Have you heard the one about the bloggers who go into a bar?

So these three edubloggers go into a bar with a laptop and camera and begin to broadcast around the world…..

Trust it to Will, Jakes and Dembo to cook up some fun and learning at the same time. The three met in alocal establishment in Chicago tonight and tested out UstreamTV. This free, live streaming site allows anyone to broadcast live to the world. I used it a few weeks ago to watch my daughter’s new puppy when we aren’t home. Easy to set up. The potential of a tool such as this is obviously much more powerful than watching puppies. Remember when people used to (they still do but let’s presume some progress) categorize blogs as cat diaries? I think we’re better at understanding the power of these new tools as learning tools.

I had a conversation today with a principal asking how to make the next steps in using technology. I mentioned Ustream TV as a connecting tool. Her eyes lit up. Mine did too.

As I read a couple of posts today about blocking content I realize I’m blessed to work with an IT department that understands its role very well. They want to provide a great service for teachers and students. This means considering these tools in the light of both security, performance but more importantly quality learning. As a rather brash advocate of these tools, I work with them and they with me on understanding the issues. Not matter what the issue it usually comes down to, “How can we make it work?” But I digress…

So back to the streaming video. Many are going to look at this and say, “big deal”. I look at this and my mind is whirling with possibilities. Classroom presentations, personal tv stations, unconference learning….you fill in the blank. Will, David and Steve asked the same question, “How can we make it work?” The 30+ participants asked similar questions. Mixed with some good fun, this was a good way to spend part of an evening. Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach claimed it was better than anything on TV. You can watch it all here.

I captured a couple of minutes of this. The fun part anyway. If you want to know the awkward way I did this, leave a comment and I’ll reveal my secret.

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  • Wow, cool tool. Wish I didn’t have a nap tonight, would of loved to see the chat backchanneling throughout this recording.

    Technology is constantly changing. Thanks to the 2.5 cubs fans for this overview, it looks awesome!

  • ‘My Shareski’? No wonder you refer to him as the evil one. I still want to know how many they had!

  • The evil one, huh? I did look pretty bad. That was an absolute blast!

  • Ok, I’ll bite… How did you do the capture and captions??

  • Steve,

    I used Camtasia to capture video, then went back and captured the audio via Audacity…then synced them up somewhat close in Pinnacle Studio…. It took my a while once I realized that the screen capture tools I have, Jing and Camtasia don’t capture audio.

    Probably took me about an hour…but I’ll be faster next time, especailly if someone leaves a comment about an easier tool!

  • This looks a lot like bogtv.ca where people create their own “shows”. I’ve never used it but I can imagine the many possibilities. I like the idea of the various “channels” on blogtv, although they are not really named for educational purposes.

    If you are using firefox as a browser, can you use one of the video downloading extensions to download the video?

  • Thanks Angus,

    I think your link should be http://www.blogtv.com/

    The firefox extensions and zamzar work for video in .flv formats…not sure if ustream uses a proprietory format or if it’s just streaming video….difficult to download without software.

  • Dean,

    You are right….It used to be blogtv.ca and it was available only to Canadians. They obviously changed the domain recently and opened up to the rest of the world…

  • Dean,
    Many people are talking about the unconference professional development that is occurring due to the proliferation of social networking tools. Due to twitter, for examples, allows us to instantly create online opportunities. I was at a focus group of educators about PD yesterday and the issue of how to quantify this type of innovative PD came up. In our state (MA), teachers are required to obtain a certain number of professional development points to stay certified.
    How do we quantify the PD that results from creating personal learning communities and personal PD? Do we need to have the capability to quantify it?
    For me, this is engaging and energizing – participating in the opportunities, backchanneling, reading the blogs that arise as a result, connecting it to education and reflecting on the possibilities and pedagogy.
    Any thoughts?

  • (so sorry for all the typos).

  • Karen,

    While we in Canada don’t have the same requirements and accountability for PD, I think that we need to be advocates of more constructivist types of approaches to PD. That is, PD of the sit and git nature needs to move towards these types of PD where contribution is required. The expectation is that everyone brings something to the table. We’re all learners and teachers. Some may have more to offer but it’s never one way. These tools clearly represent this type of learning.

    People like yourself need to advocate for it. Grant it, it will take much to see changes but as adult learners, we can’t be modeling ineffective practices we know shouldn’t be in our classrooms….sorry if this is a bit incoherent…writing this during my daughter’s loud birthday party.


  • I am sure that there are plenty of positives out there, but what have you seen for yourself? Are you becoming attached to my clear gold Wanna very nice joke?)) What do you get when you cross an elephant and a skin doctor? A pachydermatologist.

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