How NPR Is Preparing for “The Year of the Podcast”

So 2015 will be the year of the podcast? Ok by me.

“I will say we’re working on a number of different ideas,” he says. “Our hope is to really embrace the opportunity we see in front of us in podcasting. This is a great, golden moment. The popularity of Serial has shown this is not just a niche platform: This is a mainstream platform, and we should be treating it like that.”

via How NPR Is Preparing for “The Year of the Podcast” | Media | Washingtonian.

#SBUDoIT CIO Briefing 2: Did You Know

It is a little later than I had hoped to get it out, but here it is … the second CIO Briefing podcast. This five minute podcast will share some behind the scenes commentary on the production of the 2014 holiday greeting video as well as short updates on governance, SUNY 2020, a presentation I did for SteerCo called, “Beyond Gmail,” and a shout out for some great work being done at the new Stony Brook Arena. Enjoy and please leave comments, questions, and feedback — it is all very much appreciated!

Subscribing to my Podcasts

So while I didn’t post a new CIO Briefing last week like I wanted — the Thanksgiving holiday shortened week got in the way — I did want to point out that you can easily subscribe to the podcasts and have them delivered directly to iTunes. I assume this works with any podcast catching application … I will have to test it on my Android tablet when I get to it this week. All you have to do is copy the RSS feed, available from the “Meta” sidebar area on the right, jump over to iTunes and from the file menu, select “Subscribe to podcast,” and paste in the feed URL. It will then download the most recent episode and it should be set up to automatically receive new episodes as I release them.

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A hat tip to Mark Lang for asking the question.

#SBUDoIT CIO Briefing Podcasts

Last week while hosting one of my Coffee with Cole sessions I shared a few items that I am working on and I got a somewhat surprising reaction. One of the people there said something to the effective of, “wow, I had no idea we were doing all of that!” I know I shouldn’t be surprised by that because I have so little time or opportunity to share all of what we are working on … it did, however, strike me as an opportunity to go back to doing something I really love doing — making podcasts to share with my team.

I remember back in 2005 when I became the director of Education Technology Services at Penn State I was using podcasts internally to help share the work of our team with both the outside world and internally. There was a method to the madness — we were launching our institutional podcasting service so I was also trying to promote the use of the technology in an interesting way. I remember getting good feedback from members of my team — they said things like, “wow, I had no idea we were doing all of that!” Sounds pretty familiar. Podcasting some thoughts and updates served to bring my team into a larger conversation at the organizational level, while still letting them focus on their specific work. That was a good idea then and I hope it is a good idea now.

The notion of sharing information is a tricky one. Quite a bit of what I am doing isn’t really all that shareable … a lot of it is either in-process thinking or stuff still in the negotiation process. That shouldn’t stop me from trying to connect some dots across DoIT though and so with that in mind, I am going to work to release a short audio update on a regular basis. This past week I released the first one using our private Yammer space and got a decent reaction from members of the DoIT team. I did have a couple people say that there are folks outside DoIT who might be interested in listening and since this first one doesn’t have an super secret stuff in it, I am including it below.

If you listen and have any thoughts about this notion, please share them in the comments.

Assessment to a Seven Year Old

I thought since it was Friday I’d share something a little lighter than yesterday’s post. Not that the notion of assessment is a topic to be taken lightly … it is critical to everything we do in education — at every phase of the game. One thing I’ve noticed is that people all have notions about assessment that they are usually willing to share. Questions like, do you believe in grades? Mastery learning? Tests? Authentic assessment? Almost always get people talking. Wherever you are you can get a discussion going with people about assessment. I think it is because it is so personal and is tied to our lasting memories of school at various levels. With that in mind I thought I’d talk to someone who is relatively new to the assessment world. My seven year old daughter.

My daughter and I have done several podcasts in the past — we call them MaddieCasts. I guess they aren’t really podcasts as I’ve never posted any, but regardless of semantics we’ve taken the time to sit down and capture some thoughts over the last few years in digital format. I always enjoy what we come up with and the other night was no different. I decided to go ahead and post this episode because it is right in the middle of lots of stuff I am thinking about.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I am taking a course on assessment (INSYS 522) … in this course we are exploring lots of things, but we spent time in the first week focusing on the ideas of grades and testing. We’ve moved beyond these concepts, but I have to say that these first conversations made me wonder what it all means to a first grader. Talking about these things brought back lots of my own memories of early school experiences, so I decided I’d engage my little girl in a discussion about these topics. With that in mind I sat down with my seven year old first grade daughter last night to explore these notions. I was interested to hear from someone who is yet to be totally jaded by the educational environment about her view of tests, grades, and school in general. Hearing it from her mouth is a wonderful way of staying connected to the realities of teaching and learning — and what she had to say was a little surprising.

I have to wonder what are your reactions to concepts like grades, tests, and mastery? What are the two things you like and dislike about school? Funny how much assessment plays into even a seven year old mind.

MaddieCast for February 2009.

iPhone and My Mobile Voice

Last week I read a post by CogDog where he talked about a voice recorder app for the iPhone that looked really promising called, Recorder. It reminded me of how much podcasting I used to do and how much I would like to be able to do it on the fly with my iPhone and the nifty little headset/microphone combo. I didn’t end up trying Recorder, but this morning I downloaded an application that does recording and syncing back to the Mac. It is iTalk by Griffin.

Here’s what is so cool about it (other than the free price) — it has a separate client that runs on the Mac that syncs your file back to your Mac via WIFI. For me that is killer as I don’t sync my iPhone with my work laptop … but in this case I simply make my recording (using the headset), launch the iTalk Sync client on my MacBook, connect to the iPhone with two taps, and drag the file to the desktop. For the sample below I then took it into GarageBand to put the cheesy music under the voice. All in all it took no time at all.

Listen to my Mobile Audio

Now, if the application would allow me to do some simple editing … say place a bumper at the front, perhaps a little music under the voice, and mix it all down before I move it to my Mac we’d have the perfect mobile podcasting kit. Even without those features this thing is a winner and the quality is actually quite good!

First Class Podcast

Scott McDonald and I are co-teaching a course in Penn State’s College of Education this Spring. We’re teaching Curriculum & Instruction 597, Disruptive Technologies for Teaching and Learning. One of the things we’ve decided to do is produce a course podcast as much as possible. Today we sat down and recorded the first podcast of the semester — well before the semester begins. This is really just a course introduction and a little view into what is going to go on. The included podcast is the first cut — complete with strange music breaks. I hope this version makes the cut … feedback is welcome.

Download the Podcast

ETS Talk 35

This afternoon the ETS Talk Crew sat down and produced ETS Talk 35. Sort of a milestone … we spend the better part of 45 minutes talking about Digital Commons and the examples cming out of the project, some RSS thinking that has been going on around the office, and think out loud a bit about FaceBook and some of the growing angst related to it. Always fun to get a new episode out the door. Jump over to Podcasts at Penn State to grab this week’s ETS Talk.