This week I recorded a Skype chat with Mimi Jones, a French teacher from Cameron High School in Missouri about her use of free phonecasting tool iPadio during her recent transatlantic trip to London, Paris and Barcelona. Throughout the ten day tour, the young people she was escorting regularly used her mobile phone to send instant podcasts known as 'phlogs' to the same online account allowing their parents and friends to share in the experience.
I heard about Mimi's experiment thanks to this post by Sam Culshaw-Robinson, an ICT TA at Nottingham High School and was impressed that it had featured on the iPadio blog no less! Having phlogged myself on last year's Nodehill educational visit to Brittany, I was interested to find out more and so contacted Mimi who I follow on Twitter to request we record a conversation which I could subsequently publish here. I was delighted when she accepted my offer and you can hear the results above.
With Mimi's permission, I am also publishing a compilation of all the phlogs she and her students sent during the trip as well as the pictures they took while they were away.
It was fantastic to be able to find out from Mimi herself how she used technology to enhance her students' experience, allow them to express themselves and keep parents in the loop at the same time. It was also lovely to hear how influential the MFL Twitterati has been on Mimi's practice in the last year! Take a bow @josepicardo and @icpjones!
Listening back to the phlogs, it is clear that her students thoroughly enjoyed travelling across Europe and reflecting on many cultural differences they found interesting along the way. I hope you enjoy hearing their accounts too. You could also have a look at the latest newsletter from the Foreign Language Association of Missouri which includes a report of the trip too and this interview.
As I mentioned to Mimi in our interview, it seems to me that to take this type of moblogging to the next level, it would be a good idea to combine the power of iPadio with Twitter and a Posterous blog. This would allow you to cross-post any phlogs or tweets to the same place automatically as well as give you the option of uploading video or images via email if you could get access to free wifi en route or have a suitable data package set up.
Check out iPadio's YouTube channel for some useful guides on how to do this as well as overviews of Posterous such as this one or this one. Posterous has recently introduced comment moderation on their blogs too making the service arguably ideal for educational moblogging. You can also moderate your phlogs as well if you wish before publishing them live on the internet.
For more ideas on how to get started with moblogging, have a look at this presentation by Chris Fuller which should get you quickly on the road!
Other language teachers have recently been moblogging too. Valerie McIntyre used Posterous for her trip to Strasbourg this month and Rachel Hawkes created one for her visit to Spain in April. For further examples of MFL moblogs have a look at this post about the hows and whys of podcasting which you should find interesting. Finally, Suzi Bewell has been pioneering the use of iPadio in promoting speaking skills and improving pronunciation in the classroom. Go Suzi!
I hope this post has given you some ideas on how you could use iPadio and phlogging in and out of your own classroom and why this would be a worthwhile thing to do. Happy phlogging guys!