Double Time

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Creative Commons License photo credit: pineapple9995

I read an inordinate amount of material online in my field, primarily because it’s the only way to stay current ((by the time most books are published, ed tech is off and running in another direction)), but also because I enjoy it.  I manage that through my Google Reader feed.  I also listen to a lot of podcasts about education, teaching, and technology.  Although I can keep up pretty well with the feed reader, I have a more difficult time with the podcasts.  My favorite-don’t-miss-podcast is Steve Hargadon‘s (@stevehargadon) “The Future of Education” interview series.  I learn so much from every session.  However, each session is roughly 60 minutes long…. and my drive to/from work is about 20 minutes.  A few weeks ago, I learned a pretty neat trick from a parent.  Double time.

Did you know you can play your podcasts and audiobooks at different speeds on your iPhone/iPod?  You can. That was news to me! It’s doubled the amount of listening I am able to do, and I’m starting to catch up with my podcast backlog.  Here’s how:

  1. Open your podcast or audiobook.
  2. Locate the small box on the right under the play time bar that says “1x”.
  3. Press it to toggle between “1/2x” “1x” and “2x”.
  4. Play the podcast.
  5. Adjust the speed as necessary.

As an aside, this interview with Gary Stager@garystager was particularly interesting. Also, I quickly found that Gary speaks fast enough that I needed to take him off the “2x” mode, or else I missed things. You’ll notice that I started with teh 2x, and switched back to the 1x. It works most of the time.;)

“From Fear to Facebook” with Matt Levinson (FoE)

One of the podcasts I listen to each week, without fail, is The Future of Education with Steve Hargadon (@stevehargadon).  At the moment, I’m behind and therefore listening to interviews that aired weeks ago.  I just finished listening to Matt Levinson speak about his book “From Fear to Facebook”.  You can listen in iTunes, or by clicking on this link. [openbook booknumber=”ISBN:1564842703″ templatenumber=”1″]

I enjoyed hearing what Matt and his school learned in piloting a 1-to-1 laptop program with students.  His commentary really drove home to me how wide the chasm is between how students view technology and how teachers often view it.  Even in a school that evidently believes in the power of technology to drive education, there were some divergent views on privacy and including students in the decision making process.  One thing I really applaud is the way they chose to take a behavior problem (hacking into the administrative areas) and turned that into an opportunity to provide programming classes for students who want to learn more.

My take-away?  As a teacher, I need to work to bridge the gap in how I view and approach technology, and how students do so.  I am preparing them for their future, and that involves staying current and thinking ahead.

Podcast Reflections

[media-credit name=”stock.xchng” align=”alignleft” width=”300″]I regularly listen to podcasts in the car, yet I never take the time to reflect on them in writing.  Sure, I think about the concepts and ideas discussed.  Those morning bits percolate through my day, and I imagine myself trying something new I learned or make a great connection with a classroom issue because that aroma of learning is fresh.  There is something about committing those thoughts and ideas to paper that gives me pause.  Part of the problem stems from being conditioned to believe that everything you write must be a well-thought out, 5-paragraph essay.  What a disservice we do to ourselves, and others, by bowing to this internal pressure and foregoing the experience of journalling our processing.  From here on, expect to see musings from these podcasts here. I can guarantee there will be grammatical errors, poorly developed thoughts, and random commentary.  However, I can also guarantee that in the process, I am learning, growing, and maturing as a thinker and educator.