Shifting Our Schools Podcast Season 3

Last week David Carpenter and I kicked off season 3 of the Shifting Our Schools podcast. It’s taken us a while to get this season going and I’m not short on the excuses why, so I won’t even bother getting started. Needless to say we are started and we’re excited to be back for a third season. As usual I can’t keep well enough alone and decided to push the podcast just one step further this year. So now not only can you listen to use live and chat on the website, or download the podcast later via iTunes. This year we’re also going to try to open up the Skype lines to you listeners out there and allow you to Skype in with questions or comments during the show. We’ll see how this goes and hopefully will be able to make it fly this year. We’re live every other Wednesday at 8:00pm Bangkok Time (GMT+7). The best way to keep posted on the show is by following me on Twitter. Each show revolves around an essential question which we try to stay focused on (really we do). I’m excited for our next show and if you are at an IB school or an IB teacher you surely won’t want to miss: Can the IB curriculum be shifted? I have strong feeling frustrations about the IB program as a technology person in my role. We’re excited to have Justin Medved joining us from Canada and it will be a great opportunity to open up the Skype Lines and see what others have to say on the topic. I hope you decide to follow us this year as we have some fun from Bangkok, Thailand to Casablanca, Morroco. SOS Podcast Links: Subscribe to iTunes (Free) Diigo Show link Group Google Calendar of Show Times Blog RSS...

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Sharing Podcasts across your Network

I had an idea the other day (don’t laugh…I do get them once in awhile!) that seems to be paying off. We have these nice older iMacs sitting in our ES HUB (a.k.a. Library). We use one to sync our 10 iPods that the PTA bought for us last year and….well….that’s it. It’s sitting there with a 150GB hard drive and all that’s on it are audiobook files. So I had and idea while running the other day that I could download podcasts to that machine and then share the library over the internal network so that any teacher or student could access them. In doing this we allow students and teachers access to the podcasts for learning, but do not take up precious space on their local machine’s hard drives. Students…who can’t save anything locally to the laptop cart machines, would still have access to the wealth of information in the podcasts. This is legal….as far as I know…because the podcasts are all free to begin with. We are not sharing any music or the audiobooks that are on that machine. We’re only sharing the podcasts. So here’s how I did it: On a Mac: Go to iTunes- PreferencesOn a PC: (I believe it is Tools-Options) Now we’re lucky as on our computer image we already had checked “Look for Shared Libraries” on all our machines. So by sharing this one library it automatically appears for the users. Here’s what they see: Then of course comes the fun part of finding podcasts (and putting out a call to teachers on what podcasts they like). So far here is what we’ve added. (All links are to iTunes Store…click on them will take you to iTunes where you can subscribe for free to these podcasts)1. Apple Quick Tips: A must have for any Apple School (do a search in iTunes…no store link)!2. TEDTalks Video: We have some teachers addicted to these!3. Students Teaching Students: Our very own podcast from 5th Graders.4. CNN Student News: Found this while looking through the store…looks good!5. SUPER WHY!: From PBS for kids (Great website as well).6. Teaching with SmartBoards: Great videos…we have a SmartBoard in every room…do I need to say more. 7. SOS Podcast: Yes shameless self promotion…but hey I’m making the list! 🙂 So that’s where I’ve started. Anything else you would recommend adding to the list? Remember the audience is Teachers...

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My Podcast Set-up

I like it when other podcasters share their set up. A thanks to Leo Leporte, one of my favorite tech podcasters….or is that netcaster. I’ve learned a lot about podcasting just listening to the different shows he produces. I wrote this page for the Shifting Our Schools site to share with others the set up I use to stream, record, and converse all at the same time. I thought I’d share it here as well. You can find links to the different equipment I use at my Amazon Store as well. The Set Up: It all starts with the Mic! You’ve gotta have a good mic to feel like you really are producing something of quality. Besides, you want the quality. I use the Samson CO3U USB Mic. I love this thing. Mounted on a shockmount, the sound quality is fantastic and you get little to know vibration noise. Next you need a piece of software to record your podcast into. I’m digging GarageBand on the Mac, but love Audacity (Mac and PC) as well. Both programs are simple enough for you to get started, and both can expand and give you the control you want over your audio. We’ll need a way to get the audio from Skype if you are doing an interview into the audio stream. I try and do things as cheaply as possible. On a PC I use Virtual Audio Cables (free) which will take the sound and pipe it through your sound card so that Audacity can pick it up. On my Mac I’m finding this step to be so much easier. After reading all the reviews I broke down and bought WireTap Anywhere. This program is awesome and worth the $129 price in my opinion. You can watch the video on the site, but it is really just that easy. Tell WireTap that you want the audio from the Samson Mic and from Skype and you want it to be pushed out to GarageBand and the sound card. You can add sources on the fly, and best of all…it just works! The one thing to note is that you will want to start it before you start Firefox for streaming on the web. OK, so now we’ve got the mic, the software to record and the system in place to push all the audio you want through your sound card we’re on...

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Google Earth and Audio Books

Two recent lessons I have been involved in are using Google Earth with 2nd Graders and having 5th graders create audio books for Pre-K students. Google Earth Lesson (2nd Grade): Have students pair up. (I always have kids number 1 and 2, it makes it easy to say “OK, #1 your turn to ……) Students start Google Earth and each person is allowed 5 minutes to explore the program. Click here, click there, spin the Earth this way and that. I find I have way less interruptions if you just give kids time to explore the program “their way”. Giving just 5 minutes gets all those “what’s this do?” out of the way. After both kids have had a turn at exploring the program, they come up to the front of the room and we talk about what they learned or found cool. Here was the report: “If you click on the 3D button down there, you can then go to New York and see the building in 3D.” “If you search for “Queensland’ you get taken to New York. If you search for “Queens Land” you get taken to Australia. “I like to make the world go fast” (Funny side note, one girl in class watched the world spin to fast and had to go lay down 🙂 ) “I like how it flies you places” Next up Questions: “Why are the pictures not clear on my computer but they are on yours?” “How do I find my house?” “Are these pictures like right now?” So we took some time to answer the questions. We talked about the pictures having to download from the Internet so if you are busy spinning the world or moving to quickly the pictures don’t have time to download. We also talked about why images in the states might be clearer then say those in rural Thailand. We talked about how you might find your house? What information would you need to know? Where could you find that information? Is just knowing Thailand enough? Or do you need to know where in Thailand. Oh, Bangkok! Great (we fly to Bangkok) Now what? Well we know we live by the old airport. What might an airport look like from space? What could we find that would tell us it’s an airport? A runway! Great! Let’s fly around slowly to see if we can find...

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Adding Album Art to a podcast

I’m writing this to share with others as it took me way to long to find the answer on how to do this. I’ve got two podcasts; On Deck and Gourmet Geeks that are syndicated via iTunes (here and here). I noticed that when you download them to your iPod that the Album Art wasn’t coming through so I did a little research. I use PodPress on a WordPress install and thought (wrongly) that the Album Art for podcasts was picked up via the RSS feed like everything else in iTunes. But the Album Art actually comes from the ID3 tag on an mp3 file. Confused? Yeah this is a bit geekie. What is a ID3 Tag? ID3 is a very popular audio file data tagging format in active use bysoftware and hardware developers around the world. ID3 tags aresupported in software such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, YME, MusicMatch and hardware players like the iPod, Creative Zen, Toshiba Gigabeat and Sony Walkman. So I learned something new. Didn’t even know that this existed. So basically within a mp3 file you can store some date within the ID3 tag. One use for the tag is the Album Art. So in order to get your Album Art to show up you need to have it embedded into the mp3 file. How do you do this? You download a ID3 tag editor. I downloaded and installed AudioShell which works really well on my PC. It adds itself to the right-click preferences function. So you can right-click on a mp3 file and as the image shows to the left, add your album art right there into the ID3 tab. I’m not sure how you add information to the ID3 tag on a Mac. But if someone could point me in the right direction in the comments I’d appreciate...

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