Discover Your Inner Geek!

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the week 7 category.

La Grande Finale

Here it is… La Grande Finale!

It’s been fun! Thanks again to Cheryl for putting this all together and to all of you for the stimulating discussions!  Here’s to the geeks!


UPDATE :: La Grande Finale

I have finished La Grande Finale – the last of my reflections for the Geek in Training course.  I gave our Geek in Residence a sneak peak at the product of my labours yesterday afternoon and we have decided to keep it a surprise until graduation.  I am so excited to show you all what this course has inspired me to create!

(No worries, La Grande Finale will be posted to the blog on Monday so that you can take a look if you missed its premier.)


Catch Up 5 & 6: Audio and Video

I must admit.  I love podcast and videocasts.  They are more likely to hold my attention than just a blog or an online article.  I get very excited when I see my friends post a podcast or video for my to listen to or watch because I get to hear and see their expressions.  This is most likely because I am a strong auditory and visual learner.

Lately, I’ve been using podcasts for relaxation purposes.  There are tons of meditation podcasts available out there.  I usually need some sort of background music when I am working,  however, lately I’ve found that meditation podcasts are much more effective than the radio.  I encourage you to try one out!  It adds a subtle spa feeling to your office 😛

Videos are my new obsession.  I used to enjoy making small videos for my friends overseas,  however, I’ve expanded my love for video making to my workplace now!  I just created a video for the LEARN program.  I will post the link to the video once I’ve edited it!  Not only do video attract the attention of students; students love to get involved in the making of one!  I put a call-out for any interested LEARN students to  help me with the creation of the video, and a few hours later I had enough student-volunteers for 2 videos!  I definitely recommend using videos for marketing and promotional purposes!  Happy directing!

How I became a fan of Weird Al Yankovic…

(Just to make sure my post is attractive enough: You will see my position about the essay if you read until the end).

Week 7 was so much fun! Besides reading all the info on podcasts, I spent more than an hour watching Weird Al Yankovic. This will not give me any geek points, but it was a blast! This is my favourite online course ever, KUDOS to Cheryl! All right, back to learning and reflection:

A bit about my experience: I love podcasts. I have been deleting music from my ipod in order to make space for more podcasts. Here are some of my favourites (please share yours, too!):

Months ago, I realized that it was much easier for me to comprehend something I listened to, instead of something I read. It happened with the New Yorker, I used to read the Comment and -as it happens with everything I read- I had to go back and read it over and over. However, when I listened for the first time such a clear voice, with perfect intonation and pauses narrating the Comment, my comprehension levels increased and now I can’t get enough!

Note: The problem of listening to podcasts while I walk to work is that I really get into them and sometimes I will find myself crossing a street without noticing the cars… the same happens with people.

Podcasts and higher ed: The work that Bridgewater State College is doing shows how the use of technology can support student programming. Interestingly, they are not just creating 15-minute podcasts but they are also designing a learning infrastructure: there is a space for discussion, option for mentors and other components, involvement of the students in the planning, etc.  It’s also very obvious that they have both the resources needed and the support from the institution. I believe that the culture of an insitution plays a key role in the implementation of creative and innovative programs supported or powered by technology.

Re ESL students: Listening to native speakers is one of the best ways to enhance our speaking and pronounciation skills. Wouldn’t be great to have a list of podcasts that an international student could download in order to get more information about the university, slang, phrases, life in Canada, etc?

Now, the issue of access. We think that: commuter students + podcasts =learning while they commute

But what about those students who do not have access to an mp3 player, ipod, etc? What if they don’t have a computer at home? Can the library lend a mp3 player? Does anybody know about this?

About Socrates in Earphones: After reading the article about 3 times (it might have been easier if I had listened to it, but I guess learning does not happen via audio…) I want to write a few things:

1. All right, agreed. The rationale for implementing ilectures should not be that attendance to lectures is becoming difficult.

2. Universities/educators should be up to date. At least they should be aware of what is happening outside of their classrooms. Even if they are “good teachers”. Actually, at this point I’m thinking if the writer really cares about the quality of education or if this is just a way to rant against change and the use of new technologies.

3. I don’t know about you all, but I’ve learned a lot via the internet, without a structured and scholarly relationship between data information and knowledge. Learning happens EVERYWHERE! We don’t need to have a teacher/student configuration to create a learning environment, that’s so traditional thinking (argh).

4. Any way, it is true that we should not compromise the quality of education. The use of technology is not an easy way out of good teaching or good programming.



I like multitasking (‘though the folks @43 Folders insist that there’s no such thing), so, I guess, it makes sens that I like podcasts. I can listen to someone talking about study tips (which I just did), but also check email or make myself some tea or just gaze out the window at the rain. I had hoped to find some new wisdom at the 43 Folders site, but I saw, when I went there to check out podcasts for this entry, that they’ve had a change of heart, or mind–change is something that I’m feeling kind of at my limit with these days, so I just opened up itunes and listened to a podcast from Texas A+M that I’d downloaded earlier this year. I thought it tried a bit hard to be cute and “with it” to appeal to university students, but I guess that’s better than being overly didactic. At least it was short. Still, I wonder whether students would select that (even though it had one direct and useful idea–slot studying into time that is usually wasted between classes to free up evenings, weekends, etc.) from their itunes library instead of listening to music that they like or (for those lucky enough to have a video ipod) watching a pirated movie.

Audio Thoughts

Not everything should be a podcast. Just because we can record things and provide them to the general public does not mean we should. I agree with Eva’s point that not everyone has the voice for a podcast. Just like not everyone is meant for radio. There are many people who are engaging when you see them lecture in person but are just plain painful if you are subjected to listen to them without the accompanying video. Case in point, take a listen to some of the TVO best lecturer podcasts.

For me, audio is not enough. I put podcasts on in the background as a sort of white noise filler just like I do the radio at home. I’m not completely listening to the information nor is it sinking in. Perhaps, this would be different if I had an Ipod but I am ipodless and happy.

Impact might be different from input

Just listened to an interesting podcast on CBC about the establishing fines for parents who take minors to see 18+ rated movies. However, as interesting as the topic was, what stayed with me was the  2-minute filler where the moderator asked the panelists a series of questions to test how much attention they actually pay to their sorroundings. For example: “At a traffic light, is the red at the bottom or top?” or “How many corners does a paper clip have?” and “Are even numbers on the left or right side of a book page?”   

So despite the fact that your podcast might be about subject A, sometimes what stays with the listener is the little itty bitty detail you included about something else that captured the attention of your listener.


I picked the shortest podcast I could find – about the new visual identity of the AGO – and listened while I  worked. I did’nt know who was talking, and I kept drifting off to concentrate on my work.  What info I did catch was not very illuminating.

I might be better at listening to a podcast on my MP3 player on the GO Train than here at work.  If I were to do that, I would find something more interesting to listen to.

If we decided to do podcasts for Student Life, I would say that it would be crucial to pick a speaker with the right type of voice.