Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Daily English Show

I've been looking at various English videos and videoblogs on sites such as Youtube recently, and have been really impressed by one in particular.

This is the Daily English Show, a video podcast, which is professionally made and put together by Sarah, a teacher in Tokyo, Japan.

Available to view online here at Youtube and at Grouper, you can also put the RSS feed into your podcatcher to download the videos.

It's amazing that she can write, film, edit and upload all of this (almost) every day. Hats off to you, Sarah. How do you manage to do it?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

EFL Bridges World Conversation Club

I've been using Skypecast to hold a conversation club and recording it to upload as a podcast, as part of the EFLBridges site. Jeff at Worldbridges has also set up another EFLBridges site, which should become the centre of operations soon (the other one will be a community site for any students who want a space to write in a blog, and even upload their own podcast). Hopefully, this should develop into something more substantial in the next few weeks.

The first two were last weekend, and were a lot of fun. I'm also using this as a way of learning how to become a webcaster, and I'm enrolled in the Webcast Academy to learn how to do this.

I'm currently editing the audio from last Sunday's show - the recording wasn't great, but it should be passable. I've decided to add a bit of music, and cut out the dead air to make it more interesting to listen to. This, of course, takes time.

The next EFLBridges World Conversation Club Skypecast will be on Sunday morning. I've now established a regular time and am hoping it can build into something special.

Please tell your students of English to download Skype and join in

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Worldbridges!

It's been a year since Worldbridges first kicked off their network of live interactive webcasts, and they are celebrating with a webcastathon.

I first heard about Worldbridges from Elderbob and the Webheads. It's a credit to this fabulous community of practice that they discovered the first day Jeff Lebow started webcasting from the site (there's not much that happens on the Web that isn't picked up early on by the Webheads).

Since then, I've been informed, educated, thrilled, entertained, driven, and encouraged by Worldbridges, and we've seen the site transform into a community of webcasters and committed listeners. On one of the EdTechTalk shows, I was persuaded to join in the fun with a webcast for EFL learners. The first of these was in February 2006, after the ELT podcasting TESOL evo2006 session that Worldbridges kindly helped make a success. EFLBridges hasn't progressed much since then, but I've been inspired recently to dive in and make it a regular event.

One of the reasons for this is through joining the Webcast Academy. Another reason is that it's suddenly become easier to do, with the introduction of Skypecasts.

I'll be trying out this, hosting two EFLBridges skypecasts as part of the Worldbridges anniversary. Please join me , and raise a glass to celebrate the birthday of this great site. Here's looking forward to the next year!

Baldric gets his own blog

I've been spending a lot of time in Second Life, and I know I'll want to write a lot more about my discoveries there.

Rather than let this blog turn into a Second Life blog, I've set up another blog, Baldric's Trousers, and have also been capturing Baldric's explorations and observations on a separate Flickr account.

This way, I can continue to document my experience in SL without it taking over this blog.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Esperanto Centre in Second Life

I must admit that I'd not been doing anything serious in Second Life over the last couple of days. I'd been enjoying the fun that has been centred around Curry Castle, as Adam Curry is talking about SL every day on his podcast, the Daily Source code.

This means that every day there's a gathering of podcasters and podcast listeners around this area, with spontaneous parties breaking out on rooftops in the area. It's been a lot of fun, and I'll soon be posting some photos on Flickr of Monday night's party at the Curry Castle (a virtual Madge Weinstein turned up) when I get a chance. It's also interesting to note how a scramble has begun to build in the area that is completely crazy - within a couple of days, what was a sparsely populated area has seen huge property development as podcasters and others hoping to make it rich living next to a famous neighbour, move in.

But enough of frivolity, as I was hanging out at the Curry Castle again yesterday, just people watching and trying to chat to some podcasters, I was contacted by one of the members of the Second Life Language and Linguistics group, and have now been invited to participate in their forum, Babel, which aims "to advance language learning in multi-user virtual environments". It is also affiliated with SimTeach

Above: A picture of the Esperanto centre (with its own museum) in SL

I will folow this up later at more detail, but I see that one of the posts in the forum is about the possibility of using the Silent Way in Second Life as a possible language learning tool. This is starting to get very interesting.