These are my notes from Dan Schmidt’s keynote at the Beyond4Walls conference on 3 November 2006

Democratiziation of media
– our kids can literally now compete head to head with CNN
– web 2.0 is all about participation in media
– convergences is changing everything

1- iPod / digital music revolution (sound files so small, can be moved around easily)
2- Blogging and RSS: Evan Williams graduated from Dan’s high school and started, now has another company, idea was for everyone to publish online (helped with development of RSS: letting people subscribe to you)
3- Audio and video advances: made editing audio and video something we can teach people in a matter of minutes
4- “No Choice” radio: we are used to having lots of choices with TV, now we have even more choices when it comes to radio

Readers Digiest version of how this works:
1- web server of some flavor (lets people download things, only certain people can put stuff on it)
2- podcaster produces some sort of media
3- RSS feed is like a TV guide for your channel
4- Listener uses some kind of podcatching software (iTunes, Google Reader, something else) – queries the server and checks for new episodes for the channels they have subscribed to

Where are we
– podcasting is just 2 years old as of last month
– conservative numbers from an eMarketing company
– July 2005 Apple intros iTunes with podcasts: Apple had 27,000
– Oct 2006 have 65,000

Some of these are “pod faders” that don’t last
– whenever you have a new technology you have 2 groups that jump in: the pornographers and the evangelists

– stats project by 2010, we’ll have a mindblowing number of downloads

Where can we take podcasting?
– curricular supplement
– professional development
– academic expression (Dan’s personal favorite)

Curricular supplement
– tap into 65K+ shows
– resource material
– new voices
– points of remediation or differentiation (kids can get extra help or get stretched further

process feeds: demonstrating a mathematical process

Professional development
– F2F conferences are great but….
– time
– attention span
– limited amount of time to share


Think of yourself as a media channel
– take your experiences, your talents, your unique point of view
– add to that your teaching mission, and funnel that into media content
– and you have your own podcast channel

Think of your district or organization as a network

We need our schools to look functionally at what we want students and teachers to do, and make decisions about what we buy based on those desired activities and outcomes
– when you are planning as a district, you need to think about scaleability

What does podcasting do for kids?
– gives students voice, instead of just being a robot that remembers answers and fills out a bubble sheet they are invited to share and direct their voice
– they have an audience
– gives students a mission
– gives them an ACTUAL experience, they are doing real-world work, solving real-world problems, builds confidence, takes kids in interesting directions where we want them to go

Communication skills
– research facts
– organize ideas
– articulate points of view
– expressive communication
– analyze feedback

Dan makes his pre-service teachers take their papers and then have a podcasted discussion about the ideas, taking the thinking to higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy

Invitation and possibility for

Friend of Dan: Eric Langhorst in Liberty, Missouri
– his curriculum is being shaped globally: story of person in Spain who was miffed he had minimized

Podcasting Production
– managing issues!
– divide and conquer (start with some specialists)
– cross train
– design for sustainability
– rights and responsibilities

All kids are going to be writers, but some will be sound engineer specialists, some will be uploaders, about promotion, etc. (things that build audience), some in charge of the feedback loop

Think about sustainability and time
– design your podcast or your system of podcasting so you are not a “pod-fader”
– emphasize rights and responsiblities of your students in terms of their copyright, take care of these issues as a district with students and parents
– make sure students understand Internet safety: don’t use last names, don’t give away too much info that would create a “security hole” in their life
– they have a responsibility to tell the truth and not hurt people

We don’t want this to be a technology pursuit, we want the technology to fade into the background
– best way to do that is to use clear curricular objectives
– use low threshold applications (not too technically demanding)
– 80% content, 20% production
– use rubrics that measure what you value (rubrics should not focus too much on technical skills– ability to articulate ideas, arguments, make sense should be primary!)

These slides will be posted on Dan’s website

Strategies and Models
1- Sound Seeing Tours: Aural field trip, describe movement through space, personal reactions and observations, enhanced podcast with pictures, museums, habitats, your school, historical sites, documenting events
2- Daily Reporter: each students takes a turn, unpacking the day, digital photos, write an outline of daily classroom events, highlight curricular work, special events (provides a window into classroom activities)
3- Student almanac: on this day, famous birthdays, historical events, weather and seasonal observations, predictions and polls (listen to Garrison Keeler’s Writer’s Almanac) – can do these in advance
4- Process streams: whiteboards can record movies as you explain a process with a diagram, math steps, science labs, classroom procedures
5- Study guides: unit reviews, reflective questions, sample quizzes
6- Sound stories: language arts, write a story, use descriptive text that inspires music, sound effects and imaginative voices, produce a serial podcast to share your story in parts (like “Fan Fiction” stories about Harry Potter, there are like 23,000 extra chapters about Harry Potter)
7- Podcast dramas: create old time radio dramas, tie them to concepts you are studying, “The Adventures of Dr. Negative and Mrs. Positive” to teach scientific notation and positive/negative integers (kids teaching complicated things through a story)
8- Poetry Slam: create original poems, record expressively
9- Our View: like “the view” but more relevant, kids around the table brings a current event idea, roundtable discussion, kids need to be familar enough with the current event to discuss it, kids learn to defend a point of view and be CONSTRUCTIVE about it, explain facts thoroughly
10- Today in history: assign students a day each month (like
11- Lost in Time: an online distributed quiz show, one central RSS managed by my friend Randy in Georgia (, 2-5 minute descriptions of an event in history, provide a class email
12- Add it up! – math puzzles, student created, give process hints, a generic email to send responses
13- Where in the World? A global podcasting geography quiz show, distributed posting, central RSS managed by my friend Anna Adam in Texas (, describe your location, give an meail, take 2-5 minutes, post on school’s webserver, then email Anna
14- Word of the Day: do it together, release one a day, have students select a word and do man on the street interviews, expose on literacy/illiteracy in your district
15- Book Talk: the 21st century book report, review using a class generated discussion
16- Spelling Bee: publish weekly spelling lists as a podcast (spoken, spelled, used in a sentence), great for practice, pause, rewind, repeat
17- PodPals; setup exchange with students in another school, record sound-seeing tours of your school, community, area sites, they subscribe to your feed and you to theirs
18- Pet Talk: pet selection, habitats, pet care, training, competitions, team up with local organizations (
18 (again(- Career Talk) – audio job shadowing, gives students lots of options, personal perspectives
19 Liars Club: another distributed quiz show, everyone loves this game, student listeners are fact checkers
20- Sports Stats: tap into student interest in athletics, ask kids to connect statistics to mathematics, what do these stats mean to athletes, coaches, fans?
21- Sign Casting: explore podcasting as an expressive medium for the deaf and hearing impaired students, unique expressive quality

Application Based Recording
– Odeo: started by buy that started blogger (like Springdoo for email, but this is for podcasting) – everything is browser-based, can do unedited recording right online (

Example: students responded with cell phone calls
– we banned ballpoint pens, calculators, now we are banning cell phones

Microsoft Word-casting
– notebook view of MS Word allows audio notations
– by recording audio notes in your document, can take notes and record ideas one at a time
– go to Tools – Audio Notes – Export Audio and it exports as AIFF files

Phone casting: (“podcasting is so easy, your grandma could do it”)

Chat casting
– record conversations using skype and iChat
– friends that live in 3 cities and have conversations

Video Bloggin
– using moviemaker or iMovie
– favorite: Vlog It! for windows and Video Cue Pro for Macintosh (teleprompter
– like doing a newscast
– can even insert images that overlay on top

Your mission: now find your voice professionally, and invite your students find their voice, and let the world have it!

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