A lot of educational research, and I am going to choose my words carefully here, was utterly guff, was utterly, utterly guff, by that I mean, was complete speculation, rhetoric or opinion dressed up as science.

Tom Bennett talking on Radio #EDUtalk.

Radio Edutalk got off to a flying start last night with a great show. I am sure if the fact I was not near a mic had anything to do with this;-)

David talked to Tom Bennett about research in education. Stirring stuff, I nodded along to the trashing of Brain Gym and the like and the podcast gave lots of food for thoughts. A couple of places I really wished I had been near a mic:
One round Tom’s idea that teachers should not be researchers. We have talked to a fair number of folk doing action research on Edutalk and I think their experience is valuable?

The other was picked up from a couple of different sections of the podcast, in one Tom talked about the conferences he is organising being a place teacher could work things out from themselves away from the influence of councils (I am paraphrasing here). Later he suggested that chains of Academies, were big enough to carry out scientific research. My Local Authority hat wanted to asks if he would consider LAs suitable bodies to organise research perhaps in conjunction with nearby Universities. I guess I am knee jerking against Academy chains and there is possibly Tom is not as aware as the Scottish system of Local Authorities.

On Friday I went to this conference in the University of Dundee. David and I were invited to broadcast and record audio from some of the speakers and others at the conference.

There was a pretty packed programme which is continuing online (I’ll be trying to make the ds106 one. I only attended the keynotes as I was busy recording during other sessions. The atmosphere was great, folk from all sectors talking and sharing.

It was a great privilege to get access to the folk I talked to for Radio EDUtalk. As usual I am surprised at how generous folks are with their time and ideas. Lynn Boyle, @boyledsweetie did all the hard work of organising folk to come and talk to me. We also arranged to have a couple of people plus myself for each session, this makes, I believe, for a more interesting conversation.

I enjoyed and learned a great deal from the keynotes, although my notes are mostly single words to remind myself of questions to ask the presenters when we broadcast. I’ll not blog much about these, but you can see Catherine Cronin‘s slide deck. She kicked off the topic of working in the open which was certainly a theme of my conversations throughout the day. Helen Keegan‘s keynote was mind-blowing: getting her students involved in an ARG without their knowledge.

I’ve now posted all the archive audio at EDUtalk with the tag easc13, if you find it half as interesting as I did you are in for a treat.

My other treat was to be able to have a great chat and dinner with David Noble, my edutalk partner and regular contributor Ian Field.

Not being in the classroom I was able to take a holiday to visit the conference. Many classroom teachers would have found it of great value too, if they could have attended. We know that many teachers are happy to give up a day holiday to attend cpd (we hare run well attended summer courses for the past 3 years), it is a pity that class committed teachers could not have a ‘cpd day, get out of class free’ card to be able to attend events like this. e-Assessment Scotland was a free conference and wonderfully organised.

Last year Radio #EDUtalk was at the eAssessment Scotland 2012.

I had a great time and we broadcast some great folk and recorded for the podcast: eAS12 | EDUtalk

This year the Programme looks really interesting.

Kenji Lamb has asked us to cover the conference again! I am really excited about going again and getting into some great conversations that will be a bit over my head.

Last year it worked, IMO, really well by having two knowledgable folk in most of the broadcasts (ie as well as me). I hope to repeat this method again.

You will be able to listen to the live stream on Friday 23 August.

We are also going to run a couple of eAssessment Scotland episodes on Radio #EDUtalk on the Wednesdays before and after the conference.

As usual I am amazed at being able to talk to interesting folk just by sharing the conversation.

Wirelesses by Elsie esq.
Attribution License

Why would you?

  • Listening to audio is more time consuming that reading. It is hard to bookmark interesting section, to scan quickly through content and to skip back and forward.
  • Alternatively audio provides extra information, the sound of voices. Audio can also be consumed while doing other things, driving, washing the dishes walking the dog etc.
  • We have had many wonderful folk send us audio and a tremendous lineup of guests on our live show. Well worth listening to.

On the site

  • Podcast and Radio EDUtalk
  • You can listen to both podcast and the internet radio stream just by using the players on the site. The audio should be played via html5 players when possible falling back to flash. You can also download the audio using the links provided.
  • Listening on the site or downloading individual audio files is fine for casual listening but there are other ways to get the content with less effort and while you are away from your computer..

By subscribing to the podcast feed

  • The podcast has an RSS Feed. This allows folk to ‘subscribe’ to the podcast with podcatcher software. This software will automatically check the feed and download new audio that appears on the site automatically. Most podcatcher can be configured to discard older audio files and can organise the audio in different ways.
  • List of podcatchers – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • On a Computer
  • Mobile
    • Having podcasts on a mobile device is very useful. It means you can listen to podcasts as you travel. Personally I listen t opodcasts while comuting.
    • If you use iTunes you can sync your podcasts to an ipod or iphone.
    • There are also apps which will sync podcasts directly over wifi. Apple provide the podcast app for free. I use Instacast 2, version 3 is now avaliable.
    • Another popular iOS app is downcast.
    • On the android front here are some suggestions. I’d love to have some recommendations from folk I know.

Listening to the radio stream

There are many ways to listen to Edutalk, and other podcasts and Internet radio. You may find this is a great way to get information in addition to reading and watching.

edutalk setup

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland – conference.

A ton (scientifically measured) of teachers turned up to discuss education, on a beautiful Saturday, at the Stirling Management Centre.

As usual with these events the only problem is having to decide which sessions to go to.  

I broadcast and recorded both Keynotes, the first  Radio #EDUtalk Sir Tim Brighouse – is now on EDUtalk

There was a great buzz around the conference with a very positive feeling to the discussions. As well as recording the Keynotes and a couple of sessions I also grabbed a few folk for a chat about their particular interests and their impressions of the conference. It continues to delight me about how generous folk are if you ask them to share. There will some excellent listens on [Edutalk](http://edutalk.cc/pages/radio-edutalk] over the next week or so as I get time to do some light editing.

The audio for the keynotes is better quality than my usual output due to the generosity of the professionals at the conference who not only gave me access to their audio but the necessary cable.

As a taste of what is to come here is a 25 second snippet of  David Cameron’s introduction to Sir Tim Brighouse’s keynote:

Yesterday I went to eAssessment Scotland at the invitation of Kenji Lamb, @kenjilamb. Kenji appeared on Radio Edutalk, Radio #EDUtalk 18-4-12: Kenji Lamb on Open Source Technologies – EDUtalk, and kindly asked David and myself if we would like to do some recording at the conference.

I am taking a wee break from organising show notes for the posts to jot some notes down. Ian Guest In the pICTure and Colin Maxwell have already posted about the conference E-Assessment Scotland 2012 in more depth and detail than these random notes.


Most of the attendees were from Higher Ed rather than school, but my main takeaway from the conference was that there are remarkable similarities between the different sectors of education and many similar explorations going on.

David Boud kicked off with the first keynote talking about feedback which became, for me, the lens that I looked at the rest of the day through. Giving learners ownership, worthwhile feedback and the difficulty in doing so appeared in many narrative and conversations during the day. I was surprised that the phrase formative assessment did not come up frequently as it seem to me it was part of what every one was talking about.

David Boud 1

I was expecting a lot more about automatic computer generated assessment and was delighted not to find any.

Radio EDUtalk

I was sort of expecting to be trying to grab folk in corners and record short boos with them, in fact Kenji had really sorted us out. We had a room with several ethernet points and more importantly Lynn Boyle, @boyledsweetie, had the role of childcatcher (or Roundup Girl) organising presenters, keynote speakers and others to come to our booth.

I started out feeling a wee bit out of my depth in such higher ed surroundings. I was soon very happy as it became obvious that all our interviewees were gracious and generous. I’ve started to post the series over at EDUtalk tagged ‘eAS12’. This will take a couple of days as I’ve decided to make a bit more effort than usual with the shownotes. I’ve spent a fair portion of yesterday hunting down links and trying to avoid reading too much on the blogs I am finding. My gReader account has bulged again..

WordPress, wordpress, wordpress…

I was surprised how often educational blogging came up. Lots of interesting projects, open and closed are happening in higher Education, this parallels (again) schools. One of the seminars was directly about schools, Alex Duff of education scotland on Enabling Pupils to Record and Reflect on their Educational Experiences using WordPress. I am very familiar with the glow blogs as eportfolio system, having spent a fair amount of time training teachers in setting them up and working with classes to do the same. It was still well worth listening to Alex, it made me again appreciate all of the work done to make the blogs server the purpose of Building the Curriculum 5 and local authorities, creating a profile from a profiling blog. This is done with some wordpress cleverness. Considering the Glow install of wordpress is hampered by being an old version and the lack of opportunity to add plugins makes this even more impressive.

Later in the day Alex was presented by a well deserved eAssessment award.

Alex Duff 1

I was interested to hear how Alex had evaluated various portfolio solutions before plumping for the blog and that Education Scotland are open to improving these as glow changes.


As I continue to work my way through the shownotes for Radio Edutalk I am gathering some great links adding to the folk I follow on twitter and the list of blogs I follow. Here are a few that were new to me:

There are a lot more links in the EDUtalk – Filed under ‘eas12’ posts and I’ve collected them all together: eassessment scotland 2012 · linkli.st. At the time of typing this I’ve not uploaded all the audio or posted all the links. I hope to finish later today.


It looked like it was going to be one of those bump into folk day when I met Derek Robertson between the station and university. Derek was introducing the second keynote of the day and took us out of Highrer Ed into the infant room with a tale of 5 year olds creating instructionla videos with very little support!

As I walked into the conference I immediately saw Malcolm Wilson the first of many online pals. Malcolm is ICT Curriculum Development Officer for Falkirk Council Education Services and produces one of the most valuable blogs for using ICT in the classroom: ICT for Teaching & Learning in Falkirk Primary Schools which is useful well outside Falkirk. His recent post on Microsoft Office 365 for Education looks like saving glow users a fair bit of spadework.

I met for the first time Ian Guest (IaninSheffield) on Twitter. Ian has been an EDUtalk stalwart tagging his boos for his 366 Web 2.0 – A Web 2.0 tool-a-day for 2012 project with edutalk.

Alex Duff, whose seminar I attended was another grab a few words meeting. All three of these folk I would have liked to spend more time with as I have a pile of conversations and questions for them all.

Another quick chat with Colin Maxwell whose presentation on Investigating MOOCS sounded as if it would have been fascinating. I was glad to see is tweet:

Edtechcc Again

I’ll be recommending that to teachers interested in ICT if it comes up again.

Finally David and myself grabbed a bite to eat with Doug Belshaw, Doug now works with the Mozilla Foundation where he heads-up their work on web literacies. There are probably not enough hours in the day for me to badge him about Hackasaurus, Open Badges and the like. I was disappointed not to see Doug’s seminar on Are Open Badges the Future for Accrediting Skills? I caught the last couple of Q&As which only made me more curious.

Many thanks to Kenji Lamb for inviting Radio Edutalk to attend. If you didn’t make the conference you might enjoy the archive from our live stream: EDUtalk – Filed under ‘eas12’

I am having an early start today. A while back we had Kenji Lamb on Radio EDUtallk. He kindly invited us to the eAssessment Scotland 2012 conference to do some recording.

The conference has a really interesting looking program. Some of the participants joined David and I for our regular live show earlier this week which was fascinating. We hope to be broadcasting live on Radio EDUtalk throughout the day of we can. Hopefully we will tweet: #edutalk the segments as they go live.

If you are listening live the quality may be better with iTunes, WMP or other non browser method as we will be switching between live and Auto DJ regularly.

Blogged with a hand knitted system

Last Wednesday we returned to Radio EDUtalk after a summer break. (The break was for live shows, IaninSheffield in particular has kept the podcast active over the summer).

Our first guest of the new session was Laurie O’Donnell, @laurieod talking about ‘Innovation, creativity and technology for learning. Laurie gave a passionated, radical and reasoned argument for Innovation and creativity in Scottish Education which I recommend you listen too.

Most of the audio is pretty good quality, although we were beset by skype dropping out which made me a little too uptight to talk sense at times. Fortunately Laurie’s audio is much clearer than mine, I’ve still a lot to learn about nicecast.

David has already put together an impressive list of participants for future shows which you can read about over at Radio Edutalk. We are very open to suggestions or volunteers for future broadcasts please get in touch, (a comment here, twitter tagged #edutalk or an email to edutalkr at hotmail.co.uk)

Finally if you are interested in contribution to the EDUtalk podcast you can do so in several ways or if you would like to try live broadcasting, hosting or co-hosting a show, please get in touch.

I’ve been blogging about, and with, posterous since June 2008 it is a service I love. Early on I compared it to the Flip camera:

The Flip camera and posterous are both effortless technology, in education both could help by lowering the bar so that learners can concentrate on the learning and not get caught up in the tech.

We know what happened to the Flip camera after cisco bought it. I am now worried about what happens to posterous now twitter has bought it.

Posterous explain a couple of things:

Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption. We’ll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service.

These seem slightly contradictory.

There are 3 main ways I use posterous:

  1. John’s posterous – I always did like sending email which I uses for mobile blogging, now mostly iphone photos.
  2. enviable stuff which I use for posting internet finds, posterous sends them on to this blog.
  3. EDUtalk – Audio publishing by educators, using mobile devices, this is of course organised in partnership with David @parslad and is the one I am worrying about.

The first two uses are pretty simple and could easily be done in other way, EDUtalk is different. We use several of posterous features to get things done:

  1. We allow anyone to post audio via email, this goes into the moderation queue. Posterous deals very well with spam, we do not see much at all. Although most other blogging systems have posting via email, I believe that most of them use a secret email address, I’ve not head of any that recommend sharing the email with the world.
  2. The API this allows us to semi automatically pull in posts from AudioBoo and iPadio to the moderation queue. The majority of audio comes from AudioBoo at the moment.
  3. Posting via web, this allows use to upload the Radio ‹EDUtalk archive to the posterous stream, these are fairly large files, each an hour of audio.

Most of this could be done by other means (I think) but it is the ease with which posterous allows this to happen that I love. I can’t think of another service that would allow us to do this so easily.


Has been going thorough a good spell. We had a great set of Boos for Leon Cych, @eyebeams from the Naace Conference: naace12. Ian Guest @ianinsheffield is continuing his great daily series on Web tools for use in the classroom. David and I have been enjoying the live Radio EDUtalk broadcasting (Radio Archive) and have managed a variety of show types.

The last thing I want to be thinking about is a some sort of sealing wax and string posterous substitute but I am starting to keep my eyes open and am looking for suggestions?

It was quite a busy week on Radio #EDUtalk on Tuesday David hosted Peter Doran, Chair of the Doran Review, who talked about ‘Strategic Review of Learning Provision for Children and Young People with Complex Additional Support Needs’ (Which can be listed to at: Radio #EDUtalk 6-3-12: Peter Doran). On Wednesday we hosted our most ambitious, in terms or stretching the technology, show so far: A panel discussion on ‘The professional culture of teaching’, with Professor Gordon Kirk, Academic Secretary of UCET, Rosa Murray of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), David Cameron (independent education consultant), and Joan MacKay of Education Scotland. (Which can be listed to at:Radio #EDUtalk 8-3-12: Panel discussion on ‘the professional culture of teaching’). Later in the evening we broadcast a Trailer for Radio #EDUtalk show on 14-3-12: Professor Ian Menter.

The Panel discussion was a wee bit more complex than usual as I was working, David was at work and the 4 panellists were scattered across Scotland.

Panel Edutalk tn

Interestingly, to me, was the fact that I was in a location where skype is blocked. So Nicecast was set up on a computer where Skype was not blocked and I connected to this one via Apple Remote Desktop.

David pulled the participants into a Skype conference via their landlines, and dialled the remote mac, I picked up the call on Skype via the remote desktop. We used our mobiles to let me know when to start Nicecast broadcasting and for any trouble shooting. David also called me at the end of the conference so that I could stop the broadcast and Radio EDUtalk went back to its Auto DJ. I was busy working with some Trainees and could not listen in.

We are having a lot off fun working with this. Internet Radio has been around for a lot longer than most of the Web 2 tools usually used by Educators an offers a lot of potential. It is inexpensive, skype is free, as this discussion was joined by land lines it cost David 5.6p per minute, whole show cost £2.80. Internet Radio Servers are inexpensive and the posterous site is free. On a mac at least the necessary software, NiceCast is easy to set up.

An invitation to Broadcast

Most of the time Radio EDUtalk is broadcasting random bits of audio from the EDUtalk archive. This is now up to 675MB, well over 200 audio files. We broadcast live regularly on a Wednesday evening but would be delighted if anyone wanted to broadcast at another time.

If you are interested in running an educational Internet Radio show of any kind please get in touch. We would be happy to run this via Skype with you or give you the opportunity to run the whole thing your self.