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Posts Tagged ‘timeshifting’

Tech Geek Utopia:
Collegiate technology majors or minors can easily get lost in a tech geek utopia. I agree that podcasts are wonderful, but I don’t think brick and mortar schools are going the way of the dinosaurs. Primarily because brick and mortar schools don’t just disseminate knowledge, they meet a huge social service.

For example, K-12 folks, please don’t take offense to this next comment because I taught K-12 for many years, and I agree that it is our firm foundation for all American society, along with the family. What are we going to do with the kids if they stay home? The K-12 system allows everybody else to work.

Similarly, at least half of the collegiate experience is social. I am using generalities here; I know there are exceptions. However, the fact remains that our colleges and universities help to shape and mold the next generation of “educated” individuals socially, for good or bad.

Last on the comments, I learned two new great terms tonight: 1) timeshifting from the chapter authors and 2) “meat world” lecture from Tim’s comments. Also, double word score goes out to Pam for the use of the word “dearth.”

ON TO THE CHAPTER REVIEW:

The quote that has caused the most internal debate for me came at the end of the chapter, “Education evolves around the students instead of students evolving around the teachers” (p. 279).

This is a very strong statement. Obviously, the authors are referring to recent trends in education because historically this has not been the case. Do the authors mean to say that the current dynamic in education is trending towards the delivery of content that is evolving around the likes/dislikes of students? The current SACS model would actually hold that education revolves around the outcomes, forget the likes/dislikes of teachers and students. This is most definitely a consumer-based mentality. There is nothing wrong with this mentality, but it needs to be classified and pointed out for what it is. This statement is provocative.

How can teachers improve from this content?

The best practices session of this chapter was quite good. As noted before, the majority of the chapter worked to illustrate the big picture of podcasting. However, this part of the chapter had real application.

Providing clear instructions cannot be overstated. From a collegiate standpoint, many online students are completely unprepared for online instruction, from a technological point of view. Being painfully thorough in the instructions will save time in the long run.

I agree with the authors’ insight on the length of podcast. The American media has “trained” the American audience to only pay attention in short spurts of media. For example, we tell music students that if they want to right a hit pop song, then don’t make it longer than 2 ½ to 3 minutes. This is because most listeners lose interest after this point. Why? This has been the standard length of pop songs for the last 50 years. Ever wonder why you can only take 3 or 4 minutes of Beethoven. The answer is because most folks can only take 3 or 4 minutes of anything. (Books are different; I’m talking music)

Similarly, we’ve been trained to only watch about six to seven minutes of TV, and then break. This is the way our brains have been rewired by the media. Don’t fight it, use it. Making video podcasts short and to the point forces teachers to be concise and efficient.

Referring back to our geek tech utopia (of which I’m a proud member), do “normal” teachers have time for this? I’m just asking. For most of us in this class, it is no problem, and for tech savvy teachers, it is no problem. I know it is our job to empower teachers. However, most collegiate teachers want an easier solution than weeding through a recorded lecture, cutting, editing, uploading pictures, syncing video, rendering the file, and uploading somewhere. I know some will disagree with this, but it’s worth talking about.

A solution is coming, but it’s not here yet. This solution will make creating vodcasts and similar products quick and painless. I know that new software solutions are being created everyday, but I haven’t seen one yet that quite fits the bill.

Please brace before I say this word: Tegrity. (I just heard the groans) It is expensive, and MGCCC does not use it for this reason. However, we did get to experiment with this technology some. There is one thing I like about it. The teacher has three clicks. Start recording, stop recording, and upload. The Tegrity software chops up the lecture into digestible parts, attaches it to Blackboard, and emails the students a link to the material. Now you do have to set it up on the front end, but this is exactly the type of solution that would make vodcasting much more “embraceable.”

What I learned from this chapter:

I learned a great deal from this chapter. The chapter provided a good general discussion on podcasting. Personally, the most intriguing research presented in the chapter derived from the work of Sclove. These references discussed the relationship between technology and social theories, especially the fact that technology has now become a social structure.

The discussion on timeshifting was also helpful. I appreciated the many comments from classmates on this subject, especially the article references on multitasking given by Tim and Pam. I think this quote sums up the Net Generation’s proclivity to engage in timeshifting:

“[This generation is] in a constant state of partial attention.” Joann Martyn

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