The Semester is Over, but I’m Just Getting Started

As I said in a previous blog post, this winter semester was a blink of an eye and a journey all in four months. I had my sights set on starting a podcast and started drafting down some notes back in December after the fall semester ended. I knew that I wanted to have a space to chat with like-minded people about technology in education and education in general. Although it is part of my life daily, I do enjoy talking with other people to grow my understanding. I have felt isolated throughout the last two years of my professional life. It was tricky to know when I could see people or what their comfortability level was with ever-changing mandates. I was missing conversing with other educators at other schools, and the spark of “podcast” began in my mind.
At the beginning of this class, I thought it would be interesting to see if there was a way I could line up the podcast ambition with Alec’s expectations. After reading the syllabus and realizing it was possible, I was excited. Kelly and I began chatting about major learning projects and bounced some ideas around. It may be interesting to note that Kelly and I met in the 2022 Fall semester in ECI831. We had small communication with each other, but I would not say I was familiar with her. As the ideas started to flow, we got on the topic of a podcast and shared what I had wanted to do. As this seemed like a nerve-racking experience, I was excited when she appeared interested in co-hosting together.
I will not say that we are podcast experts, but we had fun recording our first podcast episode and reflecting on the rise of technology throughout the 90s and 2000s. From there, we reflected and adjusted on how to improve on the next episode. We knew we wanted to start bringing in guests to expand our conversation.
In the beginning, we talked about trying to reach 15-minute episodes. After our first recording, we realized that 15 minutes was an unreal expectation as we recorded 30 minutes without even thinking about it. All the nerves make you set the bar lower to accomplish the minimum. We soon found ourselves trying to set a max instead of a min.
This was a great experience throughout EC&I832. As the title suggests, though, I am not done with this passion project. I enjoy edtech and want to keep opportunities to engage in those conversations with people and hopefully give some listeners some tips or ideas on what they could bring into their classroom to support students in this plugged-in world.
I am looking forward to future guests and some ideas I have around mini-episodes where content will be focused just on tips in the classroom.

I appreciate the support and people taking their time out of their day to either read this blog and/or listen to episodes. Currently, #2 Chris Brennan has the most listens with 20! This is a higher number than I was expecting and I am excited to see where it goes so please stay tuned!

Tools and Resources Used

Something you need to know is I am a researcher—everything I buy or do, I research into the ground so I can weigh the pros and cons. I like to know the easiest way to do things and the hardest, so I can decide what is worth it: money vs. time. With that being said, I watched many YouTube videos before and found Think Media’s videos the most helpful to sort out my thoughts and make a plan.

I ordered a SamonQ2 microphone off amazon. I chose this microphone because I thought it gave me the best options for growth. It has a USB plug-in for your computer. It also has an XLR plug-in so that it could plug into more effective sound systems in the future. 

Kelly and I live in different cities, so to record remotely, we used Zencastr. I appreciated Zencastr’s ability to download everyone’s audio individually. It was easier to manipulate if I had to adjust volumes or take out unexpected sounds. My dog barking in the background was easy to remove without ruining Kelly or the guest’s content. Something else I found handy was the footnotes that you could make during the podcast in case you needed to come back. They were time-stamped and made editing a much easier process.

To edit and add music I used Adobe Audition. This is a paid application. I am sure there are ones that are similar if you looked into it but because I already utilize Adobe Create Cloud for Photoshop and Illustrator it made sense to learn how to use Audition.

For introduction music, I searched There were free sounds, and I just searched and listened for a vibe that I thought fit the podcast. For Potentially Education, I went with “The Cradle of Your Soul,” uploaded by lemonmusicstudio.

To manage and upload the episodes, I used Anchor. It is powered by Spotify and allows you to have two places to stream your episodes easily. I found it easy to upload audio, cover art, and upload it as I wanted or scheduled. 

Lastly, the cover art for the podcast. You can create one cover art and use it for the podcast and every episode. Or you can create separate cover art for each episode. I chose the ladder. I did not go intense on the design. I had a thought to have it look like old windows browsing as we are talking about new tech. I use Canva to make this happen. I believe I looked through the templates, found one that resembled what I wanted, and then messed around with fonts, colours, and words. I built a template to make it easy to change for each guest/episode. 

#2 Chris Brennan

Welcome back or for the first time to Potentially Educational. Kelly Ziegler and I are excited to be posting our second episode for everyone to enjoy. I hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed recording.

Today we are joined by Chris Brennan! In my previous blog post, I said I would make sure we had an introduction for our guests, and you will hear that to start this off. As you will hear in the introduction, Chris is not a part of ECI832 with us this semester. However, Chris and I go way back to high school. We played football together as a member of the Central Collegiate Cyclones. After high school, I would often see Chris at the University of Regina and ended up building a relationship with Chris over the last 12 years. Kelly has not been as lucky to know Chris as long as I have, but we were all fortunate enough to take ECI831 together in the fall semester of 2021.

Chris is currently taking ECI834 during the winter semester here. I enjoyed interviewing him for this episode because he is focused on other areas of Edtech this semester. Check out his blog to dive deeper into his semester. As last time we had six guiding questions and then went with the flow based on the conversation.

We covered various topics from his relationship with technology, how he utilizes it in his class daily, and his thoughts on Google Classroom vs. Moodle. I feel like we could have chatted for an hour longer and dove deeper into some topics, this was a fun episode to do, and I hope you enjoy it. I may be looking to bring Chris back in the future for a part 2! 

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post and listen to the podcast. It is very appreciated!

#1 Meeting Your Hosts

We did it! Recorded and launched our first episode on the podcast Potentially Education. Although there may have been nerves and unsure of the direction we had fun recording!

Some background into the process. We had six guiding questions for the episode. Although we only managed to get through three of them when we recorded. It sounds like a natural conversation when you listen to the episode because it was unscripted for 90% of the episode. We were able to dive into some of our encounters and memories with technology.

As the episode progressed, we got on the topic of our first social media memories and what they meant to us. We talked about MSN messenger which was a big deal for us early 80s and 90s kids. You were able to have instant communication with your friends over the internet. This brought us to our conversation for our first email. Asking millennials their first email is always a fun trip down memory lane. This adds to the journey of our current digital identity. Although most of our first emails are a thing of the past, it is still a reminder for us as educators to guide students as they embark on creating their digital footprint.

Throughout ECI832, we have talked about how some of our early mistakes on the internet were quickly forgotten and are now a thing of the past. When Facebook first launched, everyone, tried to figure out the space and how to interact. When Instagram started, it was a fun place to post pictures with your friends and have a funny caption. Nowadays, it feels as if kids have this expectation of getting it right the first time. As educators, it is our job to educate them so they can create the digital footprint they will be proud of in ten to twenty years. At the very least, they will not have mistakes that will create a lasting negative impression on those who see their posts.

Made by Kelly Ziegler

As for Potentially Educational, I am looking forward to reflecting, taking feedback, and growing. There are already some things that I am looking to change upon listening and reflecting. I noticed we did not give an introduction for ourselves and just began the podcast as people should know us. I’ll be working to make sure all guests get a proper introduction in the future. We also ran to the 32-minute mark. I want to keep it to 30 minutes or lower. This goal will be more challenging as life is busy, and to get a guest, you want to make it worth their while. I know that I have a short attention span and would like to be more cautious. I’m still brainstorming if the conversation is good. I don’t want to cut it off, but maybe a two-part would be better than one long one?

Think Tank with Kelly

Hello Everyone,

Today’s blog post may seem a bit scrambled in thoughts, and that is because it is.

This semester I am looking to join forces with my colleague Kelly Ziegler (Twitter/blog). She captured our conversation and initial thoughts into a beautiful blog post.

Our assignment is to choose from 4 options and take an in-depth look at the selected section. There are four very intriguing options. When I was looking through them, two caught my attention. After speaking with Kelly, we think we have a plan of attack to combine two of the options for maximum benefit in our learning and understanding and, hopefully, our colleagues. Below are the two options we are going to join. These are taken from our ECI832 syllabus.

Option 1: Development of a curriculum-supported digital citizenship/literacy resource: Students selecting this option will investigate and develop curricular connections that support the integration of digital citizenship and digital literacy competencies. Students should develop a comprehensive digital citizenship/literacy resource that includes a scope and sequence for a grade (elementary) or subject area (secondary).

Option 4: Student-designed project: Students are welcome to propose an alternate project, subject to instructor approval. Students-designed projects should entail an equivalent amount of work and should be directly related to some aspect of digital citizenship or media literacy.”

Looking at these two options Kelly and I were able to talk through several angles that we may want to take. We were able to come a few ideas that we are still tweaking to make sure we don’t bite off more than we can chew.

Idea 1 –> We are going to co-host a podcast that will look to incorporate the knowledge and understandings of stakeholders (teachers, students, and parents) around digital citizenship and digital literacy. This interview-style podcast will allow us to learn and expand our knowledge. We will keep open-ended questions to allow the guests’ knowledge and understanding to guide the conversation.

Idea 2 –> This is a reflection based on our conversations in the podcast. We will be able to reflect on our knowledge and our guests’ knowledge and create something that may aid teachers in how to utilize technology in their classrooms.

As I said at the start, these may seem like scrambled thoughts, and that is because they are. Kelly and I continue to talk to filter out some of our ideas and get to a more concrete idea. Our main goal is to create something that will help the students become better digital citizens and support teachers in their journey to understanding their role in that journey.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this!

Stay tuned,
Durston McKenna