All Together Now – Thing 3

I’m sort of late–not really–in actuality I’m way ahead of the All Together Now School Library Journal’s 23 Things. I already have a blog and use an RSS feed aggregator, so I’ll just pick up in the game here. Today’s assignment is to pick a feed and add it to your aggregator or podcatcher like iTunes.

I will share a pod feed that is one of my absolute favorites and tell you why I like it so much!

Bob Sprankle, a Technology Integrator in Maine, has a blog/podcast that is titled “Bit by Bit.” The premise is that we learn new material, bit by bit. How often have you ever felt like you were on information overload? When you realize how broad the 21st Century skills are, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Many just opt out of the podcast material, thinking “I don’t own an ipod, and since there is so much more this can slide. Bob Sprankle’s “Bit by Bit” is a wonderful podcast series you will not want to miss.

Frequently his podcasts are recordings of workshops, sessions, or keynotes he has asked permission to capture and drop into a podcast feed. Only this week I am enjoying several podcasts he published from a wonderful conference, Alan November’s Building Learning Communities, which took place in the last ten days or so. I have not had the chance to attend this wonderful conference (actually it is a goal and a dream I have someday) but I can learn form the presenters there, all because Bob Sprankle. He generously requested permission to audio record, and then published sessions after the conference.

I am in the middle of listening to the BLC sessions and/or keynotes including:

  • John Davitt’s Keynote at BLC08
    “Setting Learning Free: The Difference Engine Runs Again”
  • Dr. Joyce Valenza at BLC08
    “Web 2.0 Meets Information Fluency: Designing Projects for 21st Century Learners”
  • Dr. Pedro Noguera’s Keynote at BLC08
    “Changing the Culture of Schools: Creating Conditions that Promote Student Achievement”
  • Clarence Fisher and Darren Kuropatwa at BLC08
    “Everything New is Old Again

The feed updates each time I open my iTunes, so if I haven’t already listened to it, I have to go back and manually download. Arggg. So when I know a podcast series is going to be heavy in updating daily (like Sprankle releasing these podcasts over a four day period, or the K12Online Conference posts), and I know I do not have time to listen to each one, I create a play list, and add them there.

From iTunes, as I note a new podcast from Bit By Bit, I drag it to a “playlist” I created. The playlist feature is a great tool in iTunes, allowing you to put music or recordings for continuous play, either in exact order or random order. I created a playlist called “1daysdrive” to place podcasts like this. It is so named so that onmy iPod, I can click music–>playlists (which is automatically first)–>1daysdrive. It is the first playlist there because of the 1.

That playlist allows me to start it and listen continuously when I travel. I usually listen to the playlist on my way back and forth to work (roughly a 25 minute drive on good traffic days) or when I take longer trips. I even listen when I’m on vacation, like sitting out on the beach. (But do note that you can listen right from your computer–no iPod is really necessary.)

These snippets or bits that I listen to throughout a week feed my mind and give me the greatest professional development free! Best, I can stop, go back, relisten, and then even share with others, like my principal. I can burn a cd straight form my playlist to share with anyone I feel could benefit from it.

Don’t dismiss the power of learning and professional development you can get from podcasts. There are MANY out there available, and I’ve only highlighted one here.

I have blogged about other podcasts I like or have listened to here, here, and here (this last one titled “Favorite Podcasts”). These posts may also give you some podcasts to add to your feeds. Feel free to ask me anything–I will gladly help.


Image: ‘Blue Snowball mic package contents
Image: ‘iPod and Coffee

2 Responses to “All Together Now – Thing 3”

  1.   Cheryl Oakes Says:

    Excellent Post Cathy!!!
    This is exactly the kind of learning that means the most to each one of us. It provides choice, it provides hands on, your blog provides the reflection and continuing conversation. I love when I see an example like this and I can share it with others so they too can see the power.


  2.   Cathy Nelson Says:

    Cheryl thanks–getting that kind of compliment from you really means a lot to me. I take so much from you Maine folks, it is nice to know I can give back a little.

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