Open Source Learning

Posted August 15, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: Webcast Academy

This a cross post from my Webcast Academy Blog. Now that I am famous 🙂

I think I first heard the term; “Open Source Learning” in chat in the
Webcast Academy. I thought I knew what it was. I figured it referred
to us choose what content we wanted to learn on the internet. I heard
Will Richardson refer to ideas on the Read-Write Web and the like. I
also keep up with other superbloggers like Wesley Fryer, Miguel Ghulin,
David Warlick, Christopher Sessums, Steven Downes just to name a few.
I even participated in K12Online last year and Web Heads in Action
Online Conference this year along with Necc2007 not to mention
everything happening at edtechtalk. Nevertheless understanding comes
through the practice or application and not theory. Not until Webcast
Academy did I begin to understand Open Source Learning. It just all
clicked today. I got a call from Kevin Sandridge (Notes from the Ridge) a teacher in central
Florida, we had a long talk about web 2.0 and implications for Second
Language Learners, Yesterday Susan Ettenheim (Teacher Teaching Teachers) was asking about classes to recruit
for youthbridges. I had a conversation with Chris Craft about a project
on digital storytelling on Friday. And Today it just came all
together. Dennis was uploading his file to Webcast Academy. It didn’t
show up in the flash player. I thought I would help out. How hard
could it be. 80 minutes later with Susan patiently waiting on the
sidelines we defeated the audacity gremlins and successfully uploaded
the file. I felt great and was happy to be able to contribute. Open
Source Learning means building on collective knowledge. NOW, I’ve GOT
IT! Jose Rodriguez, August 2007, WCA

Thanks WCA Interns and our coaches; Cheryl Oakes, Susan Ettenheim, Lee Baber and the Chief; Jeff Lebow for making WCA such a rewarding experience!


EFL Best Practices Webcast

Posted August 9, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: Webcast Academy

Rafael Murillo and I (Jose Rodriguez) ESL (English as a Second Language; in the States; English as a Foreign Language, everywhere else) teachers in Los Angeles, CA (USA), will be hosting a live talk. Join us as we discuss English As a Foreign Language Best Practices. Fellow ESL/EFL teachers will share best practices for teaching English. How do you embed technology into your Language Teaching? 9:00 a.m. Pacific on Saturday August 11, 2007  16:00 GMT World Fixed Time

This is live, interactive webcast. Participants will be using text chat at You can listen to live conversation at http://webcastacademy/listen

To participate in conversation live you need. Skype; requires download and set up. You’ll need headset with mic. or a computer with built in microphone. USB all in one works best. Otherwise you can listen to stream on Internet and text your comments and questions in chat room.


I. Introduction:

Who we are and why we are doing this show.

II. Background; what we are doing now.

1. How are teachers using technology to teach English (EFL or ESL)?

a. Presentation of Content

b. Practicing Language Skills

II. Introducing Web 2.0 into the EFL/ESL Classroom

1. Creating spaces for our students.

a. Using classroom Blogs

2. Producing audio and video

a. Podcasts and Video demonstrations

3. Connecting with other classrooms

a. EFL teachers and Social Networks like Webheads in Action.

II. Roundtable Discussion: Participants to give their thoughts on ideas presented in show.

1. How do you use technology in your classroom?

2. Question and Answer Session

This is a live session and will be recorded. It will be available as a podcast at

Webcast Academy Orientation 2.2

Posted July 26, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: Webcast Academy


Wow are off and running. We had our orientation led by our coaches Cheryl Oakes of WOW 2.0 fame and Susan Ettenheim TTT Super Star and of course the Chief himself, Jeff Lebow. It was a fast paced meeting. We got an overview of the curriculum and our first homework. We were to upload audio introduction to webcast academy site. There were a lot of familiar names in the chatroom from the edtechtalk weekly crowd. There was a lot of energy in the chatroom and by the end of the night, teams were being formed. These teams are informal and are a support structure for interns. We divided the It’s Elementary team for the Webcast Academy. We thought that we can bring new learning back to the team. I am working with Bee (Webhead from Brazil) JenW (Women of the Web) and Robin. Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted.

Coordinator’s Office #12 Webcasting Procedures

Posted July 22, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: Podcasts, Webcast Academy

Listen as I review my webcasting procedure and go through It’s Elementary Show #2 Prep  I went through the specifications for streaming such as settings on my computer, using of audio repeater, starting program to broadcast on simple cast  on edtechtalk. I  also go through July 23rd agenda on our webcast planning wiki.  Have a listen Coordinator’s Office #12.mp3

Webcaster in the Making

Posted July 20, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: Inside my Mind, Webcast Academy, webcasts

I’ve been really busy the last few weeks. It all started about six months ago. I really enjoy listening to educator podcasts like Speed of Creativity and Bit by Bit among others. I was happy, then came along live interactive webcasts. I was hooked! I started participating in weekly shows at edtechtalk. At first it was just as a listener to a live show. I then stated going into the chat. One day I discovered Skype, I could voice my opinion on a live show. There was no turning back then. I have been recording my own podcasts. I did a few last year in my office position and this year as a teacher. Podcasts are great as a professional reflection tool for teachers. I will continue to produce these on my blog. I even have tried a few with students. But having a one man show really isn’t fun. I got the itch to try webcasting and what can I say, I had to scratch. One Sunday I asked a teacher in the chatroom if she would be interested in being a cohost on a webcast. At first we were both hesitant but she entertained the idea. In the same week another regular at edtechtalk asked me if I was interested in starting my own show. Just like that the It’s Elementary Webcast team was formed. We started to plan our webcast. We asked for feedback from the edtechtalk community. About 4 weeks later we produced our first show. The first show on blogs in the classroom was cool, especially after all the editing 🙂 We even got a new member, our first guest became part of the team. Now we are about to do our second show on Webquests on Monday July 23rd at 23:00 GMT (4:00 pacific and 7:00 eastern). We also signed up for the webcast academy. Wow! the things that happen when you follow the yellow brick road.

Effective School Technology Leadership

Posted July 4, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: Inside my Mind, School Reform

So how are you spending your 4th of July? I am here enjoying some time off. Looking forward to a barbecue and fireworks this evening at my daughter’s middle school. I am also responding to Calling All Bloggers! by Dr. Scott Mcleod from Dangerously Irrelevant. I have been an educator for the last 12 years. I had the opportunity to step out of the classroom for four years. I just came back this past school year. I was able to work closely with the leadership of my school and directly with the principal. As I reflect on my experience, I consider myself fortunate. I worked with a principal that was able to listen to new and innovative ideas and help in making them happen. This process is not something that happened overnight. It was a professional relationship built on trust. We (leadership of the school and teachers) were there for the same reasons. Our mission (not just the cliche) was to provide the best education possible for our students. Sometimes adult conflicts came up around the implementation of programs or the decisions involved in moving a school forward. Once the dust cleared we were able to ground ourselves on the same basic premise about taking it back to student learning. In regards to technology in schools. I tend to agree that it isn’t about the tools. It is more about the effective use of whatever tools are available to us. We can spin our wheels complaining about what we don’t have or wish we had. At one point I was able to “convince” our school to provide the hardware. We bought over 100 computers to be distributed to 30 classrooms. We bought other “cool” toys also. I quickly learned that the desired effect or use of technology wasn’t going to happen by osmosis. It wasn’t until the tech committee and the leadership team agreed on an implementation plan. This implementation plan was to be long term and focused on professional development not only for teachers but also for the administrators. We spent a week on retreat planning for the initial steps of this program. This was only the beginning. It was not all success. The challenges still persisted as we went back to our school. We spent a lot of energy and time resolving basic issues regarding the check out of hardware. We started to “embed” the use of tech tools into our leadership meetings. We supported the use of web 2.0 tools through workshops for teachers and parents. What effect did this have on our students? That kind of data isn’t easy to quantify. I have now moved on to a different school. Our principal was also transferred. I feel that the effect has been that I took these skills to my classroom. I also know that my principal took this vision on the use of technology to her new school. It really does go back to our kids. Whoever they may be now or in the future.

Coordinator’s Office #11 NECC 2007

Posted June 29, 2007 by Jose Rodriguez
Categories: NECC 2007, Podcasts

It has a very busy week and I’m on vacation! NECC 2007 was great. Here are my reflections on the conference. I also talk about what I take back to my classroom. I also share my plans for the rest of the summer with It’s Elementary Webcast and blogging at Room 36. Have a listen; Coordinator’s Office #11.mp3