Not sure if you know it or not, but I'm a pretty big fan of Dean Shareski, a Canadian #edtech guru who has changed my own thinking about teaching and learning over the past few years.
Recently, Dean blogged about the power of a person's actual voice.
I think about the way a person's voice builds connection and relationship is unique and important. It's amazing how, if I've heard someone's voice in person or online, I read their stuff in that voice.
Makes sense, doesn't it?
I know that when I'm reading text-based blog entries, I almost always make up imaginary inflections for the authors — and I LOVE meeting people in person to see if their real voices align nicely with my imagination.
In today's day and age, y'all, incorporating audio and video into your blog is ridiculously easy.
Whether you decide to roll hardcore and use YouTube's Video Recorder or keep things simple and whip up content with your cell phone, there is NO REASON that your readers should have to wonder what you sound like in real life.
To personalize the Radical, I've decided to use Spreaker — a free service complete with an Android Mobile App — to start my own semi-regular podcast called A Minute for Change focused on the #edreform and #schoolchange questions that are spinning my intellectual wheels.
Here's the first episode — which is built around a conversation that I had with Steve Goldberg and wrestles with the notion that schools just aren't doing enough to measure the skills that parents really care about:
Now let's be honest: The audio quality on my Spreaker recording isn't fantastic. While I was experimenting with different podcasting apps, I found SEVERAL voice recorders that produce a far better final product — particularly Tape-a-Talk.
But Spreaker does a TON of other things REALLY well.
Most importantly, I can post new episodes to my Spreaker page on the web as soon as I'm done recording them on my cell phone. That eliminates all kinds of second and third steps that I'd be unlikely to take if I were using other services.
Spreaker also automatically generates embeddable text for each episode that I post. That makes it really easy for me to put players like the one above in my blog.
That made Spreaker the most "all inclusive" service that I explored.
I'm certain that some of y'all won't bother to listen to the podcast episodes that I share. Listening takes more time than skim reading, right?
For those of you who crave the human connection that text struggles to convey, however, here's to hoping you'll get a kick out of my podcasting adventures!
And get ready: There are DEFINITELY video episodes on my agenda!