Thursday, May 24, 2007

Podcast #85 - Interview With Scott Peterson on the C-Span 2008 Campaign Bus

Hello. Today the podcast is an interview with Scott Peterson on board the C-Span 2008 Campaign Bus. Earlier this week I was in Lincoln, Nebraska where I gave the keynote address at the Time Warner Spotlight on Education Award Banquet and before the evening's activities started people were able to check out the C-Span bus. This is the same C-Span bus that used to be bright yellow. Now it has a cool looking wrap that looks like a huge American flag. I interviewed C-Span marketing representative Scott Peterson inside the bus about it's purpose and the upcoming 2008 presidential election. Be sure to check out the show notes below for some additional information about C-Span and the Campaign 2008 bus. If they roll through your town it is worth your while to come out and see the bus.

Show Notes for Podcast #85:

Podcast #84 - Living History Presentation with Zelarda James, Mother of Jesse James

Hello. Each spring the city of Liberty has a festival. This spring it was renamed the "Liberty Heritage Festival" to help celebrate our local history. There are historical presentations, funnel cakes, crafts, etc. One of the presentations was by Dianne Moran who gave living history presentations as Zerelda James Samuels, the mother of Jesse James. The James family lived near Liberty and is part of our local history. She did an excellent job of bringing Zerelda to life. The podcast is her presentation as Zerelda James Samuels and a short interview. Special thanks to Dianne for an excellent presentation and allowing me to share it with the Speaking of History audience.

Show Notes for Podcast #84:

Podcast #83 - Alexander Doniphan Presentation at The Truman Presidential Library

Hello. Last week the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri hosted a meeting of the Western Missouri Civil War Round Table. Local historian John Dillingham gave a presentation on local historical figure Alexander Doniphan. Doniphan was a national hero in the mid 1800's and lived in Liberty, Missouri. He is most noted for saving the life of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith and leading the longest march in United States military history in the Mexican War. He was also an advocate for education and one of Missouri's most respected government officials. He once met Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln is reported to have said: "Alexander Doniphan is the only man I have ever met who lived up to my previous expectations." Today there many items which bear his name including several towns, a school, a battleship, a county, a highway and numerous local awards. I hope you enjoy this presentation on a true historical hero from Liberty and check out the links below for additional information.

Podcast #83 Show Notes:

Podcast #82 - Round Table Discussion with Park University Students on Using Technology in the Classroom

Hello. Today's podcast is a round table discussion I had a couple of weeks ago with my graduate students at Park University in Parkville, Missouri. I teach a graduate education course named "Technology for the Classroom". This spring I had 6 amazing students who did an awesome job of absorbing and incorporating the educational technology we discussed. None of them had created a blog or podcast before starting class and at the end of the 8 week class they had created blogs, wikis, podcasts, set up a Bloglines account and digital video projects. We celebrated on the final night by having a movie premiere night and showcasing their work. We finished the class with a round table discussion about using technology in the classroom and that is the basis of today's podcast.

I would like to the thank all the students in this year's class. We met each Thursday from 5:00 to 9:30 PM and I enjoyed each class - included the night we had to leave the building because of a bomb threat and had to teach the class in the underground - literally. I wish them all luck in the future and have confidence that they be courageous in implementing this new web 2.0 technology. I wanted to take a picture at our last class and then forgot about it until everyone was gone. They were a great group of students.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Podcast #81 - Second Life Skeptic - Am I Just Not Seeing the Potential?

UPDATE: A fellow educational podcaster from Singapore has added his take on the use of Second Life in education. Check out the Voyeurism blog and podcast epiosde #105.

Hello. I hope I don't stir up any trouble with my fellow edtech bloggers and podcasters but I'm a skeptic of Second Life and how I can use it as an 8th grade American History teacher. I have been reading about fellow edubloggers adventures in Second Life and I don't doubt the potential of specific uses of Second Life but I am struggling with how it can be incorporated with my current curriculum. I also state early in this post that I have not ventured into Second Life myself, just followed the experiences of other bloggers. Now, before I get a ton of e-mails with lesson plans for American History suggestions in Second Life let me explain my issue. I think it will be very difficult to sell this application to administrators and parents of junior high students. Many schools are still blocking blogs and banning cell phones and this seems like a light year away from their fears with those technologies.

A bigger issue for me is also at what point do we try to use the current applications we have to their fullest potential in class before we move to the next new thing? I don't teach a technology course and although I enjoy learning about new technology I also must reach some sort of balance in learning to use some tools - in my case currently blogs, podcasts and wikis for example - and continuing to teach the content I am responsible for teaching my students. Where does it end and will it continue to change every 6 months or so?

Please listen to the podcast and let me know what you think. Are you a junior high teacher currently using Second Life with your students? Have you experienced any backlash from administration or parents? Please leave a comment to this post or e-mail me at

Direct link to Podcast #81 - Skeptical of Second Life - MP3 Format - 9:11 minutes

Podcast #81 Show Notes: