I have been a fan of the audio experiments of John Johnston and David Noble since I first got into podcasting five years ago. They were inspirations to me then and they still are now. So when last week, David invited me to take part in the first official broadcast of their new project Edutalk Radio, I jumped at the chance!
The idea of Edutalk Radio is twofold, first to live stream random selections of the existing bank of audio collected on the Edutalk site and secondly to offer educators the opportunity to call or Skype into a live phone in and chat about topics of their choice.
The topic of discussion last Thursday was educational podcasting and Stephen Reid from A Higher Place kicked off proceedings brilliantly by calling in on his smartphone live from his train carriage using a 3G connection while David and John endeavoured to patch the audio through into the live stream!
As you will hear, it did work and Stephen was able to share his expertise with the hosts and of course the listeners. He talked about the key messages he likes to convey to teachers when training them on the power of podcasting and how he tries to dispell their misconceptions through practical examples. I loved the way he added how pupils just go for it in his experience and don't seem to share the same concerns.
My section was recorded through Skype too and you can hear the difference in audio quality between the iPhone's microphone and my Samson CO3U below.
Show notes for the episode can be found here.
Pioneers of educational podcasting in Scotland, John and David have been experimenting with the power of audio in and out of the classroom for the past six years with projects such as Radio Sandaig and Booruch. In 2009, they came up with the idea of encouraging delegates attending the Scottish Learning Festival to reflect on the event by using their mobile devices to send audio feedback to a Posterous blog. SLFtalk was born.
As John explains in this short interview I recorded with him at the time, he was pleased with this first attempt of gathering the voices of educators together in the same place and the seamless way Posterous coped with the task. Using social media platforms like Twitter certainly helped to spread the word as well as specially-produced SLFtalk cards with detailed instructions we gave out over the two days.
Buoyed by this initial success and Edublog award nomination, David and John launched Edutalk, an extension of the SLFtalk idea and a further opportunity for teachers, pupils and educational professionals to capture their thoughts on a mobile device and share them with a wider audience 24/7.
To help build up a bank of user generated content, the duo challenged people to post a new recording everyday and this certainly got the ball rolling.
Not content to sit on their laurels, David and John then decided to start up Edutalkr, an online panel discussion featuring specialists in their fields such as Professor Stephen Heppell and other learning enthusiasts wishing to debate the educational issues of the day from their mobile phones, landlines or SkypeOut.
In August 2010, the TESS published the article Audio explorers right on track which catalogued the progress of the project to date and acknowledged its impact in its first year.
A month later, the team presented their findings at the Scottish Learning Festival in the session Edutalk - Mobile audio publishing by educators. I was lucky enough to be there in person and to record proceedings including the iPadio + Skype conference call test involving willing volunteers scattered around the exhibition hall!
For this year's SLF, Education Scotland joined in the fun by encouraging folk to use the Edutalk tag and to publish their thoughts through different channels. A resounding endorsement of the Edutalk project and now with the launch of Radio Edutalk, things are continuing to go from strength to strength!