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VStream and The Imposter Syndrome

I attended the VStream Symposium a few weeks ago . To put it in the organizers words it “helped identify key issues facing educators using video in the classroom and provided useful instruction and example to illustrate current practices both technical and pedagogical in nature”.

I did record audio of the conference through my digital recorder, but the quality is not as good as I would like. The keynote by Marc Prensky and the breakout Sessions were all video recorded so I am anticipating that the sessions with be posted soon on

I got to meet Ben Hazzard whom I have known online in various incantations over the years. It seemed like we have known each other forever through networks, but never really met in person. His session “When Video Is Irrelevant?” described as:

Interesting lessons learned through practical application of video and audio in the classroom as well as professional development contexts. See when video is ignored, when audio is embraced, and how students react to video. Will the audience of a successful podcast grow when video is introduced? Will students write more effectively to script video? This session will share examples from the field, real podcast statistics, and encourage participants to think about the choosing the best tool for the job.

Ben led a great discussion and demonstrated some of the ways he used video in his classroom. Some of the common points came out with regard to copyright and distributing media.

Diane Zorn led the second breakout session that I attended. I have to be honest; I hadn’t heard of Diane, although she seems to be popular with the Media and has won awards for her online course at York. Her session “Designing Student-Centered, Highly Interactive, Rich Media Courses Using V-Streaming with Mediasite and Video and Audio Podcasting” described as:

Diane Zorn will share lessons learned and best practices of designing, implementing and managing a fully online, rich media, student-centered, critical thinking, skills-based course that uses Mediasite V-Streaming and Video and Audio Podcasting. From an analysis of the problems that were encountered and then sought to resolve, and of student experiences of the course, this presentation identifies ten principles for good practice in the development and delivery of innovative online education. The presentation includes a tour of the presenter’s course website and a Course Design Toolkit folder.

One idea that she brought up that has stuck with me is the “Imposter Syndrome.” I guess it might be categorized as a possible psychological reason why educators might be fearful of getting online with their students and publishing materials. She mentioned that educators, no matter their successes, had a fear that they were going to be “found out” as a fraud in the field that they claim expertise. This might also have a domino effect with regards to online professional development.

The Collaborator vs The Isolator

I was jotting down a couple of thoughts around different criteria of educators that are collaborators and those that are isolators. It can be a real challenge to move educators towards being collaborators, rather than isolators.

Venn Diagram of Comparison

Click on the Image for a Readable Sized Image

Google Earth: Educator Perspectives

The Google Earth for Educators course I am facilitating at KnowSchools is starting today and ends on Sunday evening. I hope that you will come by and join in the global conversation.

In the “Course Agenda” I included a Flash presentation that I created online using Toufee. It was a little tedious to work in the online environment rather than Flash, but I could really see how easy it would be for those who don’t own any Flash tools to create nifty presentations and widgets in Flash. I have included the Toufee presentation below:

Google Earth as a Classroom Tool

I'm holding an online course on Nov. 10-12 through Knowplace on using Google Earth as a classroom tool. Here is a more detailed view of the course as well as registration instructions for this Open Weekend. There is no cost to this course. So please come by if you are interested in using Google Earth in the K12 classroom or would like to learn more about it.

I posted my first online video to youtube as a response to Alan Levine's keynote address at the K12OnlineConference. That lead me to start using google video to post a clip for the Google Earth open weekend course. Push your comfort limits and you never know what you can do.

I'll embed the Google Earth video introduction below. Hope to see you at the course:


I read an excellent post for using rss feeds in order to post and download homework content through the use of an rss feed from, through Doug's blog . Doug call's it homework-casting, I'm not so big on the name, but that isn't really important to me. The idea is great!

RSS feeds for Students HomeworkJust to build off of that idea, I thought of pulling in loosely joined content from many places to add together into a homework feed. This would be the remixing of a number of feeds with tags included on items. My recipe for building a homework feed.

  • Audio instructions could be recorded online using
  • Video instructions created and then posted through
  • Web Pages, audio, video and files posted over the web could be bookmarked through and downloaded. (As Doug points out)
  • The teacher posts their own files through – PPT, Word, PDFs …

All these services support the tagging of materials that have been posted, as well as an rss feed. You could just use the date of the posts to associate it with the students homework or you could tag the materials with the appropriate homework dates, as all these services support tags.

Next, you take these feeds to your favourite RSS remixer to create a single feed. Some of these remixers support a web page preview of your remixes.

Students could look at this web page preview for their homework or grab the rss feed for their aggregators.

(Click on the image for a better view of the diagram)

Ask A Teacher

Ask A Teacher is free sychronous homework help from TV Ontario and ILC from Sunday to Thursday from 5:30-9:30pm.

This is a great resource for Ontario high school students who would like to get homework help from certified teachers using synchronous communication. Teachers and students communicate via an enhanced whiteboard and chat area to go through challenging homework problems.

Students can also use the essay feedback tool to submit an essay to a certified english teacher for suggestions and improvement. Did I mention it’s FREE!

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