Sunday, August 26, 2007

Podcasting in Education

Podcasting is a combination of the words IPod and broadcasting. A way for people to be able to selectively subscribe to audio or video content over the internet. This content can then be automatically added to a mobile device or mp3 player.

Podcasts in education

I see a few main arguments to support the use of podcasts in education:

1. The ubiquity of iPods and other MP3 players provides a ready base of users of this tool.
2. Support for students with low literacy skills or other learning difficulties
3. Catering to students with a range of learning styles
4. Providing material to vision impaired students
5. Allowing for self-paced learning
6. Empowering students to create and distribute their own music, poetry, etc.

After attending the education show Conference on 14/08/2007 ( a seminar presentation was presented by Apple Australia on how to make your own podcast.

Making podcasts

This is a pretty simple process and follows a number of basic steps.

1. Record the audio for your podcastYou can use a purpose built audio recorder, or a computer, or in fact, any recording device to do this.
2. Edit and produce the podcast if needed/desiredThere’s a large range of software available for this purpose. I use the open source Audacity and have also used Adobe’s Audition.
3. Upload podcast file to a webserverIf you have worked with websites before this is simply a matter of copying your audio file into the location of your website. If not, get someone else to help you with this.
4. Create an RSS feed for the podcastThis is the key step for allowing someone else to subscribe to your podcast. If you don’t want to do this you can simply leave your audio files available as a download on your website. But the creation of an RSS feed is pretty easy as long as you include some standard parts – an example is included in the appendix of this document.

Refer to:

Also during the Conference, The Beazer Publishing Company has made a free service to free downloads of VCE revision podcards ( which includes most subject notes.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Online discussion Versus The Blog

Is there anything that online discussion does better than blogs can do in teaching and learning?

Blogs are personal, learner focused tools that are designed for learner directed and orchestrated activity. A blogger has the ability to determine subject matter, customize design, organize content, edit current and past work, and delete unwelcome comments from the blog space at will. Blogs can simultaneously be focused on the educational application, while still retaining the self-directed, internal focus of the owner. For example, the blog enhances social presence by exposing the learner’s affective response through the self disclosure evident in the earlier, perhaps unrelated postings, the links and the graphics they chose to exhibit on their blogs (Anderson & Cameron, 2006).

I find the blog a good tool for management and promoting ideas, it can also give each person their ‘personal space’ but I don’t find it an engaging tool to teach with (as a communication tool).

It is good as a journal, as discussing an idea or promoting services/products but not for learning or teaching with as I find it abit slow based . I think the virtual class/Java script, Skype, Msn or even discussion forum is a better way to learn online as it is a faster stimulant.

Personally doing projects in teamwork, I have used social software as Msn and Skype to communicate and share ideas. The blog doesn’t stimulate as much discussion and the posts seem like a guest book for comments rather than a brainstorm of ideas branching from one topic and further establishing.

Ferdig and Trammell (2004) discuss the public nature of educational blogging and argue that, “blogging opens up assignments beyond the teacher-student relationship, allowing the world to grade students and provide encouragement or feedback on their writings.” The infinite potential for comment on their work can be at once intimidating and encouraging for learners and will have implications for how learners want to be perceived by this larger audience. Widening of the audience obviously affects the potential for developing identity but could also result in exchanges that may negatively impact learner confidence as their words are released to anyone on the open Net.

Will Richardson (2004) asks the question, “Could blogging be the needle that sews together what is now a lot of learning in isolation with no real connection among the disciplines?” and suggests that blogging has the potential to teach learners “how” to learn. Stephen Downes(2004) argues that “despite obvious appearances, blogging isn’t really about writing at all; that’s just the end point of the process, the outcome that occurs more or less naturally if everything else has been done right. Blogging is about, first, reading. But more important, it is about reading what is of interest to you: your culture, your community, your ideas” (Downes, 2004).

Do you think you would atempt to use blogging as a teaching tool or would you use another tool more adapted to your learning style?


Anderson, T. & Cameron, D. (2006) Comparing Weblogs to Threaded Discussion Tools in Online Educational Contexts. The Journal.

Ferdig, R. & Trammell, K.D. (2004) Content delivery in the blogosphere. The Journal.
Downes, S. (2004) Educational Blogging. EDUCAUSE Review.
Richardson, W. (2004) Reading and blogging. Weblogg-Ed.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Blog

Hello everyone and welcome to my first blog for Online Education and Training. Your opinions are much appreciated on issues discussed on here.


Galileo once said, "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it within himself."

As an educator, I believe the mission of education is to provide all students with an educational enviornment. Technology is a great way to teach students and to reinforce what they have already learnt. I believe that technology can be useful to both educators and students, by providing millions of resources at our fingertips.

I have decided to a create a blog, because I believe blogs are designed to cater for everyone and in addition serve people in different ways. It has a structure which is flexible, you are able to communicate, share images, add a personal profile and promote ideas. I think it is a good management tool to be able to manage my thoughts.

What do you think of blogs? Would you use it as a management tool? Would you use it to communicate? Please share your thoughts.