encounter along the way. With any luck, those listening to the show will learn from my experiences and embark on their own adventure while implementing a positive change in the education of our children.
Recently, I came across my first non-believer. I am not sure if this person truly did not believe in the concept of podcasting or simply was not interested in trying something new. Either way, it left a horrible taste in my mouth and one I needed to cleanse. Once again, I found myself in front of my computer looking for validation of my belief in podcasting. I hit the motherlode! Bearing in mind that podcasting is still in it infancy and education embraces change at glacier speed. The Education Podcast Network, (http://www.epnweb.org), is loaded with content from other educators just as passionate about podcasting. EPN is provided by David Warlick and The Landmark Project with a focus of bringing teachers together to share podcast content. Looking through the podcast subjects, I was not only vindicated but surprised. Topics such as History, Science and Language Arts, (in American Basketball terms), are a “Slam Dunk16”. I would have assumed the subjects Mathematics, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts and certainly Dance would not lend themselves to podcasting. Fortunately, there are educators who think “outside the box”.
I began reading the descriptions and listening to various podcasts beginning with Dan’s Math Cast… Mathematics for the Masses. Even with my Math skills, I was able to close my eyes and visualize the example questions being solved as he described the process in his podcast. His show also included a Math Problem of the Week as well as a Math Joke or Riddle. I tip my hat to Dan’s Mathcast.
Being a teacher of Technology, I felt compelled to visit Computer/Tech Skills topics on EPN. I was not surprised to see 23 podcasts listed in this subject area. However, I did have a sense of unity with fellow podcaster Brian Ferguson who hosts Brainwave. Listening to Brian’s podcast, I learned that I was not the only person who wanted to be a part of this new subculture and felt remorse for missing its birth.
My next podcast took me to Mabry Middle School and home of Podcast Central. This podcast, sponsored by Dr. Tim Tyson, features podcasts not only that he created, but ones created by his students as well. Additionally, this was the first example I had found of a student-created podcast. As if Dr. Tyson was not out far enough on the edge, Podcast Central had also published eight video podcasts or vodcasts, including one high-energy advertisement for the Physical Education department on the Frisbee. Well done Mabry Middle School.
I rounded out my visit that evening with Art Film Design hosted by David Tames. David took me on an audio tour and interview with Camila Chaves Cortes about her exhibit titled Postcards from the Big Dig on display at the Paul Dietrich Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Anyone can walk through a gallery and enjoy works of art; however, few of us ever have an opportunity to hear about the artist’s inspiration for a particular piece. With a little imagination, I could see the images as they were discussed. I wonder what his show would sound like in the Pompidou.
16 I am assured by my American colleagues that this means that the topics cited are obvious candidates for podcasting. Thanks to Peggy George and Shawn Wheeler for explaining it!