Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From theories to tools...but not the easy way!

Well, in the last few days I've traveled from the clouds of Eureka to the stony fields of podcasting.

After my great revelation the other day about the evolutionary theory of technology, I was feeling like a real techno-wiz. I moved on with great confidence to the next step - making my first podcast.

All went well at first. I had recorded some video at the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park in Florida while we were on vacation in March, precisely for the purpose of making this podcast, so I was set to go.

Shortly after I first downloaded Audacity some weeks ago, we had a meltdown that put the computer in the shop for a week or so. I'm quite certain it was unrelated, but I went to re-load Audacity with more than just a little trepidation.

Nevertheless, I loaded it and all seemed well. Then I went looking for the camera to download the video. Couldn't find it anywhere. Hmmm, what to do? Not feeling terribly creative about tutorials or interviews, so I decided to try a story. Found a book, one I knew very, very well from days when my boys were young. I read and recorded it, all was going very smoothly. Played it back and it sounded good. Whew!

Went online, found Pod-o-matic (how could I choose any other hosting service when they have such a terrific name? - anyone remember the "Bass-o-matic" from the early days of Saturday Night Live?) Set up an account, tried to upload my recording...roadblock! Went round and round, looking for why. Tried Google, tried YouTube, tried Blogger help. Read about enclosure links and found various other bits of information but nothing seemed to fix it. Figured out I needed to export the file in some converted form. Tried MP3, said it needed lame. Couldn't figure out how to get it so tried WAV instead. That worked but when I uploaded it to Pod-o-matic it said it needed conversion.

Hmmm. Decided to go to bed and sleep on it.

Next evening, conferred with my computer-consultant 16-year-old son. He figured out how to get lame, then we converted the Audacity file to MP3 and I posted it to my blog. Moderate success...the podcast button is there and the podcast plays if you click it, but it seems like I should be able to embed it with the photo as it shows up on the Pod-o-matic page. Tried and tried but never did figure that one out.

Still, there it is on my blog!

1 comment:

Jeff Utecht said...

Here's what I love....about you. You broke the rules! Do you know how many people have taken this course and have never thought to ask the 16/12/10/21 year old living with them for help?

There are no rules when it comes to learning today. You use the resources you have available to you. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up you came to realize that you have resources around you that know more than you and you're willing to use them.

What if teachers were not afraid to ask the 16 year olds they teach for help? What if we could get past the fear of pretending we know it all and become a learner and a teacher with our students?

What if every 16 year old was seen as a consultant? What happens when Google, YouTube, Help and a 16 year old flattens the learning to a point that you no longer are the person with all the knowledge in the room....no, content can be found everywhere with a couple of clicks...but what to do with it, that's knowledge and that is where teachers are still needed.

Thank you for sharing your story....I hope you continue to lean on that 16 year old consultant of yours you have as much to learn from him as he does from you!