What is a Podcast and how can it Help in a Learning Environment?

According to dictionary.com, a podcast can be defined as “a digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series, that can be downloaded from a website to a media player or computer:”

A podcast is a better option for learning than worksheets because they are much more engaging. A podcast is hosted by people with personalities. They are just like radio show hosts where they are funny and joke around. While they are joking around, and keep students engaged, they are still teaching students. This makes it much more effective than worksheets.

Podcasting helps students contribute to an online learning environment, and develops a positive internet presence. Both of these are ISTE Standards for students. What this means is that the ISTE considers these traits to help lead to a successful future for current students.

Three free apps that can be used to make podcasts on an iPad are: Voice Record Pro, Spreaker Studio, and Recorder Plus HD. In my opinion, Spreaker Studio is the best, and Voice Record Pro is the worst among these three apps. My reasoning for this is because Voice Record Pro is just a simple voice recorder with not much else to it. Next is Recorder Plus HD. It can record voice, but you can also edit it. The best is Spreaker studio because it can be broadcasted live on their podcast network, Spreaker.

My first tip for creating a great podcast would be to have personality. Don’t be boring; tell stories and captivate the listener while still teaching a lesson. My second tip would be to upload it somewhere it will get attention. This way, people will benefit from your podcast. Another tip is to use a quality microphone. This will ensure that your listeners can understand you. Tip four is to make sure your podcast is not too long. Nobody wants to listen to a podcast that is too long, so this will ensure people finish your podcast. My final tip is to regularly upload podcasts, so that you get a loyal fanbase. Some more tips can be found here, here, and here.

One way that students can share their podcasts with a global audience is through Soundcloud. Soundcloud is an online mp3 sharing website that is used to upload music and podcasts. Students can also use Spreaker Studio to strea
m their podcast to a global audience, live! One more service that students can use to share their podcast is

In order to record a podcast on your iPad, you will need a microphone adapter, headphones, and a microphone. For the microphone adapter I would recommend the CableJive XLR Microphone Adapter. This adapter allows you to use a microphone that is of higher quality than the built in microphone. For a
microphone I would suggest the
KssFire Professional Condenser. The mic is of much better quality than the iPad’s internal mic, it has great reviews, and is affordable. Finally for a headset, I would recommend the Tauren Stereo Headphone. It has great sound quality and is very affordable.   



5 Tips to Save Battery Life on iPad and iPhone!

Have you ever gotten to work/school and realized that your iPad/iPhone is low on battery? It happens to the best of us and it really makes the day a pain. If you follow these five quick simple tricks, then your battery can last for much longer!

Here are the tips!

  1. Turn down the brightness
  2. Close background apps
  3. Use low power mode
  4. Turn off Bluetooth
  5. Check out the battery menu

Make sure to check out my screencast to see how these tips are done!

iOS 9.3 Can Change How Classrooms Operate

iOS 9.3 is Apple’s newest software update available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. It is currently available for installation. There are a bunch of cool features that come with this update. One of the most interesting features is Night Shift. One major problem with current technology is the fact that the lights emitted from our screens disrupt our sleep cycle and make falling asleep a challenge. Night Shift is Apple’s solution to this problem. The blue lights that our electronic devices give off are the big issue, so Night Shift changes the colors
of the lights. Night Shift changes the hue of the screen to a lighter yellow color.
This helps us fall asleep while still having the ability to use electronics before bed. This is huge for students, especially students at Burlington High School. Many students, myself included, use technology for a huge portion of their day, including before bed. With Night Shift, students will have a much easier time falling asleep after using their phone/iPad to check social media, watch videos, or do homework. In turn, an increased amount of sleep will help students feel better, and perform better in school.
Apple Classroom is Apple’s soon-to-be released feature that will compete against Google Classroom. Apple Classroom is a groundbreaking, innovative program. It will change the Classroom experience for teachers AND students. Apple Classroom allows teachers to remotely lock studentsiPads,open websites, or open apps on students iPads. They can also see what application each student is using. This is important because it discourages playing games, using social media, or even cheating which can be a huge problem in a school with iPads. Apple Classroom benefits students by allowing them to Airplay presentations to the class. It also prevents students from distractions, helping them learn.


While iOS 9.3 has some awesome new features, it has also proven to have quite a few bugs so far. One huge bug has been the activation bug. The activation bug is a bug that can cause older devices to get frozen upon updating. When the device is updated, it will freeze and not be able to be fixed unless the device is restored. This is a huge problem, and Apple had to pull the update so that people would not have to restore their devices. Apple has released a new version of the update that does not have this problem, so that people with older devices can update to iOS 9.3. Another bug with iOS 9.3 is that Safari is very glitchy. It sometimes will become unresponsive and refuse to open.

While iOS 9.3 is very beneficial to students and teachers, its other features are beneficial to anybody. One new unique feature that iOS 9.3 has is that Notes supports TouchID. This is awesome because you can make all of your notes private, and even store stuff like your passwords in your notes and not have to worry about anybody seeing your private information. Apple Music has also been updated to make it easier to download songs to your library. Overall, iOS 9.3 is an awesome update that has plenty of new features that will help everybody with an Apple device.

Week of March 7th, 2016: My First Twitter Chat

This week, I participated in my very first Twitter chat! We were fortunate enough to be able to host this chat here in Burlington. Seven other tech teams participated in this Twitter chat: Hamilton Wenham Regio
nal High School, Bishop Feehan High School, Groton Dunstable Tech Task Force, the Shrewsbury High School Student Innovation Team, Governor’s Academy Tech Connectors, Lynnfield High School, and Wakefield Memorial High School. Unfortunately, I was not able to view the chat live because I was at a DECA conference. However, I was able to look over the chat afterwards. I read over many other student’s answers to the questions, and I learned a lot. It provided me with many other thoughtful insights that I hadn’t thought of. When preparing for the chat, I learned about a cool website called Tweetdeck. It is a Twitter Client with many awesome features. I used it to set up my Twitter feed so that I could see the stream of notifications, mentions, direct messages, and #techteamMA. #techteamMA is a hashtag that is required at the end of all of the Tweets that are a part of the chat. This is so that if you view the hashtag, you will see the whole chat. Also, if you set up this hashtag in Tweetdeck, you can see the live stream of Tweets with this hashtag. However, this isn’t the coolest feature of Tweetdeck. My favorite feature of Tweetdeck is the ability to schedule Tweets. You can write out a Tweet on Tweetdeck, and schedule it to get sent out any day at any time. The website doesn’t even have to be open to send out the Tweet. This feature really helped me out with my first Twitter chat. I did not have to be present in order to participate in the chat; all I had to do was write my answers and schedule them to be sent out at a specific time, after the question was asked. Seeing how a Twitter chat works was very interesting. Before this, I thought that everyone had to be there live and answer as the questions were asked. Now I know that everyone is given a sheet that has the questions and the time that they are asked. This is helpful because it allows you to give well thought answers planned in advance. During the chat, you can focus on following others, favoriting, retweeting, or replying to tweets rather than thinking out your answers. This will help you make connections, which is very important in the real world because it can help you get a job and give you many opportunities. I enjoyed my first Twitter chat and am eager for the next so that I can be there live!

How Duolingo Can Teach You A New Language

The app Duolingo is a free app that helps you learn a new language. It is very simple to use. All you have to do is register for a free account, pick a language you want to learn, and begin taking lessons. Within the app, you can set a goal for how many experience points you want to earn daily. Experience points are rewarded when you finish a lesson. Each lesson is a short quiz that teaches you new words, and there are many lessons. Each day, the app sends a notification to remind you to finish your lessons. If you ignore them, you lose progress and have to retake old lessons. This is very beneficial because it helps reinforce the words you learned. One cool feature that this app has is you can share your progress with a teacher or parent by adding their email under the progress sharing setting. On top of the constant notification reminders, the app is a genuinely fun game, and it keeps its users coming back. In my opinion, many students would enjoy using this app in their foreign language classes.

In my Sophomore year, our Italian teacher had us use Duolingo, and it was very helpful. It helped me get an awesome grade on my final exam. Within the app you can add your friends to your friends list and see where you stand on a leaderboard with them. This provides some friendly competition which will encourage students to continue using the app. Another cool feature that Duolingo has is you can upload your progress to LinkedIn, and it will provide the percentage fluent you are in that language! Duolingo can help teach students new words, and help reinforce words that they already know. Based on my experiences, I believe that Duolingo can play a large role in many foreign language classrooms. Overall, I would give Duolingo a five-star rating because it is an awesome app that helps teach you a new language for free.

Week of February 15th, 2016: Writing my first Screencast

This week, I made my first screencast. You can check it out here
. In my screencast, I showed how to use the Find & Replace feature in Google Docs. This is a very helpful tool in Google Docs. If you misspell a word multiple times, you can find the word each time it appears and replace it with the correct spelling in one click.  While making this screencast, I learned a lot of helpful skills that will help me with future screencasts. I also ran into a couple of problems. However, these problems were learning experiences and they will help me in the future.

One problem that I ran into while making this screencast was the preparation. In order to prepare for this screencast I wrote a script. While I was recording, I realized that some of my wording was awkward, and it didn’t sound correct. I had to record and rearrange my script multiple times. I found that I was relying on the script too much. I was almost reading directly from the script, which made my wording awkward, and it soundedScreencast Cover Slide.jpg like I was reading. From now on, I will make sure to not rely on a script as much. I will write a basic script so I have an outline to follow, but I will improvise it much more so it sounds more natural.

Despite there being a few mistakes, I think it was a positive experience. I learned a valuable lesson from my mistakes, and that will help me with my future screencasts. Other than the mistakes I made, I think I did a good job on my first screencast, and I am proud of my work. I imagined making a screencast would be challenging, but it came somewhat naturally. Before I started recording I was nervous that it wouldn’t be good. Once I started recording, it flowed and I did fine. I feel good about how my screencast went, and I am excited to make many more.

Making a screencast title slide was also a very good learning experience. I used Google Drawings to make it. It exercised my creativity, and I ended up with a cool title slide I can use for my future screencasts. Also, the title slide has my Twitter and blog, so anyone who sees it can easily find my Twitter or blog. Overall, I am proud of my work, and am looking forward towards the rest of my experience at the Help Desk.