I had the pleasure today of driving from my childhood hometown of Manhattan, Kansas, across the great Sunflower State to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Normally I enjoy a solo drive like this by listening to music on my iPod– today, however, I spent the majority of time alternating between listening to “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman on my iPod, and an ecclectic mix of podcasts on my iPod shuffle. These podcast sources included:

This proved to be quite an enlightening and thought provoking combination. I feel like I attended a day long workshop of educational technology staff development! I wonder if anyone would grant CPE credit for this?! Probably not. But the value of the learning probably speaks for itself. The info below is more for myself than for anyone else, as I find that when I blog about new ideas, the very process of writing about them allows me to remember them much better. I think I also mentally process both consciously and unconsciously at a greater depth after blogging on a topic. So here are some of the ideas I heard about today that I found notable and worth remembering.

S5 is an amazing, free, standards-based slide show system that is web-based. This makes posting a PDF or HTML-version PowerPoint seem so blasé. I am definitely going to be checking this out and likely using it to web-post future presentations I make at conferences and in workshops.

Python is a free, object-oriented programming language similar to Perl or Java. Some schools are using Python as a programming environment for students with great success. For more on Python and a few comments on S5, listen to Tim Wilson’s podcast from 29 Jun 05.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a great fictional work from 1994 that I have missed somehow. I plan to check it out! (Thanks David Warlick for the recc.)

Also from podcasts David made, iBiblio is a great website supporting “the open sharing of music and video.” Amazing content here, and the quantity! Best example of legit/legal use of Bittorrent file sharing software I have seen to date. bt.etree.org is a related site worth checking out, they are a “community for sharing the live concert recordings of trade friendly artists.”

From Bob Sprankle, Bobby Bucket Podcasts are “for kids, Parents, and Readers of All ages! Celebrating READING with Books, Music, Author Interviews, and more!” If Bob Sprankle is doing this (and he is) you can bet the content is worthwhile. Check it out!

David Warlick remarked that we “should treat language arts as ART not science.” I agree. His blog posting “The problem of Integrating Technology” is a very thoughtful piece that is worth mulling over and discussing over a cup of tea. Or several!

e107 is a content management system written in php and using the popular open source mySQL database system for content storage. It’s completely free and totally customisable, and in constant development.” I have a few more CMS resources linked on my social bookmarks.

I have heard about Moodle, but after hearing Tim Wilson discuss the dynamic success his Minnesota school district has had using it, I may have to give it a try this fall with my college students. Sounds much easier, more flexible, and collaborative than WebCT or Blackboard. And free! Amazing. Tim’s observation that Moodle is “rooted in social constructivist pedagogy” sounds particularly appealing.

I have a bunch of other scrawled notes on “The World is Flat,” but I will post those later. Great food for thought here in the podcastsphere! 🙂

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