Friday, September 25, 2009

tt4t_099 The journey to episode 100, one more to go

Right Click Here to Download MP3

It’s Friday, September 25th, 2009 and welcome to episode 99 of TechTalk4Teachers, I’m Tom Grissom. We have finally made it to 99 episodes and with only one more show go to reach triple digits. Reaching 100 shows was one my goals when I first started this podcast and if feels good to be so close. Back in the day when podcasting was THE “hot topic” for educators it was rare for a podcast series to last 20 episodes, many shows started and then quickly “podfaded” as time went on.

Podcasting has succumbed to the cycle of technological innovation from being the next big thing to just another tool in the quiver of learning technologies available for teachers and students. It remains however an important tool that has much potential for teachers and students as an instructional tool and to also share their stories with the world.

Reaching 99 episodes of course could not have happened without your support and I would like to thank each and everyone of you who has tuned in over the past two plus years to listen to TechTalk4Teachers . We have had listeners from 98 different countries from around the world and I am still amazed at the geographic diversity this podcast has had. As we enter our third year it is time to re-evaluate where this podcast has been as well determine what direction to head into the future.

Recently I have been thinking about changing the format from a once a week show to an every other week show. One thing we teachers know is that there is not just one learning strategy that works all the time, we need to mix it up. I also do not want to get stuck in a rut as this show is produced from a labor of love. It can be a challenge to produce a show every week while working a regular day job with many duties and responsibilities. Those of you that have produced your own podcasts know what I mean. Episodes just do not magically appear. I want to keep things fresh and useful. The plus side of a weekly show is that we now have 99 Technology Picks of the Week and this has been an excellent way to share tech tools that can be used with an educational purpose in the classroom.

What do you think? Please drop me an email or leave a comment on the TechTalk4Teachers blog. This show is for all of us and your input is greatly valued. Let me know what you like, what you might change, and if you have time let me know what was your favorite episode of TechTalk4Teachers or what is your favorite Tech Pick of the Week. I look forward to hearing from you so please take that extra effort and drop me a short note, it will just take a minute and it means so much to podcasters like myself to hear from you.

Part of the purpose of TechTalk4Teachers is to discuss the issues and trends that are occurring in the world of teaching and learning with technology. We are living in tumultuous times and there are many issues on the table that will directly impact the education of our students for years to come.

K-12 schools are working through filtering issues and finding working methods of accessing Web 2.0 resources while at the same time maintaining a safe learning environment for our children.

Technology is expensive and many schools and universities struggle with finding a balance between accessing modern technologies while at the same time managing the budgets required for sustained technological integration which can be costly and recurring as old equipment is replaced with new.

Unfortunately the digital divide is still alive and well in America and the US government is currently working on a national technology plan, the FCC is studying ways to increase affordable broadband access for ALL Americans. Living in rural Illinois the digital divide issue is one that I have been personally affected by. Broadband access is increasingly becoming the currency for learning and those without high-speed Internet access will be left behind. Schools that do not have ubiquitous Internet access are also being left behind. We are living in a world of global competition and other countries in the world often have better Internet access than is available in many parts of the USA. We must be an advocate for affordable broadband access for our students.

There is also a big movement to e-books that is challenging the traditional dead-tree model of textbooks. We are at the beginning of this adoption curve and as standards evolve e-books will increasingly become an attractive option to traditional textbooks.

One-to-one laptop programs are becoming more common as laptops become more affordable and I believe the new low-cost netbooks will accelerate this trend.

These are just a few of the topics that have been discussed over the past 99 episodes of TechTalk4Teachers and as you can see there is plenty of material to cover for the future.

Technology Pick of the Week

My Technology Pick of the Week this week is a Web 2.0 service called Live Binder that allows you to build your own online 3-Ring Binder, a link is available in the show notes.

Live Binder : Online 3–Ring Binder

Getting started was easy and free and after signing up for an account you add a button called Live Binder It to your favorites in the toolbar of your browser. After signing in to your account any time you find something you would like to add to your binder you just click the Live Binder It link in your browsers toolbar.

You do have an option to make the binder public or private however the real power of this service is the ability to share your binders with others. If you decide to share your binder you are given options to email a link to others, share a web address with others or copy an embed code to place it into a webpage or blog. If you go to the livebinder webpage you will see a link to watch a video about some of the many features live binder has to offer, best of all its free.

That wraps it up for episode 99 of TechTalk4Teachers. Transcripts and show notes for this episode and archived episodes are available on the web at the Eastern Illinois University Instructional Technology Center website at just click on the Techtalk4Teachers Podcast link. If you have questions, comments or suggestions please send an email to or leave a comment on the TechTalk4Teachers blog. Until next time, and the 100th episode, this is Tom Grissom, keep on learning.

No comments: