Reflections on Podcasting the FETC 2006 Conference
Apr 01, 2006 Filed in: Educational Technology
Well, we almost have the FETC Coverage finished- and what an experience it was! The Immersion "style" of education is very effective. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with an Apple Distinguished Educator that has a stellar reputation as a educational technology blogger and podcaster: Tim Wilson. He and I pretty much ate, drank, and slept podcasting in the Posh Podcast Pad across from the Convention Center.
The podcast project was really quite ambitious and it wouldn't have been possible without Tim and the rest of our team: Dr. Mark Benno, Julene Reed, Michael Hageloh, and Dr. Larry Anderson. Every one was very enthusiastic and committed to a quality project.
The room was really quite an asset to our project, it was a standard type hotel room with an adjoined suite (kitchenette, dining room table, sofa, coffee table, living room chairs and workspace). The suite was ideal for us to set up our equipment for the person to person interviews and the panels. We had an area for person to person interviews (on the dining room table) as well as a wireless lapel microphone mixer with four mikes for sitting around the coffee table and having a more relaxed sort of conversation.
Regarding equipment, my previous experiences of radio and podcasting were strictly analog (tape and live broadcast) and digital straight into the computer. Tim Wilson brought a couple of flash drive recorders and there was a third one on loan from Apple Computer. I really had a hard time getting used to the menuing system on these Marantz flash drive decks, but quickly saw their big advantage as being much more portable and well suited to on the showroom floor style interviews and conversations. They are much less intrusive than an open laptop to leave up on a podium or to carry around. And you get save about three hours of quality audio on a gigabyte flash card. Solid state technology (no moving hardrives or such) is much more durable and requires less electricity. I ended up buying a (much) less expensive Fostex multitrack field recorder when I returned home. I have been very pleased with it and found it's display made setting up much easier than the Marantz.
Tim also introduced me to Basecamp and other online collaboration tools as a way for us to develop a plan and create a workflow for our FETC Podcast project. We really needed a common workspace and this provided us the ansynchronous meeting space we needed. The only thing I wish it had was a hourly calendar tool.