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College of Education Podcast Incentive Program

As Dean Kennedy mentioned at the fall faculty meeting, the College of Education has been selected as a pilot program for the implementation of USF’s iTunes University. Through USF iTunes U, our students will be able to download podcasts to their Macs or PCs. They will then be able to listen to and view the contents of these podcasts on their Mac or PC or transfer them to an iPod or other MP3 player. The concept of iTunes university has been piloted successfully at Stanford, Berkeley and other universities.

Along with the iTunes U and USF partnership , Dean Kennedy announced the COEDU Podcast Incentive Program. Approximately $10,000 is available to fund COEDU faculty proposals related to USF’s iTunes U. The funds will be used to purchase iPod bundles, each consisting of a video iPod, accessories, and software needed to produce, access, and deliver educational podcasts. We encourage all Laptop Initiative faculty to take advantage of these grants. The Laptop Initiative is already working with several faculty members who are producing excellent podcasts, and we will be happy to provide any technical assistance you need to make your Podcast Incentive project a success. For more information about the Podcast Incentive Program, visit this website.

No Strings Attached: Wireless Laptops in Education

The Florida Center for Instructional Technology's No Strings Attached website has recently greatly expanded the number of technology-infused lesson plans available. Each lesson plan is correlated to Sunshine State Standards and national technology standards, and includes a video of the teacher presenting the lesson and reflecting on the lesson. This is a great place to find lesson ideas that incorporate iBooks.

Free Powerpoint and Keynote Templates

FCIT has recently published a website with more than 20,000 presentation backgrounds free for download. There are versions formatted for both Powerpoint and Keynote and the site is aimed specifically at teachers and students. This site also has links to other online resources, including free photo, video, and music sites.

Tech-Ease for Mac

FCIT recently published Tech-Ease for Mac, a website where teachers can find quick answers to real classroom technology questions. Tech-Ease for Mac answers common questions from teachers about hardware, email, chat, images, file management, and the Internet. Tech-Ease for Mac also has a section covering classroom management issues related to the use of computers in the classroom.

Laptop Lounge Hosts GIS Workshop

On Tuesday, March 7th, the Laptop Lounge hosted a workshop on the use of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in education. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Shannon White, who was visiting from North Carolina State University. Dr. White presented some ideas for the use of GIS in different subject areas, from social studies to language arts. The workshop also had a hands-on component where participants learned to use ESRI's ArcView software.

Laptop Lounge Participates in CoEdu Children's Festival

The Laptop Lounge took part in the College of Education's Children's Festival held on Saturday, March 4th. The children who visited the Lounge were able to participate in a number of technology centers. In one center, the children took pictures of themselves using an iSight camera, then used this website to create an inspirational poster they could get emailed home. In another center, they were able to use TuxPaint, an open source drawing program intended for children. Visitors to the Lounge were also able to record their own songs using Garageband and a USB keyboard.

James Welsh Featured in Orlando Sentinel

Recently, the Laptop Lounge's James Welsh was quoted in an article about technology integration in area schools. The article in the Orlando Sentinel features Edgewater High School in Orlando. Principal Rob Anderson has started offering morning announcements as podcasts Edgewater students can download to their iPods, and more than a dozen teachers at Edgewater plan to start podcasting their lectures. The article also mentions other examples of technology integration using Palm handheld organizers. While James mentions several advantages to the use of technology in the classroom, he cautions that teachers should not use technology for technology's sake. "If they are just clicking, you are not teaching," James is quoted as saying. You can read the full article on this website.

Laptop Lounge Models Technology Integration

The Laptop Lounge has been hosting workshops demonstrating technology integration in the classroom. In one recent workshop, students from a USF education course were split into small groups and asked to produce a 30-60 second video on topics ranging from promotion of the College of Education to a commercial for a Key West diving company. Each student within a group was assigned a particular feature of iMovie, which they learned during brief workshops facilitated by Laptop Lounge staff. Following the workshops, the students went back to their groups and worked on the video for approximately one hour. Each student contributed their skill in the feature they had just learned in the workshops. The videos had to incorporate video clips, still photos, a music soundtrack or narration, titles, and at least one transition or effect. At the end of the session, the students shared their projects with the rest of the class. Even in the short time given to them, the students were able to produce some attractive, engaging videos. Pictures from the workshop are available here.

Musicians and Scientists Unite!

We have microscopes and science probes that plug into your computer to record real time science data. We also have MIDI keyboards that allow you to create completely original music in GarageBand. We have friendly Lounge staffers Luis and Jason to show you how to use all of the above. As with our other equipment, our probes, microscopes, and keyboards are all available for checkout to use with your class. Please stop by and play.


If you have been to a recent workshop at the Laptop Lounge (EDU 252), you've noticed that we've been incorporating our Smartboard interactive white board into all of our training sessions. This Smartboard is available for you to check out to use for classes here in the college. Stop by the Lounge and we can help you download and install the software to run it from your laptop.

Our second SmartBoard is making trips to our internship schools and our interns are using it with their students! There is more information about SmartBoards in our FAQ section.

Free MS Office Training at Apple Store

Every Wednesday in October at 12 PM, the Apple Store at International Plaza will host a free interactive workshop on mastering Microsoft Office. For more information, visit their website.

iLecture: Article in USF Oracle Discusses Podcasting of Lectures

This article from USF's Oracle looks at how one professor in Texas is using podcasts to deliver his lectures to his students. University of Texas professor William Carner records his lectures using an iPod, then posts them online so that his students can download them and listen to them on their computers or MP3 players. The article even mentions a website, Pickaprof.com, where professors can post their lectures as podcasts. While Carner is a strong supporter of this new delivery method for lectures, other professors have reservations. Shawn Bingham, a USF sociology professor, says access to podcasts may encourage students to skip classes. The article can be read online by visiting the Oracle website.

School District in Texas Using Ipods in the Classroom

The Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district in Texas is using iPods as part of a pilot program to bridge the gap between home and school. Carrollton-Farmers Branch is one of a handful of districts across the country finding ways to use iPods in schools. The idea came from Duke University, which gives iPods to all incoming freshmen. The district bought 100 full-size iPods in August as part of a $31,000 pilot program involving two middle schools and two high schools. A private foundation bought 16 smaller iPod Shuffles for three kindergarten classes. The kindergartners are using the iPod Shuffles to learn vocabulary, while the bigger iPods are being used in all grades with English language learners. These students learn new English words using sing-along songs with
familiar tunes but altered lyrics, such as "Hippo Hop," which is sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle." For more information, please see this article in the Dallas Morning News (PDF).

Duke Conference on Podcasting

Duke University’s Information Science + Information Studies (ISIS) program recently held what organizers believe to be the first-ever academic podcasting symposium. The symposium brought together scholars, journalists and podcasting practitioners to discuss how this new technology is shaping -- and being shaped by -- business, law, journalism and Internet culture. An audio report of the symposium is available.

Elementary School Podcast Featured in the New York Times

The "Room 208" Podcast, produced by third and fourth grade students from Maine, was featured in an article in the New York Times (free registration required). This is one of the education podcasts mentioned in our GarageBand workshops.

For more information, you can also visit the "Room 208 Podcast" home page.


For faculty members who have been working on podcasting: there is a freeware application called Fugu (which can be downloaded from our support page) that can be installed on your Mac to allow easy drag-and-drop access to store files on your web server space at USF. Please feel free to drop by the Laptop Lounge (EDU 252) for help getting started. or visit our FAQ page.

So what?
In education, podcasts are being used in several ways.

A 3/4 elementary class in Maine has a weekly show called "Room 208 Podcast". It's an entirely kid-produced news magazine show. The kids write scripts for their own segments about whatever interests them. A recent show included segments about sports, animals, books, and an original reader's theater audio play.


That same group of students has also used the podcast to air their literature circle discussions.


The teacher of that class has his own podcast, Bit by Bit, where he reflects on the use of technology in his classroom. He reports that his students' writing has improved dramatically since they started doing the podcast. They are writing for a genuine audience on topics about which they care.


USF College of Ed professors are using a podcast format to have students record and publish their belief statements about their profession.


Another USF College of Ed professor is having her student interns record brief reflective conversations with supervising teachers.


Podcasts are being used to communicate discussion groups and presentations from professional conferences to a much broader audience outside of a conference setting. You can hear excellent examples of this on the NECC ADE 2005 podcast series.


Students at Penn State and other colleges are using podcasts to record reflections on their student teaching experiences.


Podcasts can be used to create audio tours of communities or museums and to record and share oral histories.


Podcasts can also be used to make an entire series of lectures available online so that class time can be spent in other ways.

There are many more applications for the technology and more are being invented every day.



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