Category Archives: podcasting

Recording: Twitter for Professional learning

Lucy Gray recorded the session for her NLU class. There were two presenters – myself and Mike Muir, Maine Learning Through Technology Policy Director. Mike gave an overview of MLTI and his state’s work on proficiency-based professional development. Follow me on twitter @murcha You can see the recording on youtube at


Some uploading trials for our podcasts and movies

Now, that students have finished their podcasts and are completing their digital stories, I have to experiment with the best ways of uploading their final product. Most podcasts have been converted to mp4 format but two of the wmv movies refused to convert into mp4, or if they did the sound was lost. So I have left them as wmv and still placed them on podomatic.

Students in year 8 who are working on sharing digital videos with Las Vegas students, are completing their work and it has been decided to upload them and host them at, paste the code (the edublogs code is the one to select for globalstudent and globalteacher) and paste the code into the text box  on the presentation section of the blog site. Goto presentation>widgets and ensure there is a text box in widgets. Paste the code into this text box.

Now that I am gaining confidence and Jess (technolote) has helped me, I am experimenting with presentation. So yesterday, it was decided add my delicious links and I will gradually add more as I go.

Download Video: Posted by murch at

The Hawkesdale Hotel

 Hawkesdale township in Western Victoria, Australia, has a beautiful old bluestone building built in 1855. This enhanced podcast has been produced by a year 10 student where you can learn a little of its history. Two of our senior residents are also interviewed during this podcast.
Download Video: Posted by murch at

Podcasts are now online

Well, most of our podcasts are finally online. The podcasts largest in file size have been left until last so these will go up some time next week. After being so concerned about whether I could technically put them online without some expert help, I have learned that it is not so difficult to do, after all.

Students saved their audio podcasts in Acid or Audacity (and have kept their original work in case we wish to work with them further.)  and they were then exported as mp3 files. Audacity required a lame codec to be added and this can be found on their web site. Next the files were imported into Vegas Movie Studio ( a digital video editing program which allows really professional touches and finishes.)  All students placed text, titles, fading and digital images. Images had to be resized first down to almost thumbnail size, converted the images from bmp to jpg extensions and then imported them.

Once the images matched the audio and students were satisfied with their product and ensured they were informative and reasonable entertaining, they were made into mpg movie format. This allowed their movies to be reduced in size but could still be played through windows media player with reasonable quality.  Files should always be saved onto the hard drive first. Files were saved again as email wmv files. This reduced them completely in size and the third save involved converting them with jodix ( into mp4 format. Most files vary from 4mb to 12 mb.

When uploading to, we started with the mp4 converted files, but we had forgotten to convert some of the email wmv files and to my surprise, podomatic converted them anyway.  So, after what seems months of dedicated work, a huge steep learning curve, lots of frustration but still mostly fun, all groups of students have completed a podcast of which they are proud. They can now be viewed at or follow the links to the right of this blog. Unfortunately, they still take some time to buffer but we are working on that problem.

Are We There Yet

Well, yes, we are nearly there. One of the boys in the grade 6 class said he had never worked so hard in one lesson before and then promptly had difficulty retrieving his file of hard labour which he thought he had saved. Not to be undone, he has spent another two lessons putting all the media back into Vegas Movie Studio. Please note that when students save, they must goto save as, each time and check the box that states “copy all media with file”, otherwise they have to go back on to the same computer. Even then, there are no guarantees that work will all be there. Anyway, he has been a patient lad!

Another two students finished their podcasts today and the the other four groups are nearly complete. My IT lesson tomorrow should see them in their finished stages. I sat down with Jess (Technolote) today and she helped me improve the presentation of our student blog at We added a clustr map widget into the RHS column and I inserted a panoramic shot of Apex Park in Hawkesdale as our header. The students are fascinated to see where the red dots or viewers are appearing from around Australia and in fact, the world.

iTunes has finally caught our podcast and a nice link to our podcasts takes people to the podomatic page. We have uploaded the mp3 and the mp4 files for the different audiences but I may yet delete the mp3 files. This morning I also tried to upload to podcast alley but it said that some of the coding was wrong so again. Being extremely conservative I avoided completing the setup. Might try again now.

A successful day with podcasting

At last, we are starting to complete the podcasts and get closer to a finished product. In response to my plea for advise  in converting our email size mpg files from Vegas Movie Studio into a format that iTunes would accept, Jenny a teacher in Victoria had the correct answer for us.

She suggested using a converter called jodix at that would make our mpg into mp4 files and it has worked. This is a free download. We also tried an online converter program suggested by Jess (Technolote) but that was not as good and only gave us free hosting for 21 days. We also found that when we converted the files to email format in Vegas, we had to increase the kps to 256 from 100 as many transitions were extremely slow and the audio file kept jumping. However, another student who did not have as many sound effects or transitions, found that the 100kps was good enough.

Tomorrow we will try and put our files through iTunes and then into Podomatic. The same two girls also needed to skype one of the volunteers at the Volcano Discovery Centre. They are producing a further podcast on the volunteers, their duties etc.  We had to download powergramo from onto the desktop connected to the smart board in the library  to record the interview, but despite the download, our microphone setup was incorrect and it would not record. However, it worked through my laptop so the girls spent 30 mins or so skyping Mylee using video conferencing. However, Mylee’s voice was a little soft so we may have to do it again and lend her a microphone to improve the sound quality.

Once the recording had been made, we just exported the recording as a wav file and will convert to mp3 through Acid. I did not have the lame codec on my laptop. Teaching Sagitarian from NZ was a great help all day as usual, so thanks Chrissy, if you ever read this blog. I love the power of web 2.0 where people from other countries are always ready and able to help immediatley.

Web 2.0 Great Stuff

.baDecided to list all the web 2.0 pages that I have used and found really good. So here they are:  – great tool for creating survey  – an online calendar
google docs
google page creator – web page creator  – digital image editing – cartoon creator – for blogging
mojiti – online digital video editing –  for brainstorming
Of possible interest – class feedback – online tutorials – claymation type software

Had the grade 5 and 6 combo today again so was not able to achieve a lot with the podcasting side of things. Instead we concentrated on our backyard blogs and I was pleased to be able to upload quite a few of them. This is certainly an excercise which the kids love.

I also skyped Teaching Sagittarius in Napier NZ but I tried it on my laptop connected to the smartboard in the grade 5 room (which was vacant). However, the smart board would not recognise the laptop and we had problems as skype was not downloaded onto the computer desktop. So I could feel another headache coming on!!! Anyway, we could the see NZ class really well with the video conferencing but their voices were very soft. They could see us but we had a lot of static. Anyway we will try again some time. The few kids I had with me were just so excited.

A wiki page has been created for us to share and we are about to upload an individual voki for each student to quickly introduce who they are in 60 seconds. Then we will set up 10 questions they would like to ask each other and put them into a podcast. Each student will be paired with one other from the opposite country. Anyway we are all quite excited about it. The USA has started school this week so we will be working with a school in Las Vegas with the year 7s and 8s.