Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More thought provoking podcasts

I have just really enjoyed listening to Will Richardson being interviewed by Dave and Jeff on Edtech Talk about his change of career and his reflections on the state of the edublogosphere and education generally. He mentioned his book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, which I recently ordered on line. It came within a week and is full of all the information you need to start using the tools that our students are using and will be using in their careers in the future. What I particularly liked was his final chapter "What it all means" where he looks at the “new literacies” and the “big shifts”, some of which I know we’ve been talking about for a while, such as student centred learning (rather than teaching as lecture) and the social construction of knowledge. But it doesn’t hurt to say it again and in this new context it makes a lot of sense. When I recently did a workshop with my colleagues nb and Scott which was about blogs, podcasts and other web 2.0 tools I naturally mentioned Will’s book as it is an easy to read primer on the subject. But of course nothing beats experimenting and learning by doing. In the podcast I just listened to there was a rather sombre note I thought which is the result of the initial enthusiasm of people being excited as they learn to use these new tools and as they learn about learning, both their own and their students’ being replaced by reflection on the difficulties that still exist in the use of these tools, mainly difficulties of equitable access, and difficulties caused by an understandable fear of the unknown potential of this largely untried and even disruptive technology. But as I heard in an excellent series of podcasts done by Dean Shareski where he interviewed such reflective practitioners as Darren Kuropatwa, Kathy Cassidy and Clarence Fisher on their use of social software with students, and as I have found in my own experience, the potential motivation, and the connections and learning for students is a powerful recommendation for their use.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jo,
    does your school have something like a groupware solution? Such a solution would allow administrators (i.e. teachers) to create PROJECTS with varying teams/team members and their own virtual (online) workspace, allocate TASKS to each member and allow document sharing online? I know from my daughter that she sometimes needs to work with other students on team assignments and they - apparently - only have the option of using MSN and emailing for their work!?! There are open source applications out there that either cost nothing at all or only a nominal fee. Admittedly, a bit of experience is necessary to install them, but they definitely can improve the team working experience ...

    *** Please feel free to omit this part, if you decide to post my comment to your blog.
    If you are interested in experimenting, you can find an online demo (free of charge) here: http://www.projectezone.com/Groupware_demo.htm