It’s all about relationships

“The real power of the Internet is the energy generated by human interaction.”
Margaret Riel


Just One Question

David Eckoff, VP of New Product Development & Innovation at Turner Broadcasting was a memorable speaker at PodcampSoCal.

He shared that there is just one question to ask when evaluating the success of a social media project – Do you know what that is?

The one question to ask your audience is…….

“Would you recommend this to a friend or colleague?” Rate 0 to 10.

Those that rate it 9-10 are Promoters (they create “buzz” and are the most important to build an audience and community)

7-8 are Passive

0-6 are Detractors (which create the opposite of a “buzz” and will keep people away).

This is why getting feedback is key. And to get feedback, you must be connected to your audience.  Check out MyChingo.  It allows people to give you audio feedback very easily from your site. It is quick and easy for them, and perhaps you will want to insert this audio feedback into your podcast.

Start with RSS

If this Web 2.0 stuff is all new to you, understanding RSS feeds is a great place to start.  And it is time to get started, right? Trust me.

RSS feeds allow you to get new information, news,  and blog posts efficiently without searching the web. This is the RSS icon RSS Feed . For this site, find the icon on the bottom of the page. It has the magical power of subscribing you to this blog. You will get my posts automatically without having to check and see if I put something new here. It makes me happy to know that I’m not wasting anyone’s time. : )

Now watch a simple video from Common Craft that makes RSS = a Really Simple Solution.  Then try out Google Reader and you will be hooked.

A Front Seat at Expo 2007

As I mentioned earlier, I attended the Podcast and New Media Expo last month in Ontario, CA.  Some of the presentations were designed specifically for educators.  I soaked up so much valuable information.  I was also a bit overwhelmed with how little I knew, and I see that I could be on the computer 24/7 to keep up.  Baby steps and just having the courage to try new things is most important. Action, not perfection.

I’m happy to offer you for free a front row seat at the panel discussion focusing on podcasting in K-12 education.  Dr. Kathy King and Mark Gura recorded the presentation as a ”Director’s commentary” on their Teacher’s Podcast.  You will also find the slides and resources. Go to the Teacher’s Podcast.  Their podcast covers the expo nicely.

Eventually all of the presentations will be available through the Podcast Academy. Listening to last year’s audio inspired me to attend this year.

Additionally, I found it useful to review the Podcasting Legal Guide, which was recommended for all who podcast.

Below is a podcast I created at the Expo with Mark Gura, Dr. Kathy King and Dan “the Math Man”.  We found a quiet place and chatted.

Getting a Handle on the Blogosphere

From How to Save the World Blog

WHAT THE BLOGOSPHERE WANTS MORE OF…. I will be working on it.

Blog readers want to see more…..

  • original research, surveys etc.
  • original, well-crafted fiction
  • great finds: resources, blogs,essays, artistic works
  • news not found anywhere else
  • category killers: aggregators that capture the best of many blogs/feeds, so they need not be read individually
  • clever, concise political opinion consistent with their own views
  • benchmarks,quantitative analysis
  • personal stories, experiences, lessons learned
  • first-hand accounts
  • live reports from events
  • insight:leading-edge thinking & novel perspectives
  • short educational pieces
  • relevant “aha” graphics
  • great photos
  • useful tools and checklists
  • précis, summaries, reviews and other time-savers
  • fun stuff: quizzes, self-evaluations, other interactive content

Blog writers want to see more…

  • constructive criticism, reaction, feedback
  • ‘thank you’ comments, and why readers liked their post
  • requests for future posts on specific subjects
  • foundation articles: posts that writers can build on, on their own blogs
  • reading lists/aggregations of material on specific, leading-edge subjects that writers can use as resource material
  • wonderful examples of writing of a particular genre, that they can learn from
  • comments that engender lively discussion
  • guidance on how to write in the strange world of weblogs

Lessons from Student Podcasting

I had a great conversation this morning about the value of incorporating Web 2.0 technologies into educational training programs. For many educators, blogs and podcasting are intimidating and misunderstood.

It is valuable for adult educators to understand how adults learn on the web and how technology can improve learning outcomes.  Once fear is overcome and these technology educational tools become familiar, there is a transformation in the way one sees social media and the possibilities are endless!

I read a great article in Educause Review called,  Confessions of a Podcast Junkie.  The author shares her journey of discovering podcasting and then examines student podcast projects and lessons learned.

Most valuable as an educator was her sharing of what students saw valuable with podcasting.

For teaching and learning, the students saw concrete benefits to podcasting projects…

  • They were able to get “intimate” with course material, either by relistening to course lectures and supplements or by teaching the rest of the class.
  • They could showcase their projects to the rest of the community, expanding the reach of the classroom to their friends or members of the community.
  • They had the opportunity to review course material during pertinent moments in the semester, such as before exams or during course projects.
  • They learned new technical skills, whether they were downloading files or creating new ones.

I created the graphic below to show an example of how many learning outcomes can come from creating an audio podcast as an assignment within a course.  Students get engaged and learn by experience. The creative process brings out individual authenticity.

On a personal side note – I always felt that I was challenged articulating my thoughts into words. I review and edit my audio podcasts; practicing, repeating and improving. I gained confidence and progressed.  It is a cycle, because I am always striving to improve and want to get to a point when my audio conversations come naturally with less editing needed.

Citizen Journalism

As I think about ways to expand the Hydroville Curricula to other audiences, such as community colleges, I also think about how to adapt it to give students technology skills that will help them in their careers.  Since Hydroville is about understanding and solving on real-life enviromental health problems in the community, it seems a worthwhile assignment would be to foster students to share real-life environmental health stories to their communities using video, audio, blogs, and even virtual worlds like Second Life.

Educause has a written a worthy article called, 7 Things You Should Know About Citizen Journalism.

What are the implications for teaching and learning? An important corollary to learning how specific applications work, such as video-capture and online publishing tools, is understanding how the products of those tools can be used to present a particular version of a story. Citizen journalism encourages students to think critically about what it means to be unbiased, to present competing viewpoints, and to earn readers’ trust. It also forces students to consider what separates a mere anecdote from a legitimate news story. Participating as citizen journalists can help students hone their media literacy skills, making those students better able to assess online information and use it in appropriate ways. Citizen journalism gives students the opportunity to receive community feedback on their contributions, helping them gauge their comprehension of a subject, and it provides students with authentic learning tasks, engaging with communities of users beyond the walls of the classroom.

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