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Monthly Archive for April, 2007

Google Reader

I’ve heard in the edublogosphere about how Google Reader is a quality RSS aggregator. I’ve been using Bloglines as my aggregator for the past two years and have been so comfortable with it, that it was hard to think of using something else. I decided to be daring and give it a try.

I decided to work on a project about Darfur. I frequently visit Will Richardson’s PageFlakes Collection of RSS feeds on Darfur and often use it in presentations about the power of RSS. Could I do the same kind of thing in Google Reader? I created a tab and a tag called Darfur in my reader. This created a folder in which I subscribed to photos in Flickr, a video search in Google, darfur tags in del.icio.us, Google News in general on Darfur, and Google news coming only from Sudan - using the advanced search in Google News. The feeds are great. It’s not maybe as eye-catching as it is in Pageflakes, but very useful. I could then put this collection in my personalized Google home page, so I can always find new information. That was powerful.

Having read several blogs about making the switch from Bloglines to Google Reader, I decided to move my feeds to Google Reader by exporting and importing the OPL file. I have the option to return to Bloglines if I don’t like it. (I did this earlier with Netvibes and moved back to Bloglines after just a few days.) The export/import was so easy! It even kept my feeds arranged in folders. The text is easier to read, and the features for sharing and tagging are nice. I like it! I’m hooked. … I’m still going to hang on to my Bloglines account however. It has served me well.


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Podcasting Class

I’m going to teach a podcasting class soon. I wrote the class last year, and since then, I’ve been thinking of ways to improve it.

Certainly, podcasting has changed my life in so many ways. It has opened the doors to a flood of information and fresh thinking about the use and role of technology in the classroom, but also a way to challenge my mind to ideas that inspire me so much, that it makes going to work each day a thrill. Though the power of podcasting, I’ve learned about blogs and wikis and other social tools, that empower us in ways that are profoundly different than even a few years ago. I’ve participated in the K-12 Online Conference, a resource that has been there for me whenever I want to learn more or want to inspire others to learn more. I’ve been immersed in ideas of the flattening world and global collaboration, how change in culture is something that takes time and deep thought, and that technology in our lives has led to a culture of change in our personal life but not in our classrooms. I’ve become a better teacher, I think, also. I challenge myself to learn from the best through podcasts each day.

I not only pay attention to what they say, but how they deliver their message. I think the best place for learning style is Ted Talks for delivery and NPR’s This American Life for storytelling.

I attend quality PD through virtual conference workshops and presentations from Conference Connections, David Warlick and Wes Fryer, and many others. I am amazed at the quality and polish of Infinite Thinking Machine. I enjoy the interview techniques of Steve Hargadon.

…So maybe, with this new podcast class I will be teaching in May, I’ll record some of it for a podcast. That would be good modeling.


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A Few Podcasts

I’ve been busy lately. I fully intended to blog about CUE, and maybe I still will. I took notes since there was no wireless.

However, I have published a few podcasts. I’m working on two podcasts right now.

One is the District 6 Podcast, which is a podcast I have started in my local district office, so the Instructional and other support staff can use that as a means of communication. There are two podcasts published so far. One from our superentindent, and one from an elementary director. I intend to record our talks about the Results Now book soon. This podcast can be found at: http://district6.edublogs.org/

The other podcast I am doing is one from my own passion, called the District 6 EdTech Podcast. I will be interviewing teachers about best practices using technology, interviewing people I respect on their views about Educational Technology, and maybe I’ll do a few screencasts. I have two posted episodes, one an interview with Ms. Beth Billett at Gage Middle School, and one a recorded workshop on Grant Writing with Pat Sanford, of Tech Ed Services. Soon I will be posting an interview I had with Dr. Themy Sparangis, our Chief Director of Educational Technology at LAUSD, and another best practice interview with Mr. Howard Johnston, an amazing literacy coach at one of our local elementary schools.

Subscribe and stay tuned for some great audio. It’s my way of paying back to the community of the edublogoshere, because I’m not very good at getting around to writing about all the amazing things I am learning from all the wonderful people out there that are in my personal learning network. Thanks to all of you for making my life so exciting and full of wonder.

Jennifer Wagner claimed yesterday to be CyberCompliment Day . I’d like to thank about 50 people, including Jen, who make it exciting times to be involved in educational technology. I read them everyday, listen to their podcasts, and think and reflect on the learning I am doing. I don’t ever find time hardly to write about it, but someday, I hope to begin giving back by blogging more. I do comment from time to time. In the meantime, the podcasts will be my contribution, along with the classes on Web 2.0 I am writing and teaching for LAUSD.


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