You’re listening to ISB Radio

One of my goals moving into the high school technology coordinator position was to start a radio club with students. Now 3 months into the school year and we’re learning a lot and producing some good quality shows. It has been fun working through issues with students. We had feedback in a couple episodes and finally figured out it was because the equipment was grounded properly. We’ve played with different mic set-ups and our producers have been learning how to run the mixer. We are run it as an after school club which is hard as students, like most everywhere else, are involved in many different activities. We started out with 22 students signed up and have had a good group of 10 that have settled in to produce shows. Music Monday: Every Monday these DJs and producers spin their favorite hits from up and coming artists. Mostly found on YouTube they contact musicians via Twitter to get permission to play their music on the podcast. So far they haven’t been turned down yet and they’re having fun playing a mix of music genre being products by amatures today. Tuesday Round-Up: We started the year with three shows and a couple weeks ago the students realized they were overlapping content and merged two shows into one. Tuesday Round-Up is the latest talk on the ISB campus. Kids discuss the latest news, the latest decisions by admin (moving from late start to early release was a heated debate). They also interview different students and talk about their lives as high school students. I find it interesting to hear their take on some issues at school. The latest episode even has 3 senior boys talking about how much they are going to miss their families when they go away to college next year….something I don’t think they would admit to their parents. 🙂 They are also learning how to build a community around the content. We started with a Facebook Group but then realized a Facebook Page was more what the show needed so now with over 120 members the next step is try and find ways to engage them more with the shows. We’ll see what the kids come up with but it’s been fun sitting back and watching them sort through how to make content on the web and build a community around it. Have a listen, join the...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Recap of work

I swear I passed myself in the hallway today. The last two weeks have been a whirl wind but I wanted to take some time at 11pm tonight to actually reflect on the past two weeks and some fun and amazing stuff that is going on here. Last week I set up all 3 of my classes with a netvibes account (RSS reader). This week we started taking the first 10 minutes of each tech class to read through our feeds. We learned all sorts of stuff. A strange shark found off of Japan. Parents suing Myspace, we get the latest football and basketball scores from the guys and the girls give us the latest scope from the entertainment world. I allow the students to wonder away from tech in these 10 minutes although I always share something about technology to model what I expect. I see it as connecting, as gathering and reporting information. At first they were a little unsure about the whole netvibes thing. This week they are adding feeds left and right, reading, looking, interacting and today started responding to others. I’ve decided to do this backwards this time. Starting with RSS, then reading, then responding, then writing. It’s working I think as today every class asked me “When do we get our blogs?” so the interest is there. I did try and get the students registered with our WordPressMU installation today. But for some reason it wouldn’t let them register. There are 122 blogs registered at the site and I’m not sure what happened today. It said they had registered, but their blogs never showed up and the confirmation e-mails never came. Also over at our blog headquarters I successfully installed a plug-in that list the latest postings. So now when students go to the site, the latest 10 postings show up with the first 100 words. It’s fun to see an 11th graders post on the human brain, next to a 5th grade reflection of their day of learning. A great mix that I hope will see some cross river (our two campuses) and cross grade level comments. I also set up the 5th grade teachers with netvibes accounts and showed them how RSS works so they can easily monitor all 18 of their student blogs. They loved it and just kept saying how much of a time saver this was going to...

Read More

k12online Shanghai LAN party podcast #7

Our final LAN party podcast…kind of sad really. We discuss the conference in general, the LAN parties, and touch on Anne Davis’s keynote of Overcoming Obstacles. It was a great Saturday morning, taking part in a 2 hour Skype conversation as part of the When Night Falls Skypecast and learning and watching the presentations in the Overcoming Obstacles strand. Enjoy! Technorati Tags: k12online,...

Read More