Thursday, October 19, 2006


During the first week of the October school holidays we conducted a 2 day workshop with our VTE Child Care Teachers as well as 3 of our e-Learning Staff. Stella Maris Institute is fortunate enough to have its own Childcare facility which doubles as an instructional facility for on the job training. With this in mind it was the obvious environment to record the audio and video required for the online Childcare module we would be developing.

Over the two days the unit of competency we would be covering was examined carefully and a strategy for delivering it was developed. It was decided that Vodcasting (a combination of streaming video and audio similar in concept to podcasting) would be the vehicle for delivering the content part of the course.

Story boards were created as well as a script based on the workplace scenarios being developed. Child actors in the form of some of the staff’s children were organized, one of them a 9 month old baby! We are fortunate enough to have access to decent camera equipment and the skills to operate it.

A day’s filming was required and all things considered it went fairly smoothly, at least until towards the end of the day when some of the child stars became a little tired. Over the following week the childcare staff (Jo and Lindy primarily) created some quizzes based on the competencies and the footage. The e-Learning staff created the Online material using the footage, audio recordings and quiz material and embedded in an LMS. The results can be seen at using the password learnscope and username learnscope.

I should mention that in the weeks prior to this an online course was created based on our breakfast club about Podcasting. This will be added to over the coming term. This can viewed using the same URL as above.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Final Breakfast Club

We concluded our 5 week breakfast club on Podcasting this week. All the participants were required to bring in some written material that they would be recording in the session and then podcasting.

Prior to the workshop we set them all up with a Podomatic account with their normal school username. All the participants were then emailed to ensure that they collected their Podomatic password after it was emailed to them automatically and also to explain the concept of a free podcasting account.

We also prepared step by step instructions on the entire process of recording and podcasting to Podomatic as well as providing a pre edited audio clip for them to add to their voice recording.

With limited time we moved quickly through the process of recording the voice in Audacity and adding in the audio clip then exporting as an mpeg. The teachers then logged on to the Podomatic site and logged in with the details that they were emailed earlier in the week. This process went surprisingly smoothly and nearly all the participants were able to upload their audio file to their Podomatic site and thereby become ‘Podcasters’.

The session concluded with a recap of the process and some ideas for how they might use this with their students. We will send out a follow up email today with some suggestions and the offer of help for any ideas they might have. Three people have already begun work on podcasting projects relevant to their teaching area which is very exciting. An online Podcasting help site will be set up later next week in our LMS to assist teachers who want to use this technology.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Breakfast Club Week 4

Week 4 of the Learnscope Breakfast club focused on learning how to edit and create sound using the free windows software called Audacity.

The majority of teachers are new to this type of software and in fact the whole concept of working with sound, many of them found it quite a challenge.

The teachers were able to record a piece of spoken word and combine it with a short intro music clip. They learnt how to fade the music into the voice and export it as an mpeg ready for podcasting.

Next week they will be uploading their finished podcast to a Podomatic site ready for their students to download!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

breakfast club week 2

Week 2 was a challenge but also a success! We had the teachers subscribe to MyPodder and podcastready, and once all the technical jargon was absorbed, they were subscribing away like old timers!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

breakfast club has started ...

We have started our breakfast club on podcasting and digital video. The teachers are very excited about the idea of bringing sound and video into the Certificate III in Children's Services. We are filming this weekend so the enhanced competency is beginning to take shape!

It's all such new technology, but the teachers are embracing it well. We are using MyPodder, Podomatic and Audacity for recording.

We will be in touch with more progress soon... and some photos.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Learnscope Workshop - Beyond Text!

At the recent Learnscope Workshops (August 3), I attended a fantastic session run by Michael Coghlan, called "Beyond Text". This session fit perfectly with our Learnscope project - enhanding the Certificate III in Children's Services with podcasting!

We learnt an enormous amount about sound technology and publishing sound online! It was great.

This is a pic of me recording my audioblog. I took the pic from my mobile and sent to my laptop via infra red. I then uploaded the image to my blog! Mobile learning at its best!

this is an audio post - click to play

This is my test blog that I recorded at the Learnscope Workshop, using "audioblogger".

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Childcare goes interactive!

Today we met with the head of the College's VET sector and started really fleshing out the course. We have chosen the competency from the Certificate III in Children's Services that we are going to 'liven up' and offer online. We've all come up with some great ideas for creating a competency that is fun to complete!