Tag Archives: 2.0

A Reappropriation of Propaganda

a single microphone

Key Features

Podcasts are downloadable multimedia (audio or video) digital files made regularly for listeners. Anyone with a microphone and internet connection has the ability to make a podcast but Propaganda is software that easily produces quality podcasts. The biggest feature of Propaganda is the timeline which is intuitive and beneficial for extra quality productions. The layout of the panels ensures users can organise their clips and users can edit the sound levels, include transitions, add background effects or music, and split and edit clips. For pair or group projects, each clip can be labeled systematically so that multiple users can record and add clips into a single Propaganda file. When exporting, users can choose to save as an mp3 or upload directly to a website via FTP.

In 2010, it was reported that 45% or over 12 million American adults have watched or listened to a podcast (Webster, 2010) and it is estimated that between 34,000 – 100,000 people make podcasts to make their voice heard (Mahalo, n.d.). Very few people actually make them and in the academic world, I imagine that very few podcasts are student-made and it is professors who are posting lecture podcasts online.

Potential & Recommendation

Podcasts do offer agency to the user so teachers must decide with whom they want the agency to lie: teachers or students. Lazzari (2009) reports that students have competitive agency when they produce podcasts in higher education classes as they work harder towards producing podcasts that are perceivably better than their peers. It was also reported that students were engaged in and encouraged by podcasting and this resulted in social-constructivist learning as students effectively became teachers and their zone of proximal development was increased (Vygotsky, 1978).

These signs are certainly encouraging to the integration of podcasts projects but giving students free production reign, as Costello (2009) states in his theory of transactional control and argued above, is worthless without knowledge of how to use it.

Propaganda is only software and teachers must reflect carefully on the substance of a podcast; a podcast with weak content in terms of structure, organization and development is weak no matter the quality of the podcast (Keery, 2011). Therefore, making podcasts is not necessarily so far removed from the traditional written essay as the podcast still needs in-depth research and a script that is structured, organized and developed. From a social-constructivist viewpoint, listening to one podcast from a lecturer is limiting. Listening and experiencing a number of students’ podcasts will give more diverse opinions and information with which to make connections, reach unique conclusions, reformulate their knowledge, and reflect (Gould, 2005).

Costello, E. (2009, 27-28 August). Teaching and Participatory Media. Paper presented at the Fifth International Conference of the All-Ireland Society for Higher Education, Maynooth, Ireland.

Gould, J. S. (2005). A Constructivist Perspective on Teaching and Learning in the Language Arts In Constructivism: Theory, Perspectives, and Practice. New York: Teachers College Press.

Keery, P. (2011, April 5). Good-bye Essay, Hello Podcast. Retrieved September 02, 2011 from http://dialogueonline.ca/goodbye-essay-hello-podcast-new-literacies-21st-century-skills-1482/1482/

Lazzari, M. (2009). Creative use of podcasting in higher education and its effect on competitive agency. Computer & Education, 52(1), 1-13.

Mahalo (n.d.). How many podcasts are in iTunes? Retrieved September 8, 2011 from http://www.mahalo.com/answers/how-many-podcasts-are-in-apple-itunes

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambrdige, MA: Harvard University Press.

Webster, T. (2010, December 13). The current state of podcasting. Retrieved September 8, 2011 from http://www.podcastingnews.com/content/2010/12/edison-state-of-podcasting-2010/

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Layers of a PLN

Educators must be resourceful and self-manage their own professional development 2.0 if they are to keep updated , innovative and refreshed. The ability to now connect with other professionals around the world means you have access to a range of creative and reinvigorating ideas. I am rating Twitter more and more now after seeing the benefits of starting to use it as an integral tool in my PLN.


Short and to the point. Tweets offer a 140 character insight into the person’s thinking or webpage they are offering. Like-minded professionals are personally participating in a community of PD and sharing their wealth of knowledge. They are exploring dynamic, personal pedagogy and contributing the sum to the community’s conscious and knowledge.

This is how I personalize my PLN and make it meaningful for me. I seek out those who might offer valuable insights or a new way of thinking. I hear about their best practices and feel energized in my own teaching. Collaboration is ever present as you tweet at each other to share personal thoughts in an effort to solve a problem, share a question or just to provide a little bit of inspiration. #hashtags organize and in turn personalize tweets for a user driven experience. You can search


My version of piggybacking. What I’m referring to here is using the resources you deem valuable and seeing the resources that they deem valuable. It seems that just about all educators on Twitter must be following @edutopia, the twitter account for the website of the same name, and another popular one is @cybraryman1. I started to follow them and I then saw them re-tweeting others and I check out the original source of the retweets. If they have some interesting tweets, I follow them. I’ve just piggybacked my way and chose those that will engage my interests. The tweets will come in thick and fast so be selective.


So you see, PLNs to me can be visualized as a parfait. Thanks to Donkey for my inspiration here. I check Twitter and find an interesting tweet. I click and find an interesting article. I like to click once more if I can and follow the train of thought that got me there in the first place. So I’ve just done the two clicks (maybe more) and I’ll bookmark or follow on Twitter if something struck a chord with me. I go back to Twitter and start the process again, thus building up the layers of my PLN. Short and sweet but repetitive building layers upon layers.

Unfortunately, this is the era of cutbacks and shortages. Budgets are being slashed and there is nothing professional, nor anything developed, within a lot of workplaces. With Twitter, I am getting ahead; getting the most out of teaching; getting the most out of learning. And I’m making some awesome desserts at the same time…


Originally posted April 24, 2011 http://www.digitalemerge.net/#/layers-of-a-pln/4550827977

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