Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dr. Z's Creative Cookbook for Collaborative Communication - Part Deux

Once again we are at ISTE '12.

What a wonderful opportunity to meet old friends, learn new things, and walk in the sun.

Here is a link to my Slideshow for my Cookbook presentation.  Unfortunately it is just a .pdf for now, but I will post the real posting later.

  • Twitter search for #Drzreflects (As time progresses, these tweets may disappear.)
  • Collaborative Google notes that were created by one of the attendees.  These were open for everyone to contribute during the presentation but have been locked to keep the content valid.
Share Your Screen
  • Join.Me - Share your screen with up to 250 people simultaneously.
  • Google Hangout - Watch a short introductory video about using Hangout with fellow students.
Audio Annotation
  • AudioBoo - Create an audio response to your students' work.  Just send them the URL to the audio file. Includes a mobile app. These files are not private. 
  • Chirbit -  Another tool for creating an audio response to your students' work.  Just send them the URL to the audio file. Includes a mobile app. These files CAN be made private.
Screen Casting
  • Jing - Free brother-version of Camtasia by TechSmith. I have used this as my default screencaster for years.  Limit of 5 minutes. You download the program to your computer.
  • Screencast-o-Matic - Just discovered this option this summer. This system will allow you to record up to 15 minutes. You can save your files in .mp4, .avi, and .wmv formats.  It is all online.
Video Annotating and Editing
  • VideoANT - Provide written notations for a video as it progresses. The viewer progresses through a collection of notes as the video plays.
  • WeVideo - Full video editing capability online. 
I hope that these resources are useful for you.  If you have any additional resources that you would like to share, add them to the comments section.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Copyright vs Creative Commons in Education

SuperNova - Smithsonian  No known copyright restrictions No known copyright restrictions [?]

Copyright was created to protect artists' work from being stolen or used without permission/compensation. This worked well for the pre-Internet days, but the Internet has expanded the opportunity for sharing content. Under the existing copyright rules, you could either release your work to public domain or leave it  completely protected from anyone else to use.

Just because something is on the web, it doesn't mean that you can use it. EVERYTHING that is captured in some sort of media is copyrighted. Even the notes you are writing - they are copyrighted as soon as you write or type them.

Review the Basics of Copyright from the website.

The Library of Congress has provided a set of videos to Take the Mystery Out of Copyright. These are animated so that you can share them with your students as well.

Looking for notes on copyright that you can share with your students (and colleagues)? Use these Briefnotes: Copyright for Students.

Creative Commons
Creative Commons was designed to provide the artists with control of their work. It allows them to give permission for others to use their work just so they identify who created it.

Creative Commons allows the creator to grant permission to:
  • Copy and use the work as long as the creator is identified;
  • Make derivative works;
  • Distribute the work under your designated license; or
  • Profit from the work.
How important is licensing in your realm? Do you think that many of your teachers (colleagues or teachers) fully understand Copyright/Creative Commons?  Do they follow the rules?  Do they think that the rules are important?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, June 16, 2012

How to Subscribe to Podcasts

iTunes 6, vlog, shared libraries
iTunes 6, vlog, shared libraries (Photo credit: thepatrick)
Now that you have the background for podcasting, it is time for you to subscribe to some podcasts.  How do you go about doing that?

It is possible to go to a site directly and subscribe to a podcast from a specific website, but that can get a little complicated.  I would suggest that you use iTunes to organize your podcasts. iTunes began as just music management application, but it has blossomed into so much more. Now you can use it to organize songs, TV shows, podcasts, movies, books and even radio stations.  Let's see what it will take to use iTunes to organize your podcast listening on your computer.
  1. Download iTunes to your computer.  It is available for both the Macintosh and Windows platforms.
  2. Next open an Apple account. This will be part of the process of initializing iTunes.
  3. Find a podcast to which you want to subscribe.
    1. Go to the iTunes store (this cannot be accessed through your browser. You must use the iTunes application to access the iTunes store.
  4. Across top of the opening iTunes screen, you should see a black menu bar. Click on the Podcasts link.
  5. You will find a plethora of podcasts. Click on the drop down menu in the upper right corner under the "Podcast Quick Links" header.  Select Education.
  6.  A wide collection of podcasts will appear on your screen. You can select audio or video with the buttons in the upper right corner.  Explore for a little bit.
  7. Find a podcast that you find interesting.  It might Story Nory (elementary story books), This Week in Science, Ted Talks (an necessary addition to your collection), or whatever looks good.
  8. Click the Subscribe Free button below your selected podcast.
  9. iTunes should immediately subscribe to the podcast for you. Click on the Podcast link in the left column of your iTunes app. You should see your selected podcast in the list.
  10. Click on the arrow to the left of your selected podcast. It will provide a list of podcasts that are greyed-out. This means that they are not yet on your computer but you can select them by clicking on the Get button to the right of each title.
  11. Click on the Get button next to a couple of the episodes. You will see them begin to download. The title will turn black.
  12. Double-click on one of your selections and it will begin playing.
Now you can listen to your podcasts using iTunes on your computer.

Searching for a Podcast and Subscribing.
  1. Return to the iTunes store (click on iTunes Store in the left column) and click on the Podcast selection.
  2. Using the Search Store box in the upper right corner, enter "Z & M MediaCast" and hit Return.
  3. Our podcast will appear.  Isn't that cool!!!!!!!! 
  4. Click on the Subscribe Free button below it and subscribe to our podcast.
  5. Remember to go to iTunes to ensure that they have been downloaded onto your computer.
Downloading Your Podcasts to Your iPod, iPad or Phone
Now you have your podcasts on your computer but maybe you don't want to sit at your computer while you listen to them. Wouldn't it be great if you could download your podcasts to your iPod or iPad or phone?  You can.

The process is actually called synching.  This means that files on your computer will be downloaded to your phone and files on your phone will be uploaded to your computer so that they are the same ('N Sync). You can actually modify the synching process so they only synch the podcasts or songs or ????  BTW, you need to have a Smart Phone (not necessarily an iPhone) to do this.

Here is a video that tells you how to do this:

If you don't want to use iTunes to corral your podcasts, you can download specific podcasting apps for your smart phone.  I use Downcast.  I don't know how to link this with iTunes, but it does have access to some rather interesting podcasts.

What do you use?  How do you use podcasts?


Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 15, 2012

RSS in Education

English: Podcast or podcasting icon Français :...
English: Podcast or podcasting icon Français : Icône pour les podcasts ou la baladodiffusion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
RSS (Real Simple Syndication)
RSS is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Resources (audio or video) placed on the web are given an RSS Feed. This RSS Feed enables users to subscribe using RSS readers (e.g., iTunes, iGoogle). A user only needs to open the RSS reader and it will automatically check and load new episodes from the subscribed podcasts.

It is important to remember that it is the RSS that makes it podcasting. It is a form of automated delivery or subscription.  You can use RSS for audio files or video files. Blogs use RSS for subscription as well. You might even say that Blogs are podcasted using the model we are discussing.

RSS in Plain English

Educational Podcasting
Podcasting is a medium that teachers can use for teaching ideas and students can use for sharing their knowledge. It provides a medium for organizing and sharing resources. Students can create projects that can be posted to the web and available for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even university students to enjoy.

Watch each of these 3 10-minute videos (not vodcasts) to hear how educators use podcasts.
  • Podcasting in Education 1 - What is Podcasting?  How to create a podcast using Garageband 3. (You will not be required to use Garageband to do your assignment, but it is an interesting demonstration that can be generalized to other tools.)
  • Podcasting in Education 2 - 7th grade Language Arts middle school teacher from Wisconsin. She uses podcasting for her Integrated Thematic Curriculum.
  • Podcasting in Education 3 - Middle School Principal from Georgia sharing how use podcasting to reach out to the community.
Additional Resources:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What is a Podcast?

What is a Podcast?
It's not about the podcast, it's about podcasting.
A podcast is an audio or video presentation that can be subscribed to by interested listeners/watchers.  It is offered as a newsfeed (RSS) to make it easy for the public to access. Podcasting is the delivery system used to enable users to subscribe to a series of audio or video presentations.

Podcasting in Plain English

Podcasting carries four forms of media:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

100+ Emerging Instructional Technologies

Web 2.0
Web 2.0 (Photo credit: Daniel F. Pigatto

Looking for ideas for Web 2.0 technologies you might use?  There are 1000s of Web 2.0 tools in the world. Here are a few lists that may be useful. Don't be overwhelmed by the number of tools listed. Browse the lists until you find something interesting:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 08, 2012

Writing Rubrics

A rubric is a tool used to evaluate student work. The rubric presents a list of the criteria that are considered important. Each of these criteria are accompanied by descriptions of different levels of success in demonstrating proficiency in each of the areas.

Here is an introductory video that uses chocolate chip cookies to explain the basics of using a rubric for evaluation.

 Rubrics serve multiple roles. While people usually consider rubrics as evaluation tools, their most important task is to inform the learner of what is expected. Each cell tells you what is expected for each criteria.  Learners can use this tool to evaluate their work before submitting it.

Here is a video that is a bit more technical than the cookie video. It appears to have been created by a college student, but it is complete. The only problem with the  presentation is that they place the "unacceptable" column in the left column. 

It is generally accepted that it is easier for learners to place the "exceptional" column in the left column so that it will be directly next to the criteria name.

You can easily create a rubric using a table in Word or Google Docs, but you can also create a rubric using RubiStar (  The advantage to using RubiStar is that there are many samples of rubrics that you can modify to fit your needs.

Do you use rubrics?  What tips do you have building more effective tools?


Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Dr. Z Reflects on Reflectors

I started this blog six years ago so that I could share my thoughts about things that I thought should be shared.  Most of this deals with educational technology but I want to share something about another passion of mine - biking.

As you may know, I love biking.  Every year I ride RAGBRAI with Team Flamingo. It's an opportunity where I get together with 12,000 of my closest friends and we ride 500 miles across Iowa during the last full week of July. We call this fun.

This is my 10th year doing this.

The best part is the training rides that we make with our wonderful Team Flamingo members during the 3 months before the ride.

The other day I broke my mirror while putting my bike in the back of my truck. It costs $20 to replace so I went to a nearby auto parts shop and purchased a $3 convex stick-on mirror. What a find!!

I just love this. It shows so much more and you have a much larger field of vision.  It's made of plastic or metal so I don't have to worry about breaking it again. Even if I do, did I mention that it's only $3?

Sure, I know that this is a lame topic for a post but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to "Reflect on Reflectors."  BTW if you look closely in the photo above you can see the photo of my grandson, Tyler, on my phone. =-)

Enhanced by Zemanta