Wake-up Call

haulin netInquiring minds at a local high school recently wondered how video or audio clips could be used in their teaching efforts. This morning, I found a perfect example at Dr. Scott McLeod’s blog Dangerously Irrelevant.

His 7-step (60-90 minute) “module” works for me on two levels. First, it utilizes Re-useable Learning Objects…something more and more educators will come to value. Second, it succinctly shrink-wraps the whole “future-ready schools” discussion. Definitely, kick the tires on his entry called “100% Proficient on Old Skills.”

He combines .pdf files, a slideshow from the Fischbowl, an original slideshow, an audiocast, and a viral video. He can re-use these materials in future contexts, but more importantly, he posts them to the web and invites others to use them. That is the power of re-usable learning objects of the digital kind.

What could we blend as resources for a lesson on cell mitosis or The Battle of Antietam or character irony or . . .?

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The time is right for developing Web 2.0 capacity in Carteret County as our school system’s laptop learning initiative and Patrick Keough’s iTunes U at the community college roll out simultaneously.

Here then are some comments from our K-12 laptop learning crew as to what Web 2.0 audiocasts could mean for teaching and learning . . .

ANNA: Students are using MP3 players to download and listen to music. It is not much of a stretch to see students downloading and listening to content information now and in the future.

ELLEN: I can envision children in elementary school listening to friends (and others) sharing book reports or special projects, reading to one another, learning from community helpers by hearing their voices.

AMY: I believe that this is the future of education. Students being able to go to class anywhere without actually attending a set location. Also this will allow flexible schedules for students and teachers. We could even go as far and flexible high schools. Also it allows for students that need to hear a lecture or explaination more than once to do just that.

DI: I can see in my mind how podcasts, MP3 players and blogging can be resourceful tools for students and teachers. But with guidance and understanding of safety of course. In the elementary settings I agree with Ellen that students will truly enjoy sharing their works with others.

BECKY: Keeping in mind that we are dealing with seventh graders, after they realized that they would not be able to see their friends on a regular basis and socialize they quickly started to change their mind. One student bought up the point, they like being able to interact with teacher’s face to face and they don’t feel like they would learn as much or be able to pay attention when their classes weren’t face to face.

MILLIE: Audiocasts provide today’s educators with valuable information that can be transferred to the classroom. If you’re interested in a topic, Web 2.0 is guaranteed to produce a conversation about it. The information will most likely be current and correct. That information can be absorbed at any hour while doing any number of things (driving down the road, walking on the treadmill, waiting for the kids to finish soccer practice). The concept is two-fold…if the educator learns from the information that is heard, then he/she will realize that students can learn that way, too! The adult who has been given the opportunity, because they have been provided the necessary tools, can transfer that knowledge to his/her students and gain impressive results!

JANET: Many celebrities and politicians are creating blogs and podcasts because they realize it is the way to reach many of our youth.

PATRICK KEOUGH: I can tell by reading your blog and our conversation yesterday that we are on similar tracks when it comes to instructional technology and exploring new, and creative ways to teach students (and upgrade faculty) using innovative (alternative) instructional methodology.

DAVID WARLICK: As I read through these comments, and recall when, where, and how I listened to the (Will Richardson) interview, I was struck by the fact that we, from different parts of the state (and world) and at different times, were able to experience an event and then later exchange our insights in such a loosely convenient and powerfully connected way. What a potent learning environment this is, that is emerging! Our students need so much to be a part of this.

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