OK! It is time to start up this blog again. In the months of June and most of July I was blogging daily about Archaeology and travel on this blog http://jfriesen.edublogs.org. This blog was aimed at students and is still there with a lot of interesting information and pictures for anyone teaching about Greece, history, archaeology, and maybe other stuff.
Today I am thinking about podcasting. For some reason I am not attracted at all to the idea. I don't like talking to myself on a mike and I don't imagine that others will want to listen. However, I have enjoyed listening to the podcasts of others and really felt good hearing their voices. They are especially great when I am washing the dishes or baking cookies.
This summer, while in Greece and Turkey I thought I should learn to podcast. I imagined capturing some interviews with interesting people and sounds of calls to prayer in Turkey and other things. My first effort was to record my Greek friends singing “Happy Birthday” to me in Greek (http://jfriesen.edublogs.org/2006/06/20/special-birthday-edition-with-music/) . I linked this to my blog and realized that it really was just a sound file and not a podcast. It occurred to me that the difference between these two is what Andy Carvin explained – RSS or subscription. A podcast is something you can subscribe to.
On the wwwedu discussion list I have been reading opinions from some educators about podcasting and how to introduce it to teachers. There is some doubt about the value of regular podcasting and subscription. I often read the exciting things that Ed Tech leaders are doing, and then go back to school (and life) where people still don’t know what a blog is (although they have heard the term). Much of what I get excited about reading discussion lists and blogs just sounds like so much impossible hype that doesn’t really connect to what is happening to teachers. Of course there are fantastic teachers like Mark Ahlness out there doing it, but they are the exception. Is it only exceptional teachers that will do these things? Is that the way it should be? How does all of this connect to Reading First, testing pressures, yard duty, demands from administrators, lack of equipment or tech support, and so many other things that are the reality of day to day teaching?
I wonder if I am thinking more about elementary students and the situation is different with Hiigh School classes? I also wonder about subscriptions. The difference between push and pull technology REALLY does make a huge difference. How can we help teachers to understand that even if it is only for their own professional development?