I’ve Started a Free ICT Podcast for Teachers

This is a transcription of the podcast that appears below and the text has been included for the same reason I created an audio version – to try and reach you in the format that you like. Sadly even though it, like most things I do is “free” – to increase “headline readbility” in my blog, the use of that one “power word” gets me from a 51% to a 73% Headline rating… But that’s a story for another day.

  • Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love, is called passion.
  • Do what you love, love what you do.
  • If it is to be it is up to me. (Ten two-letter words)

This is not a podcast about leadership or well-being or anything like that. It is an acknowledgment that you’re listening to this probably outside of working hours because you’re interested in ICT matters and you are only doing it not because you have been told to, but because you want to… and so keying in on the words of passion, love and wanting to do something because it is up to you means you have landed here because you want to.

The reason I’m doing this as a podcast… There are also blog versions of this and videos to support you and support the more technical side of things is that chances are the only time you can engage in some personal professional development or catch up on what’s going on is via some earphones plugged in while you’re exercising, driving to work or catching public transport to work, or in a quiet moment away from other distractions. So hopefully this will be of use to you.

Each of the episodes will go for 10 to 30 minutes and I will make a point of including the topics and reference material in the podcast so you can get a background in a relaxed way about what the information is and then if anything interests you, you can dive deeper into the website or click on any of the links to go to the reference material that I’ve managed to gather in. So I hope you can join me in this and upcoming episodes.

It’s not a commercial venture and I don’t have any alignment with the hardware, software, or whatever I’m talking about. However, I will say that in many cases, I’m passionate about the tools that I am using, and I will give them a positive shout-out. I probably won’t unless it’s unless it really in the public interest to say anything bad about our solutions are. It’s more about highlighting the ones that really make a positive difference in the lives of teachers and students.

In addition to this podcast. I also have a blog called learnshifting.com. In that blog, I cover a number of the topics which will also appear in this podcast but they specifically relate to information communication technology in schools and that might be the hardware and software that is or can be used in a classroom. It might be some of the challenges faced by our teachers and students in accessing that technology or resources that enable them to create, for instance, multimodal stories.

Some of the content derives from weekly sessions that I present in my workplace with the Department of education and the focus there is singularly on assisting ICT professionals in schools and the teachers and students they support to get the most out of what we have on offer from the Internet connection into their schools to the hardware and software being used on a daily basis, not only for teaching but also for the administrative side of things, which may be capturing data on student achievement.

I call those sessions smoothies which stands for short multimodal online opportunities to help ICT experts succeed. One of the other reasons for calling them smoothies is that I run them on a Friday afternoon after school, between that time when the last student has hopped on the bus or been picked up by their parents and teachers, are breathing a sigh of relief that another week of teaching is over and the weekend is on the way.

It’s probably worthwhile that I describe our computing environment. It is built primarily on a Microsoft 365 stack if we want to call it that or “set of applications” and over recent years, specifically since the start of the pandemic, we have embraced the use of Microsoft teams and the tools that can be used linked and embedded in what we’re calling that “single pane of glass”.

Another software tool set is the Adobe creative cloud solution which provides a wide number of tools that students can use to express themselves creatively in a 21st-century multimodal context. Additionally, some of the hardware items such as cameras, presentation tools, and other items which enhance the learning experience in classrooms will also be covered.

My name is Mark Christie and I have been working in the field of e-learning and multimedia for over 30 years. More than half that time was spent working in Southeast Asia, primarily in Singapore and Indonesia. The experiences that I’ve gained working in the education sector and for large mining companies have really helped form a pragmatic view on what solutions make a difference in the classroom. We have to consider a number of things.

One of those is the time constraints on our teachers. They don’t have the luxury to take lots of time off to study new ways of learning things. They need to really be learning on the run and in a way this podcast is providing a tool to help out with that.

It also means solutions though, shouldn’t be dumbed down at all, but they need to be easy to use and have a high impact so that low effort and high impact is something that is a prime consideration when considering tools that make a difference in the classroom.

One of the other factors is how it fits in with our overall operating systems, processes, and policies. We may have some really innovative solutions that because of our classroom network and jurisdictional infrastructure won’t work or they’re not part of a supported plan. That doesn’t mean they can’t be, what it means is they’ll be operating outside the fence for the period of time that they’re not yet accepted. This is always a challenge between those who are maintaining the systems including the security and privacy of those systems and those wanting to innovate.

Finally, there are practicalities such as cost, such as security implications, such as flexibility of being used on various platforms, for example. All these things are considered and discussed during the sessions that I deliver so join me and I look forward to sharing some of the experiences that I’ve gained over the last 30 years and even over the last 30 minutes.

Edited in Adobe Audition with speech-to-text conversion done using Dragon Professional by Nuance, now owned by Microsoft.

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