366-366 posted. All has been said and done. January 1, 2013Posted by ianinsheffield in Tools, Web 2.0.
Tags: #366Web2, reflections, Web2.0
In total, 366 AudioBoo podcasts (actually 368 because two applications merited extending to two podcasts) were recorded, representing almost 16 hours of audio. The reality was a little more demanding however since many applications were new to me and needed a degree of exploration prior to producing the podcast. Each podcast also required assembly of a blog post through which to deliver it and though brief, wherever possible a supplementary resource was sourced and added; sometimes a video, sometimes an artefact from the tool. All told then, preparation, recording and writing the blog for each post took between 15 and 30 minutes, sometimes longer. In other words, producing 366 occupied over 120 hours i.e. three work weeks.
Bang for buck?
Was it all worth it? Did the benefits outweigh the costs? I guess there were two beneficiaries: anyone who might have chanced on a post, found something of use, then took that away to develop further. Unfortunately I’ve no way of knowing the extent to which that happened since the viewing figures data from Posterous are notoriously unreliable and I find it hard to believe that any of the Boos I made attracted over 100 listens (The top Boo apparently got 832 listens!). Even then, with few comments posted, and there were few, it’s difficult to know if anyone found anything of value in the podcasts or blog posts. I must say here though I’m grateful to John Johnston & David Noble on Edutalk for their continued support and encouragement … and am honored to be included as a member of the Edutalk community.
I can write with a little more confidence about the second beneficiary – me. Right from the start I wanted to learn a little more about podcasting and whether I had the ‘right stuff’ to produce them. Well there’s no question that I learned something! I certainly find it difficult to speak with the ease and fluency that most of the other podcasters I listen to on Edutalk, EdtechCrew, Tightwad Tech, EdTech Talk and elsewhere seem to do. But part of that’s the format I guess; I’m not loquacious enough to talk into a mic. on my own for long (Couldn’t help but marvel at a recent podcast (Episode 397) from Wes Fryer where he spoke with clarity and focus for almost an hour solid … whilst driving home from a conference!). I guess I’m more of a listener and responder, perhaps better suited to dialogue rather than monologue.
I also learned a little more than I normally would about the new tools I came across. Usually I’d simply bookmark and tag them for future use, but if I was going to be talking about them in 366, I needed to explore them a little more fully. As a result I found several that have now become part of my ‘go to’ toolset that I return to and refer others to regularly; that rarely happens with tools I don’t take the time to explore more fully.
What might I have done differently?
Although I decided at the project outset what I ought to include in each podcast, I soon departed from that and tended to ‘wing it,’ often perhaps being more descriptive rather than as analytical or critical as I might have liked. I sometimes wondered whether the supporting blog post was really necessary; could I have done the majority of it through AudioBoo by making greater use of the description and tag fields? AudioBoo have also recently introduced ‘Boards’ which can hold Boos having a common theme, a potentially useful addition for grouping my Boos, by tool-type perhaps. I did feel however that including a video with each podcast (where possible) perhaps provided a different perspective and also might have been more appropriate for those who prefer visual explanations rather than just audio.
Another area which gave me pause for thought was the attempt to try to categorise each tools using the SAMR model. Trying to pigeonhole a tool in this way is not without problems as the blog posts in the ‘About’ page explain. My hope was that offering a tentative level might spur debate about the ways in which the tool might be used, how that could be interpreted and challenge us to think beyond a surface level of simple usage to a deeper appreciation and understanding of how we might use it. Why am I using this tool and am I (and my students) getting the most from it?
End of the line?
The year is done and the project over. Or maybe not. Given the degree of commitment required to produce a podcast/post per day, I’m not sure I could sustain that into 2013; I also have other avenues I want to explore. However new tools continue to emerge and in order to better understand their potential, I do need to give them more than a cursory glance. Perhaps then this offers a way to extend 366 and use it to review and record Web2.0 tools on a continuing basis, albeit with a less demanding schedule.
Maybe there is life in the old dog yet?
Looks like I picked the wrong year to … start a 365 project! December 20, 2011Posted by ianinsheffield in Inspiration, Tools, Web 2.0.
Tags: 365, project, SAMR, tools, Web2.0
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As the New Year appears on the horizon, I watch people planning their 365 projects with a degree of envy, but a recognition that I’d be unlikely to sustain a photo a day for a whole year. I’d probably run out of steam or inspiration long before even January drew to a close.
And yet I still have a hankering to undertake a serious year-long project. But who says 365 projects have to be about photography? Might it be possible to have a crack at a 365 project with a completely different theme? Well for my 365 project, I make the rules and I decided the answer would be ‘Yes’ … and the theme would be Web 2.0 tools. Given the thousands that are out there, how hard can it possibly be to find just 365? Well OK, it is a leap year, so that’s just made it a little bit harder, but I’ll live with that.
Rather than just picking tools at random, I’ve already done the hard work of searching out the ones I thought might best suit our learning/school-based needs. You might like to speculate which ones made the cut. I first thought I might present them thematically; a week of presentation tools, then a week of something else. But in the end decided to add a little frisson of anticipation by simply launching them alphabetically! I’ll still be tagging them thematically however, so as the year progresses (assuming and hoping I have the stamina!), viewers will be able to filter those of particular interest.
Adding a few lines of descriptive or explanatory text would have been a little too easy, so since I’m less at ease in the oral medium, I’ve opted to push myself a little harder by producing a mini-podcast outlining what each tool offers. With that in mind, I also wanted to add one more layer to each post, in which I would offer a notional idea of the level of demand or learning complexity of each tool. At first I considered trying to assign each tool to a particular level on Bloom’s taxonomy, but that just didn’t seem right; I felt the level on Bloom’s is more related to the task being undertaken than the tool being used. As Silvia Tolisano observed with iPad apps, tools can be used in different ways at different times, so a tool’s position is likely to be somewhat fluid. In the end, having recently begun to read more about Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model, it seemed to lend itself more closely to how I wanted to classify the different tools. Moreover, regular inspection and application of a framework is surely more likely to lead to greater understanding?
Assuming that each tool could work at least the ‘Substitution’ level, my task then would be to establish what further affordances might enable it to work at higher levels. So for each tool, I’ll offer a tentative level, but hope that folks might challenge my thinking, suggesting how they think a particular tool works at a different level.
Given that each daily post will mash together different resources, Posterous seemed the easiest tool to facilitate that, so you’ll find it’s all happening at 366 Web 2.0 Tools … well, OK not quite yet, but at least there’s a page of introduction and links to some of the sources I drew on. Roll on January 1st!