Using the more modest technologies of the internet to gather rich information, and how that could be applied to education.
Anyone who hasn’t got that AUDIO is the biggest application (by data transfered) on the internet, probably hasn’t been paying attention. I had the opportunity over the last couple of days to think about a number of technologies and how they could be applied to my former career as a teacher.
As a delivery model, internet and web traffic, has gone from text to graphics, and now to audio. While video is available on the web, it is significantly degraded from what most people have come to expect. As the CEO of Netflix pointed out, 3 DVDs in the back of a station wagon currently beats the fastest data network as a transport media.
The advances of commercial online music like iTunes shows that you can get audio at a quality that the mass market is prepared to pay for.
So with my iPod in hand I have gone looking for other audio that would be useful.
First I found audible for fiction and non-fiction books. I find non-fiction as a more useful than non-fiction for an audiobook. I actually got into blogs after listening to a Free audiobook. Library of Congress Series on Digital Future: Blogs with David Weinberger
So how does this apply to teachers, well most of the items that we use in print could be presented as audiobooks. Most of the major text used for English classes are already availible as audio files.
While there is an argument for digital textbooks for reading, the audio versions might make the market before their electronic type cousins. This is despite the good work of the Gutenburg project.
I especially like the idea of downloading these audio files to my iPod so I can listen to them while I am out walking or driving. So these are generally more useful than text or video for this purpose. By the explosion of the term Podcasting , I gather I am not the only one. For an example of some Podcasts see http://audio.weblogs.com/
….. Continued tomorrow.