Entries in podcast (15)


CNN Student News: iPods in Class

CNN Student News is one of my favorite educational podcasts. Early in the morning each school day, CNN makes available a 10 minute commercial-free newscast geared for middle and high schoolers. If you subscribe in iTunes, you can have the each episode automatically downloaded and ready to view on a computer or synced to mobile devices.

Recently CNN Student News had a segment called iPods in Class in their episode for October 18, 2010. It features high school math teacher Robert Tang. He he's managed to provide brand new iPod touches for his students. In the segment you can see a student taking advantage of the iPod touch's camera as he records part of Tang's lecture while taking notes. Another student talks about how useful FaceTime is when collaborating on homework. She can call up a classmate and talk face-to-face and even use the camera to show work on math problems.

While the video is no longer available in iTunes, you can still watch the segment online. iPods in Class begins at the 6:30 mark and is two minutes long. Below is part of the transcript. A full transcript of the episode is available too.


STEVE FISCHER, CBC NEWS REPORTER: Christmas came early for students in this grade 11 math class.

ROBERT TANG, LISGAR HIGH SCHOOL MATH TEACHER: Use your iPod Touch and get that out of your way.

FISCHER: Every student has been given one of these: not only to use during class, but to keep for the semester.

TANG: So, as you can see, mine is too small, but just by pinching it...

FISCHER: Five years ago, Robert Tang arranged to get the first SmartBoard in the school. He decided equipping the students with handheld devices was the obvious next step. Tang found a private sponsor to pay for the pilot project.

TANG: When I grew up, it was desktop computers. Then, it went to laptop computers, and now it's the handheld generation. And I think that's something that we can tap into, and the devices such as the iPod Touch is something that really lends itself well to the educational field.

FISCHER: After initially banning cell phones and other handheld technologies, school boards across the province are rethinking their policies. They certainly can be a distraction, but they also offer up a World Wide Web of educational opportunities. It didn't take Tang's students long to embrace the technology.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE STUDENT: It's really helpful, 'cause when he shows stuff on the board, you can look at it on your iPod Touch, and it's easier to see things, and it's interactive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT: For example, I can get the math textbook and Mr. Tang's schedule, all on this little device.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE STUDENT: If I have any questions to ask, her screen pops up. I can see her face-to-face, ask her face-to-face, and see her work.

FISCHER: School officials say if the results are positive, they may consider expanding the program to other classes. Steve Fischer, CBC News, Ottawa.


Learning in Hand Podcast #21: Podcast from iPod touch

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand Podcast Episode #21: Podcast from iPod touch is about recording an audio podcast and publishing it using only an iPod touch--no Mac or PC required. See how the free blogging service Posterous makes this possible.

Watch all 11 minutes 23 seconds of Episode #21 to learn about recording and sharing podcasts from iPod touch.


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This is the Learning in Hand podcast. I’m Tony Vincent and this is the show where I share tips, how-tos, and ideas for handhelds in teaching and learning. Episode 21, “Podcast from iPod touch” recorded March 2010, happens now!

You already know that iPod touch makes it fairly easy to listen to podcasts. You can subscribe in iTunes on your Mac or PC and sync the audio and video episodes to your iPod. Or, you can even launch the iTunes app on your iPod to browse and search for episodes to download directly onto your device.

There are so many ways to produce and publish a podcast. It almost always involves a Mac or PC running software like GarageBand, Audacity, iMovie, or MovieMaker. Then the finished audio or video file is uploaded to the web and a web feed is made. The web feed tells software like iTunes that a new episode is available.

In this episode I'd like to show you how I make an audio podcast using the free web service Posterous.

A podcast usually has three components: the audio or video file, a web page or blog post, and a web feed. With an iPod touch, it's actually possible to record an audio podcast and publish it to a Posterous website, all on the iPod itself. Here's how:

First, you will need a microphone for your iPod touch. The current generation of iPod touches do not have built-in microphones. That's the bad news. The good news is that your iPod may have come with a mic and you don't even know it. If not, you can purchase an attachable mic.

The current 32 and 64GB iPod touches come with earbuds with a mic. These mics work pretty well--you just have to make sure they are plugged in. It's difficult to have more than one person talk into these. If your iPod didn't come with these earbuds, you can buy them. I recommend buying from Monoprice.com. They sell them for less than $4 each.

The Belkin TuneTalk is a microphone that attaches to the dock connector. Mics that connect to the dock tend more expensive but sound better. The TuneTalk is available from Amazon for $50.

If you don't want to spend that much, then find a mic that attaches to the headphone jack. The ThumbTacks mic is pretty tiny and about $15. Though, these really could get mixed up with your collection of real thumbtacks.

The Voice Memos app has very basic editing tools. You can trim the start of the recording and the end. You cannot trim the middle. So don't make mistakes in the middle of your recording.

To get the audio file off the iPod, you can sync it with iTunes or Email it. Since we're podcasting all from the iPod, we're going to use the email option. This requires that an email address be set up. If you don't have email on the iPod, I suggest going to gmail.com and creating a new account. Then add that account to the iPod touch in the Settings app.

Here's where Posterous.com comes in. Posterous is web publishing service that bills itself as "the dead simple place to post everything." Like Blogger, Wordpress, and countless others, Posterous is a blogging platform. Unlike others, Posterous focuses on publishing by email.

Before emailing Posterous, I suggest setting up an account and a blog. You can see my Posterous blog at tonyvincent.posterous.com. I actually have my own domain for this blog, so it redirects you the URL, tonyvincent.info. You can see that it is certainly a blog because it is organized in reverse chronological order.

To post, I just email to post@tonyvincent.posterous.com. When emailing from Voice Memos, it attaches the audio to the email message. The subject of the email is the title of the post. The body of the email is the content of the post.

But, not only is this a blog post, it can be a web feed for iTunes. So, the title of the post is the title of the episode and the body of the email is the description of the episode.

Unless you've verified your email with Posterous, you will have to log into Posterous to approve the emailed posts. I've verified my email, so my recording is added to the top of my blog within minutes.

That's it. I just recorded on an iPod touch and emailed it to Posterous where it is now online as a blog. I can listen to the audio by clicking it in my browser on my desktop or the Safari browser on an iPod touch.

So, what about making it a podcast?

Remember, a podcast has 3 components: A website, audio file, and web feed. Posterous generates all three for us. The website is the blog and the audio file is uploaded to Posterous as well. If you look at your Posterous blog, you'll see the web feed symbol. Sometimes this is called a news feed or RSS feed.

Know that your podcast does not have to be listed in the iTunes Store for people to subscribe. You can certainly submit the podcast to the iTunes Store if you want it listed in their directory, but that's optional.

Let me show you three ways to get that RSS feed into iTunes.

One way is to go to your Posterous blog and right-click the web feed symbol and copy the link. Then go to iTunes and click the Advanced Menu and choose Subscribe to Podcast. Paste the URL and click OK. You're subscribed. That means the latest episode is downloaded and iTunes will periodically check for new episodes. If there's a new one, it will download it.

Another way to subscribe in iTunes is to drag and drop the web feed icon from the blog right into your iTunes Library.

Both of these methods will take a little explaining if you plan to have parents, the community, or colleagues subscribe. Most likely you're linking to your podcast from a class website. When liking from a webpage, you can set-up one click subscriptions. That's right, with one click, a user's iTunes opens and they are subscribed to your podcast. This involves first copying the web feed URL by right-clicking the icon. When you go to link to this on your website, paste it as you a regular link. Unlike a regular web link, change the http to itpc. The itpc tells web browsers to launch iTunes and subscribe to that feed. Pretty cool, huh?

Optionally, before doing all this, you may want to run your feed through the free Feedburner.com service. Feedburner lets you create an iTunes feed that includes artwork and extra information. It also tracks how many subscribe to your podcast.

At this time Posterous does not support video podcasting, only audio. But it's a great deal. For free you get 1GB of space. Audio is about 1MB per minute, so you will have at least 20 hours of audio before you reach the limit.

Ok. So why would teachers and students want to podcast from their handheld? I can think of lots of reasons. Sharing information and thoughts with the world is incredibly empowering and students are be more motivated knowing there's an audience for what they have to say. The audience might be the world or their peers. Consider this: small group discussions are recorded and uploaded for other groups to hear.

Like podcasting from big computers, students can share book reviews, curriculum insights, poetry, math and science discoveries, skits...you name it! Teachers can share homework information, class announcements, extra credit...you name it!

These podcasts don't have to be public. Posterous blogs can be password protected, so just the teacher (and maybe students and parents) have access. This means students can record reflections, group discussions, passages for reading fluency, etc. on an iPod touch and email them to Posterous. The teacher subscribes and can listen to each one in iTunes. This might work better than trying to figure out how to sync all of those voice memos. It also allows the teacher to listen from any computer, not just the computer the iPods where synced to.

You can set up as many Posterous blogs as you like, each with it's own URL and receiving address. That means that each student could be set up with his or her own Posterous email, blog, and podcast. A personal blog and postcast could surely make a handy multimedia portfolio.

One final tip for this episode. Add the Posterous email address to the Contacts app on the iPod touch. This way no typos will be made when entering the email address. Just typing the first couple letters autocompletes the address.

That’s it for Episode 21. For a transcript and much more about iPods and podcasting, click on over to learninginhand.com. Thanks for watching!


Upcoming on Ustream: Podcast Picks

Podcast GirlPlease join me on Wednesday, September 30th for Podcast Picks! This free online workshop is in partnership with SIGML and will be similar to Picks from the App Store recorded live in April. Here's the description:

So many podcasts, so little time! With tens of thousands of podcasts and millions of episodes it can be hard to find the very best ones for teaching and learning. Tony Vincent shares some of his favorite podcasts on Wednesday, September 30th at 3PM Pacific/6PM Eastern on Ustream.tv. Tony will present his podcast picks for teachers and students for part of the hour. The other part of the hour is reserved for participants to share their own picks and to ask questions. You can participate by calling in your picks via Skype. This is also a great time to promote your own educational podcast or your class’ podcast. View the live workshop and join the chat room at ustream.tv/channel/tony-vincent.

Before the beginning of the workshop, sign up for a free Ustream account so that you can pick out a username for the chat. To create a new account, simply click Sign Up, which is located in the top-left of each Ustream.tv page.

Participants are encouraged to have microphones and Skype ready so they can talk about their own podcast picks and so they can ask questions. While the workshop will be recorded and archived, I really hope you can join us live.


iPods Episode #12: Podcasting Booklet

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #12: Podcasting Booklet is online and gives an overview of the free 34-page booklet I recently made available.

The PDF is titled Podcasting for Teachers & Students and in it, I focus on free and cross-platform software so that both Windows and Macintosh users feel included. First, learn what a podcast is and then learn to find, subscribe, and listen to them. You probably already know how to do that, so most of the booklet tells about creating a podcast using Audacity, Levelator, and iTunes. Also, three methods of posting the podcast online are included in Podcasting for Teachers & Students. I tried to make the directions clear and simple so teachers and students can focus on communicating their messages.

Listen to all 9 minutes of Episode #12 for an overview of Podcasting for Teachers & Students.

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Wesleyan Podcast

Wesleyan PodcastWesleyan Academy has posted the first two episodes of its podcast! The school is on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. These first episodes were written and spoken by fourth graders. They share segments about several topics they have learned about this school year.

To prepare for their podcast, the students listened to various podcasts from elementary students. They even sent video feedback to some podcasters. I'd love for you or your students to listen and leave a comment on the podcast's blog--it would mean so much to these budding podcasters.

By the way, I used the free Blogger.com service to publish the Wesleyan Podcast. Blogger works in combination with Feedburner.com to create a podcast feed that works really well in iTunes. Unfortunately, these services do not host the audio files themselves. For that, I used my regular web hosting service. Read more about how to Publish with Blogger and Feedburner.

Another item podcasters may be interested in is the Subscribe with iTunes link I placed on the page. I simply replaced the http at the beginning of the feed's address with itpc. When clicked, an itpc link automatically opens iTunes and subscribes to the podcast. Yup, just one click and iTunes starts downloading the latest episode and will download future episodes. The podcast doesn't even have to be submitted to the iTunes Store for this method to work. If a podcast has been submitted to the iTunes Store, you can link to its iTunes details page using these directions.

But, I don't want to stress the techie part of all of this. The important piece is that students knew they were producing something special when they started taking notes and writing scripts. The fourth graders weren't focused on the technology; they were concentrating on their audience and purpose. They made this podcast for other students, so if you get a chance, have a student you know listen and comment on the Wesleyan Podcast blog!

Student Recording with Tony Vincent


iTunes U Expanded

iTunes Store ListingiTunes has expanded its iTunes U section with more free educational content. Previously iTunes U contained only lectures and videos from universities. Now Apple has included content from other sources and it's not just for university-types. They call the new offerings Beyond Campus. Now Macintosh and Windows iTunes users can download specially selected public radio broadcasts, Supreme Court discussions, science videos, and more from institutions like Smithsonian Global Sound, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and KQED public television.

iTunes U's content looks very much like podcasts (and some iTunes U contributions are indeed podcasts) and are offered for free. Apple has hand-picked universities and organizations to participate. Most iTunes U content is very well produced. Unlike with podcasts, listeners and viewers can expect a high level of quality to iTunes U. Besides just audio or video, many iTunes U's productions are often accompanied by transcripts, educator guides, and discussion questions. When you get audio, video, or documents from iTunes U, iTunes might create a playlist in the Source panel where you can find what you downloaded. If the content is a podcast, it will show up in your Podcasts section of iTunes.

While all of this is available through iTunes, an iPod is not necessary to read, listen, or watch. You can do that on your computer. But don't forget you can drag and drop content from iTunes onto a memory card or player that is mounted as a flash drive or hard drive.As long as the player can deal with AAC audio and MPEG-4 video, it should play after copying the files to its memory.

To find iTunes U and the Beyond Campus offerings, launch the iTunes Store. Click iTunes U in the upper-left corner of the screen. The Beyond Campus offerings are limited, but more are on the way.


New Podcast About iPods in Education

Learning in Hand: iPodsWant to learn more about that iPod you carry around? Want to know how iPods can be used for teaching and learning? Then subscribe to my newest podcast, Learning in Hand: iPods. The podcast features short episodes to help teachers use iPods. Topics to be covered include: downloading video, viewing slide shows, iQuiz, voice recorders, podcasting, classroom management, and more. Hard Disk Mode is Episode #1 of the Learning in Hand: iPods podcast.

Full sized iPods have huge hard drives. Current iPods have hard drives that are between 30 and 80 gigabytes in size; that might be more capacity than the hard drive in your laptop! That's enough space to store over 50 days of audio or 100 hours (4 days) of video. Chances are your collection in iTunes that you sync to your iPod is not nearly that large, leaving you with gobs of unused disk space. You can put extra space on any iPod to good use by enabling disk use. Using your iPod for portable data storage is perfect for accessing files between school and home computers. And it's always a good idea to make extra copies of those documents you've spent hours and hours on. Listen to all 5 minutes 45 seconds of Episode #1 to learn more (and you can look forward to many more episodes of Learning in Hand: iPods).

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Free Poetry Resources for You to See

Poetry eBooksK12 Handhelds has made available several poetry curriculum resources for Palm handhelds, Pocket PCs, and desktop/laptop computers.

You can download Types of Poetry and Poetry Anthology eBooks. The eBooks are in Mobipocket format and have lots of examples with linked vocabulary words. Mobipocket is a cross-platform eBook reader and you can download it for free. Windows users can even download the free Mobilpocket Creator for making your own cross-platform eBooks. [There are not versions of Mobipocket for Mac and Linux computers--but you can use a Mac to install Mobipocket to a Palm handheld.]

Also available from K12 Handhelds is a Poetry Scavenger Hunt in Microsoft Word format. You can use Palm's Documents To Go or a Pocket PC's Word Mobile to view and complete the scavenger hunt.

Another freebie is a 10-question Poetry Types Quiz in Quizzler format. Quizzler is available for Palm handhelds, Pocket PCs, Macintosh, and Windows.

K12 Handhelds also points to additional resources teachers might use, including two great poetry podcasts. The podcasts are from Houghton Mifflin and School Library Journal.

Finally, K12 Handhelds offers a one-page PDF called Poetry Classroom Activities that gives simple and advanced ideas for using these resources. Activities include comparing poems, creating a poetry blog, and highlighting metaphors, similes, and other literary devices in Mobilpocket.

Thanks K12 Handhelds for making these resources freely available!

Screenshots of Resources

Note: Recall my tip in Soft Reset #19... If you are trying to download a file and only weird text shows up in your browser's screen, click your browser's Back button. Then right-click (Mac users can Control-click) and choose "Download Linked File" or "Save Link As..." from the context menu. The file is saved to the desktop. If the file is saved with a .txt extension, click the file name and remove the .txt. Then the downloaded file should have the correct icon and function properly.


Our City Podcast: Interactive Map

Our City Podcast has a new feature: an interactive map. I used the new My Maps feature of Google Maps. The map has a marker for each episode of Our City Podcast. Click a marker and information about that podcast episode is displayed. Click the link inside the info bubble and you are taken to the episode's show notes where you can listen. Each time the podcast is updated, I'll also update the map. Recent episodes are indicated by a red marker. Notice you can zoom in and out using the controls on the left. You can also click the drag your mouse to move the map. Pretty cool, huh?

As you can see on the map, there are several episodes from Illinois, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania (probably because of the podcasting workshops and conference sessions I've conducted in those locations). I'd love to receive episodes from more states and more countries! Many resources are provided to help you create the recording. You can subscribe in iTunes by clicking here.

Our City Episode Map

For those interested in making their own maps: You can start your own by clicking Google Map's My Maps tab. A free Google account is required.

Update: Embedding the map into this blog and into the Our City page worked for Firefox and Safari users. However, Internet Explorer users could not access either page. I removed the embedded maps until I can figure out how to get it to work in all browsers. [Embedding the map into a webpage is not the simplest of tasks. I used these instructions to help me embed the Our City Podcast map.]


More and More Podcasts

Podcast Cover ArtI've posted a new special episode of Soft Reset: Pod People #5. Like Pod People #1, #2, #3, and #4, Pod People #5 is filled with segments by educators who participated in one of my podcasting workshops. Because time was short, the segments were hastily recorded but they contain some great information. The first half of Pod People #5 has five segments, each reviewing a different podcast. The second half is filled with tips that participants learned about listening to and creating podcasts.

Looking for new educational podcasts? Scholastic Instructor Magazine listed ten of their favorite podcasts in their March/April 2007 edition. The list includes Wild Animal Chronicles, Children's Fun Storytime, Poem of the Day, and The Science Show for Kids. I'm proud to say that second on the list is Radio WillowWeb, the podcast for kids and by kids that I developed for Willowdale Elementary School.

Another resource for educational podcasts is Karen Fasimpaur's new show, Karen's Educational Mashups. She describes it on her blog:

This podcast is a compilation of excerpts from podcasts and other free audio and video content of interest to educators. Shows will air twice a month, and each show will focus on a different topic. Some will be focused on content for students, while others will feature professional development content for administrators and teachers. Our first show is on history-related content. The second show will be aimed at library media specialists (and everyone who loves books).
With over 1,000 educational podcasts listed in iTunes, Karen's podcast is a great way to learn about podcasts. Another way to learn about more podcasts and podcasting is fellow Nebraskan Dan Schmit's KidCast: Podcasting in the Classroom podcast. Currently Dan's podcast is sponsoring the 2007 KidCast Podcasting Awards. The contest is divided into categories that focus on specific types of educational podcasting. The deadline is April 30th and results will be announced May 15th. To enter, fill out the form on this page.

Remember, you don't need an iPod to listen to podcasts. You can listen right in your browser, iTunes, or other portable player. The video, Uncle Seth - You Don't Need an iPod, (posted on YouTube in September 2006) makes that point very clear with a catchy song.


Say Aloha to Our City Podcast

Our City Cover ArtI've posted the newest episode of Our City Podcast! Sheltered Bay is by third graders at St. Andrew's Priory School in Honolulu, Hawaii. Students from the all-girls school did an outstanding job. I've already listened to the episode twice and I know I will give it a listen again soon. Why? It it one of the best I've heard! It is extremely informative while also entertaining. The girls' voices sound loud and clear. The music and sound effects compliment what's being presented. At 12 minutes, it ends before my attention begins to wander. Bravo, I say!

With 19 Our City Podcast episodes currently online, we're building quite a library of audio by kids from cities all over. I encourage elementary and middle school teachers to use Our City Podcast in their classrooms. I've got ideas for using Our City Podcast in the classroom:

  • Groups of students listen and discuss different episodes. Have the groups report back to the class what they learned.
  • Set up a listening center with a different episode each week. The center could be a computer, iPod, handheld, MP3 player, or a CD player (burn the podcast to CD using iTunes).
  • Play an episode for the class while they work on an art project.
  • Write feedback about the episode and email it (the page for each podcast lists an email address for the teacher).
  • Listen to two episodes and compare and contrast the cities in those episodes.
  • Listen to decide which city you would want to visit. Tell why.
  • Which city would make a good home for you? Tell why.
  • Which podcaster do you think would make a good friend for you. Tell why.
  • Compare the information given in the podcast with the city's Wikipedia entry.
  • Find landmarks mentioned in an episode in Google Maps or Google Earth.
  • What information or segment would you add to one of the episodes?
  • Produce your own Our City Podcast episode. Resources are available.
  • Offer some of above as extra credit opportunities.
If you aren't an Our City Podcast subscriber, click here to subscribe with iTunes. Episodes from cities around the globe will be automatically delivered to your computer as they become available.


Linking to iTunes

There are times when you might want to link to an item in the iTunes Store. Maybe you want to bookmark, email, or post a hyperlink to an item. That item might be a song, podcast, video, or category. Just about everything in the iTunes Store has its own web address. Entering that address into a web browser opens iTunes and automatically navigates to the linked item. For example, clicking this link takes you to the Our City podcast in iTunes:

How do I know the web address for the podcast in the iTunes Store? Simple. Most everything in the iTunes Store (including podcasts) is right-clickable (or control-clickable for Mac users). When right-clicked, a context menu appears. Select Copy iTunes Store URL to copy the web address. Here are some examples:

Right-click the Education category from the Podcasts section to get the link for this page.Right-click the podcast cover art to get the link for the podcast's details page.Right-click the podcast episode title to get a link to the podcast's details page that will have that particular episode selected.
Paste the copied web address into a hyperlink for the item. Users are redirected to the iTunes download page if iTunes is not installed on their computers.

You have probably seen links to podcasts that look like this: Tony Vincent - Our City Podcast - Our City Podcast

An easy way to make this kind of link (with the spiffy iTunes icon) is to use iTunes Link Maker. You are three easy steps away from getting HTML code to include in your blog or podcast web page:

  1. Enter the podcast, song, or album to which you wish to link. Click "Search".
  2. Click the arrow associated with a specific link on the page.
  3. Copy and paste the HTML link into your web page or blog posting.

iTunes Link Maker

When iTunes Link Maker supplies you with the HTML code, it also explains:

The url in the text box on this page points directly to a deep link within the iTunes Store. When a user clicks on it, iTunes will open and navigate to the correct page. The iTunes graphic is included with the code and resides on Apple's servers; all you have to do is copy and paste. If iTunes is not present, the link will automatically take the user to an iTunes download page.
Linking to items in iTunes is very handy. Once your web visitors are directed to a podcast in the iTunes Store, they are just one click away from subscribing!