‘Podcasting’

EVENT: Teaching and Learning Uses for Social Networking Technologies

October 9th, 2009

A little while ago, I tuned in for 3 of the speakers in this event, and found them all to be very different even though they share a theme (educational uses for social networking technologies). I’ll include my notes from each speaker below, so you can get an idea about the type of projects discussed. You can find the description of each session on the event website.

Some interesting points that I found in all three presentations:

  • You have to integrate the technology into the teaching and learning. It can’t just be added on top of an old learning structure, and expect the students to engage with it. Things have to be properly planned out and executed to the best of your ability!
  • With these ‘social’ technologies, the students are a part of the process, not just a casual observer. You may not want to give them the power to veto your use of certain features, but it can be useful for them to feel included – especially when the technology doesn’t work the way you were expecting. Their input and feedback is as important as yours (maybe MORE because they are supposed to be getting an education out of it!).
  • Choose solutions that utilize interfaces most users are already familiar with. Getting “past” the technology is often one of the hurdles to having an engaged group.

(My notes on each speaker below)


Event: Flattening the Classroom: Building Collaborative Learning Environments

October 5th, 2009

Event website

This two-day virtual event focuses on effective collaboration. I’ve missed some of it, due to some technical difficulties, but what I did catch was pretty interesting!

Diane Chapman – What is Collaboration?

Collaboration – a dirty little secret?
I’m not sure I agree with this statement… at our school, the lack of a potential for collaboration in some of the campus-wide tools is the dirty little secret that isn’t such a secret anymore. A key point made that I do agree with, however, is that collaboration has to be PLANNED in advance. Sure – it can be fun to be spontaneous, but it can get messy very quickly without a plan.

“Plan for inevitable bumps in the road” – This applies to any technology, and is often forgotten when using it.

“Group think is NOT Collaboration” – I love this quote!! “Group think” is when a group gives in to a dominant idea, instead of everyone participating equally. Something that we have to teach groups to remember, and something group members have to practise. Going along with the ideas of the group is not the same as adding your ideas to the mix. Yes, it’s easier to go along with everyone and seems to get the job done faster — but it defeats the purpose of the whole exercise!

The role of creativity in collaboration: unique viewpoints, not equal to chaos, important to collaboration.

Noshir Sarosh Contractor – Understanding and Enabling Online Collaboration Networks

Social collaboration is not as much about who you know, or what you know, but others’ perception of who and what you know. These notions make up different kinds of networks, and the different ways in which they work. It doesn’t just involve a collection of people, but people, networks, data, and the relationships between all of these areas – a “community”.

The best collaborative ideas come out when the community is not made up of people from the same circle – but we still often end up creating social networks with people that are from our area of the world.

Michelle Pacansky-Brock – VoiceThread: Collaborative, Community-Oriented Learning Spaces

What is a voice thread?

Online media “album” featuring presentations, imags, documents and videos. Thse open up into collaborative conversations where users may comment in text, voice, or video. She has used this from w/in Blackboard courses. Users are of varying skill and comfort level – she is there to demonstrate “mastery” (goes along with first speaker, who says that modelling is very important).

Students commented that they liked to hear their peers’ voices and see pictures and images – gave a better sense of the community.

Beryl Levinger – Technologies That Enhance Collaborative, Interdisciplinary Learning

DPMI – an INTENSIVE program, that leaves students with many skills that will aid them in professional life.

Feedback is an important skill…

Use mostly synchronous collaborative technologies for co-creation.

Tool-rich – mastery of a set of tools within a framework, some applied collaboratively and online, but some individually and on paper.

  • Results Framework
  • Logical Framework

Community-oriented – creating social bonds that enable them to work together effectively, and enjoy their time together, seeds are sown for collaboration

Avowedly collaborative – harness collective intelligence, use of wikis

Cheat, steal and be lazy! – DPMI Motto, and my second favourite quote of the day!! – build on the thinking of others! (Ha! I just posted about this topic!) Shared ownership and empowerment to collectively take action.

The ability to collaborate is as important as the outcome of the collaboration.

Collaboration as a learned skill…

Uses Zoho Wiki, Zoho Notebook (a shell that links all of the students’ personal notebooks… where they post various media, notes, etc.), Poll Daddy, Zoho Polls (peer-to-peer feedback), students must present poll results in their final presentation and explain how they used poll results to affect the final product.

Wiki inconveniences (that Google Docs addresses) – wikis don’t handle spreadsheets and diagramming very well, are generally asynchronus (only one student can update at a time). Use Google Docs for this, but link to the docs from within the wiki so that all content is accessible from the wiki.

Twitter – has gotten some students to participate that would normally not (sometimes because they are not as fluent in English, and is an easier method of communication). Yet, feels like a distraction. Still experimenting with it.

CMAP Tools – Synchronous/Asynchronous for mapping relationships

Students appreciate the collaborative aspect of the program MORE after the program than during it. Down the road, they realize that the skills that they have learned in the program are valuable for the real world, and they are skills that not everyone learns.

Telling Stories in Land and Food Systems: Future Advocates & Citizen Journalists

Podcasting – repurposing lectures, but not dynamic use of the technology

Day 2

Janet Salmons – How Did WE Work? Assessing Collaborative Assignments

Students are wary of group work, because they don’t trust their groupmates (to complete their tasks, to take the project as seriously, to provide a certain level of work) or the instructor (to fairly assess group work, to protect the group members from ‘bad’ group members).

  • Assessment of collaborative work requires planning, checkpoints
  • Assessment not only of outcomes, but of the process itself.
  • Assessment of the group and the individuals (not necessarily the same thing! peoples’ contribution differs!)

Balance instructor-driven and learner-driven styles.

Podcasting, Commoncraft Style

April 24th, 2008

If you have never seen a Commoncraft "Explanations in Plain English" video, you’ve been in some kind of fluorescent, dungeony basement office or something (oh… wait).

Here’s what Podcasting means to them…

Reminder: Using Podcasts for Teaching & Learning session.

November 7th, 2007

DON’T FORGET!! Next week we have an exciting Lunch & Learn, featuring Rhoda Weiss-Lambrou from University of Montreal.


Join us for a lunch and learn on –
“Using Podcasts for Teaching and Learning: Lessons from the past and a look toward the future.”

We will have a guest speaker, Prof. Rhoda Weiss-Lambrou from University of Montreal, who launched and has done research on podcasting pedagogy. We are hoping to generate a lively discussion around this topic.

The event will be take place on Monday, November 12th from Noon to 2:00 PM in the ILLC Building. Registration is still open at

A light lunch will be provided.

The Podcamp bus won't leave without me this time…

October 29th, 2007

PodCamp Toronto Feb. 23-24 is FREE!

If you are interested in Podcasting, come to Podcamp! It’s free, and bound to be full of great new ideas. While not focused on the use of podcasting in education, I’m sure there will be something for everyone.

DMP loves Podcasting…

May 11th, 2007

DMP & Podcasting @ the Ryerson 2007 Faculty Conference

Faculty Conference ImageThis coming Monday, May 14th, podcasting will be one of the featured stations in the DMP Tech Playroom at the Ryerson Faculty Conference. The "playroom" will feature a number of stations where DMP staff will demonstrate some of the technologies they support, including: Webcasting, Web-conferencing using Breeze, Blogging & Podcasting, Blackboard & Turnitin, and Inking.

  • Session 1: 10:15am – 11:45am, Atrium – Engineering Building
  • Session 2: 1:45pm – 3:15pm, Atrium – Engineering Building

See you on Monday!

In preparation for my session on Blogging & Podcasting, I started a quick little podcast where I will be posting wee videos from the conference. These will likely have no content value, but will be used to demonstrate how easy the technology can be*.

* This is, of course, assuming that you’re making the most basic podcast and want no special features. Making a good podcast, of course, takes much time and effort. The purpose here is to demystify some of the technology and show that it is usable, and can even be fun!


Podcasting about Rolling, and also Podcasting

Thumbnail from 'How to Use Roller' blogAnother blog/podcast has been rolled out recently – this time, one with some content! The How to Use Roller blog has been revamped, retooled and best of all – repodded. OK, so I made up that last word. This new blog features tutorials on how to use Ryerson’s Roller blog system – including how to use it for podcasting!

There are currently three starter tutorials up there right now, with more in the works.

Podcamp Toronto

March 15th, 2007

Recently, Ryerson played host to ‘Podcamp’, a conference on Podcasting. While I didn’t hear about it until after it had happened (actually *during* – I walked past RCC and saw a sign on the door), they’ve posted all sorts of materials on their website.

When I have some time, I’ll have to start watching some of their many videotaped sessions.

Thought you might find it interesting too!

Some Updates…

October 11th, 2006

It’s been a while, and although it looks like things aren’t happening on the podcasting front , you couldn’t be more wrong. We are moving ahead with all of our testing, producing, etc. in conjunction with a handful of podcasting pilots that are starting on campus. I can’t really say much about the pilots, since it’s not my story to tell.

Here are MY updates:

Podcasting using Roller (this blog software!) – This will be a portion of a DMP Taster session on Wednesday October 18th! Come to find out about blogging and podcasting using the Roller software. See the DMP Workshop Registration page for more details. This session will be led by myself (Stephanie Goetz) and DMP Instructional Designer Restiani Andriati.

iTunes U – a group of Rye folks met with the Apple Canada rep to get the ball rolling. Does this mean we’ll definitely be getting iTunes U at Ryerson? Not necessarily. It’s certainly not up to me. Papers to be read have been passed, some decisions need to be made by those ‘in the know’… Should be an interesting time. I would like to see us bring iTunes U in – I’m sure it’s no perfect system, but it has many of the bones to become one (from what I’ve read, since I haven’t seen much of anything).

Podcasting using Blackboard – more testing with this option was done by the DMP, and a few things came out.

  1. We need to find an easy way for users to generate the XML, since this option assumes you already have your XML. We’re looking into building our own simple XML generator for people to use.
  2. There was a problem subscribing to podcasts posted in the BBCC… on all computers but mine! I realized that these other machines, not being avid Blackboard users themselves, did not have the ‘root certificate’ installed on them, while my machine did. Went to this page:, downloaded the Security Certificate and all was golden. This will be added to my set of instructions before we start any real pilots of this process.

Almost ready to podcast – Over the last few months, I’ve been preparing some video tutorials of Blackboard with the intention of eventually creating a podcast. Why didn’t I just start a podcast right away? Well, I wanted to make sure I had enough content to actually call it a ‘podcast’ (a single media file does not a podcast make) AND I wanted it to be delivered on a production system. We were only testing Roller over the summer — it is now in production, and soon my podcast will be unveiled. I’m just working on a few last ‘intro’ podcasts, and some minor technical details. Very exciting for me!

Blogging & Podcasting

July 5th, 2006

We’ve been testing some blog software called ‘Roller’ (mentioned here a few times already). In preparation for our move into production with Roller, I’ve started a new ‘How to use Roller’ blog, which is currently a vehicle for some video tutorials.

Here is a link to the blog:

Subscribe to the “How to Use Roller” blog’s podcast by pasting this URL into iTunes:

Aside from offering info on how to start using Roller to blog, I’ve also covered using Roller to deliver your podcasts.

** NOTE: As of August 1, 2006. the video tutorials are fairly rough, with horrendous sound. I will be posting new ones at some point.

iTunes U Anyone?

June 21st, 2006

Now to re-investigate iTunes U. (

I’m really curious to see the interface, but I think you need to get into an agreement to try it out. If it’s as easy to use as they say, maybe it’s worth running a pilot. I need to find some faculty interested in exploring this with me, though. There’s no point in running a pilot with just myself.

I took a peek at what Stanford has on iTunes U (the stuff they make public – I believe they have a whole separate iTunes U entity that is password-protected) and it was pretty interesting. A little hard to navigate at first (I didn’t really know what I was looking for), but really easy to access. I think I was streaming the files, since I didn’t download any of them. I didn’t actually *subscribe* to anything, although I could have.

To get into a school’s iTunes U, you need to click on a web link. You can’t simply search the Music Store for the school. The school’s iTunes U replaces the music store (so you’re accessing it through the iTunes Music Store link in iTunes), but you can easily return to the real Music Store by clicking the little house icon in the breadcrumb at the top.

I suppose it helps that they have quite a lot of content on there – music, concerts, videos, mini documentaries, etc.

Question: What format are all of these in? I know they can be downloaded to an iPod, but what about other portable players? This seems to be the big controversy… the formatting prevents other players, from what I hear. I have heard the audio is encoded into AAC, and the video is MP4 – but I’ll have to double check that. (Note: Supposedly you aren’t stuck to those formats – anything iTunes can play, you can publish) This is what makes people the most wary – that it is apparently a venue for Apple to sell more iPods to students. Not a bad tradeoff, I think (considering what little information I have).

I’m really interested in looking into this more. I would like to try a couple of Podcast pilots – one on iTunes U, one with Roller. In the end, which will instructors find easiest to use? Which will students find easiest to use? Will either group find podcasting useful at all?

Schools on iTunes:

A Few Opinions: