21st Century Learning

An Exploration: Podcasts, Wikis & Blogs

Goal: Explore how educators are using podcasts, wikis and blogs


Wikis, blogs, and podcasts. Yes, they do sound as if they belong in Lord of the Rings, but read on, click on links and EXPLORE how folks are using these Web 2.0 tools.

Podcast: "Podcasting enables Web sites to provide visitors with audio and/or video recordings that can be listened to and watched at any time." [From Teacher Magazine, The Blogvangelist, October 1, 2006] Podcasts with video or images are sometimes called enhanced podcasts or vodcasts. John McWilliams, Connie Deal, and Emily Vickery have produced podcasts.

The Education Podcast Network "The Education Podcast Network is an effort to bring together into one place, the wide range of podcast programming that may be helpful to teachers looking for content to teach with and about, and to explore issues of teaching and learning in the 21st century."

Let's conduct a search for existing podcasts in your area of interest in iTunes. A click file:PodcastSS.pdf for a step sheet to help you explore podcasts..

From Apple literature. Different types of podcasts....
You can create several different kinds of podcasts in GarageBand:
  • Audio podcast episodes contain an audio file.
  • Enhanced podcast episodes contain audio along with markers, artwork, and URLs.
  • Video podcast episodes contain a movie and can also contain audio.
  • Enhanced video podcast episodes contain a movie along with audio, markers, and
  • URLs.

Wiki: "A wiki is a communal, subject-specific Web site where users are free to add and/or edit content. When it comes to Internet-based collaboration, there’s nothing easier to use, according to [Will] Richardson. In schools, wikis—some of which are password-protected—enable groups of students, teachers, or both to gather content and share written work. Some classes create their own textbooks and resource sites." [From Teacher Magazine, The Blogvangelist, October 1, 2006] The word wiki comes from the Hawaiian language meaning quickly.

Here is a movie clip explaining what a wiki is. Here is another clip: Wikis in Plain English. This movie clip provides more specific information on wiki creation and collaboration.

Blog OR Weblog: "Perhaps the most powerful Internet tool is the Weblog, or blog, an online journal that is continuously updated by its author or authors. Blogs are Web sites that facilitate instantaneous publication and allow for feedback from readers. They’ve been used to form professional development communities, both within one school and across continents." [From Teacher Magazine, The Blogvangelist, October 1, 2006] Blogs with video are sometimes called vlogs. Hint: Blogs are listed in reverse chronological order.

Here is a movie clip of how a New England teacher, Will RIchardson, integrated blogging into studying The Secret Life of Bees and the power and impact of this Web 2.0 tool. [Note: Denise and I attended a wonderful hands-on workshop at Alan November's Building Learning Communities conference lead by Will Richardson, famed educator leading the charge in using Web. 2.0 tools and author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms.]

One way to conduct a search for blogs is at--you guess it!--Google's blog search. Try Technorati and search for more than blogs--video, photos and more.

Another excellent resource is David Warlick's book Classroom Blogging: 2nd Edition. Description: "Weblogs are about reading and writing. Literacy is about reading and writing. Blogging equals literacy. How rarely does an aspect of how we live and work plug so perfectly into how we teach and learn? Reading this book will give teachers important clues not only in how to become a blogger and to make their students bloggers, but also how this new avenue of expression is revolutionizing the information environment that we live in."

One blogging technique that can be used across disciplines is the Scribe Tech. Check out how this math teacher used the technnique in his classroom.

Faculty Highlights

Are you using digital tools in teaching and learning? Please share!

John McWilliams has podcasts and a wikispace set-up for AP History. (Note: He created his website using iWeb. The wikispace is password protected so only John and his students may post to it, which is an option that teachers have when setting-up and managing a wiki space that you do not want the public to edit or view.)

Check out Scott Richberg's wiki Dante's Domain.

Carol Yeaman's Art of War blog can be found here. For her "From the Dean's Desk blog click here.

Click here to view Cam Armstrong's faculty wiki page.

The forensics department has a wiki up!

A reminder that this wikispace will remain up so you can come back by to visit and explore!!

If you find a gem to add, please email it to Emily. Or, if you would rather contribute directly to the wiki--which would be wonderful--please let Emily know so she can set it up for you.

Foreign Language

Math Exploration

Science Exploration

Language Arts Exploration

History Exploration

Visual Arts Exploration

Performing Arts Exploration


Track Wiki

Interdisciplinary--See Below Not to be Missed!

Education in a Flat World Wiki About this Site: "This site serves two purposes: (1) To educate teachers about the flat world and how it can enhance their teaching. (2) To connect teachers and their classrooms with another classroom, or classrooms, from across the neighborhood, state, country, or across the planet for the purpose of collaboration."

Flat World Project Wiki (This is a really cool project!)

High School Online Collaborative Writing

Post-Secondary, Government, and Business Trends in Wiki Use

A 'Free-Form Attitude' As corporations, nonprofits and even governments make use of the free-form technology that is the wiki, Widipedia founder Jimmy Wales weights in on the power of collaboration. From Newsweek.

Eckerd College Check this out! Wiki use in everything from chemistry to Shakespeare.

Is Buiness Waking Up to Wiki? Video: John Seely Brown co-author of the recently released The Only Sustainable Edge and Socialtext CEO Ross Mayfield discuss the emerging role of the wiki in the evolution of corporate collaboration. Two other videos at this site: Wiki While You Work and Getting 'Wiki' with the Team. From CNET News.

Power in Numbers "The United Nations, notorious for endless deliberations, is trying a technological quick fix. Its Global Compact Office, which promotes corporate responsibility, has embraced a once fringe social technology--the wiki--in hopes that it will help staff in 80 countries share information and reach consensus with less deliberation and more speed. The office has done this by enlisting the public in its review of progress reports from more than 2,000 companies--an effort to make sure each is complying..." From Newsweek International Edition 08-06-07.

The Games Has Changed: College Admissions Outpace Corporations in Embracing Social Media "The ivory tower is outpacing even the business world."

The Wiki Workplace from Business Week 03-26-07. Also See-- Business Week's Special Report: The Wikinomics Series.

University of Michigan faculty using a wiki in interdisciplinary planning.

Using Wiki in Education

Washington State University From the website: "WSU Wiki is a site for WSU students, faculty, and staff to collaboratively develop documents (called "articles" for historical reasons) that are publicly readable and dedicated to the public domain (that is, no one can copyright them)." They are also using course wikis.

Wikinomics What is "Wikinomics"? "In the last few years, traditional collaboration—in a meeting room, a conference call, even a convention center—has been superceded by collaborations on an astronomical scale. Today, encyclopedias, jetliners, operating systems, mutual funds, and many other items are being created by teams numbering in the thousands or even millions. While some leaders fear the heaving growth of these massive online communities, Wikinomics explains how to prosper in a world where new communications technologies are democratizing the creation of value. Anyone who wants to understand the major forces revolutionizing business today should consider Wikinomics their survival kit."

Don't miss the Wikinomics Playbook as online contributors write about the impact of collaborative environments on law, medicine, religion, social groups, and education.


Ten Habits of Bloggers That Win by Cool Cat Teacher Vickie Davis

Using Blogs to Integrate Technology in the Classroom