How to podcast - a practical introduction in 2 steps

Step 1. Record your audio or video. There are many ways to do this. Most windows machines come with an audio recorder that saves files in .wav format. I recommend downloading Audacity plus the Lame MP3 encoder to record audio. There also many ways to record video. Most formats can be uploaded to Youtube and accessed that way.

Step 2 - Find a way to broadcast your audio or video. You can use Moodle or Elgg to post videos as well as your own website. Basically all you must do is put your recorded files somewhere people can see it and there you go. You have a podcast. Fancy word, simple concept.


How to display random members and recent blog posts in Elgg

Hey all of you new to Elgg-this is an awesome tool and the ultimate e-portfolio solution for schools. Follow this link for documentation on how to spice up the front page.


You can add random user's icons and most recent blog posts, and much much more. If you want any of these options you can do the editing or just ask your system admin.


How to post a Youtube video on Elgg

Posting a YouTube or Google Video is a snap on Elgg.

1. Go to your personal blog and add a new post.

2. Click on external video and paste the embed html form YouTube. Save.

That's it. Elgg is awesome.


How to podcast with Audacity and Elgg

Have your students keep oral journals. Post your lectures online. Hate writing, like talking, then tell them. In just 5 minutes you can be set up to podcast with Audacity and Elgg.

1. Download Audacity and install the open source audio editor.

2. Download the Lame library necessary for exporting Audacity files as MP3s. (Ask your system admin for help with steps 1 and 2.)

3. Record your lecture, music, or whatever by pressing the record button in Audacity.

4. Go to File and export as MP3.

5. Add your mp3 file to "your files in Elgg.

6. Add a new post to a blog and add the MP3 file and there you have it.

By making the post public you will also be able to create an RSS feed so that the public can subscribe to your podcasts!

Unbelievable how easy and fast this is!!!


How to add a reading passage to a quiz in Moodle

Adding a reading passage to a quiz in Moodle is pretty easy.

1. Add a new "descriptive" type question.

2. Add the text you want students to read and save. Voila!

Remember shuffling the order of questions will move around the passage (descriptive question).


Elgg and the Eportfolio

Elgg is the open source(free) social networking system you can host. It is ideal for eportfolios and has many advantages over other such systems. Number 1 it's free and fully customizable. You can choose themes, design themes, and give it your own branding. It is also extremely easy to use. Have students start by filling out their profile. Then they can add files, pictures, videos, audio, or whatever. They can also keep a personal blog, add friends, start and join communities, and even keep and view their own RSS feeds. It's pretty much MySpace for education.

A lot of work is being done presently to have full integration with Moodle so that students can send their Moodle activities over to their portfolio with one click. Together Elgg and the more traditional LMS (Learning Management System) will provide students with structured and guided activities as well as the freedom to experiment and create in their own virtual space. Now we will no longer have to choose betwenn traditional evaluation and assessment and the more holistic kind. We can have both working together, supplementing each other, and in harmony.


Item Analysis in LMS(Moodle)

Ever wonder which questions students are getting wrong over and over again? Sure you can grade your quizzes by hand and count everything out or you can just have your students take the quiz online and instantly get a report. Moodle and perhaps other LMSs lets you see a breakdown of all the questions.

How does this make your teaching better? Well for one, you may have writtena bad questions which isn't very fair to your students. For two, at least you know what your students don't know. All of this instantaneously.


Wiki and Collaborative Learning

How's this for using the Wiki. First I broke my Moodle class into groups, easily done in Moodle. Then I added a Wiki activity and separated groups so that each group could work on their own. Then in class I had them make study guides based on questions in the text. It went so well I found myself suddenly and eerily obsolete.

Students were able to collaborate and share information so effectively using this system there was little room for my boring lectures and even for helping with questions. Teaching an ESL Geography and World History class, one would think an instructor would be needed but simply dividing the class into groups electronically, giving them study questions, and having them work on creating a study guide together, one that was editable online, that saved all drafts, that would always be there for reference, put me into the facilitator's role and of course, I was there for tech support.

Try having your class make a Wiki, with Moodle, Wikipedia, or any other flavors of WIki. You will be amazed at the ease and effectiveness of the digital collaborative approach.