Here's more detail on one of the courses that I teach. Unlike my other courses that are primarily for educators, this course is for the general public. I encourage you to give it a try.
Web 2.0: Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts
In this course, you'll learn how to create, manage, and promote your own blog, wiki, and audio and video podcast. Each of these amazing Web 2.0 tools gives us a chance to interact, share ideas, and collaborate with others from home, at work, or in a classroom.
You'll begin by developing a plan for the content, setup, and long-term maintenance of a blog, and then you'll use free blogging software to put that plan into action. Next, you'll discover how you can use wikis to facilitate group collaboration. You'll practice editing a wiki, and then you'll create your own. After that, you'll learn how to record a professional-sounding audio podcast with a very simple recording tool you already have. You'll edit the file with another free software program, add music to it, and then post it online for others to enjoy. Finally, you'll find out how to record a video podcast. You'll use pre-recorded video to learn the editing process, and then you'll apply what you've learned to your own video file. You'll edit it, add special effects, drop in a podcasting-safe music file, and then publish it online.
Through hands-on exercises, you'll discover the benefits of using free Web 2.0 tools like Blogger, Wikispaces, Audacity, and YouTube. Guided by an expert instructor, you'll find that creating Web 2.0 tools is much easier than you ever imagined. And by the end of this course, you'll be amazed how much you've accomplished.
Whether you want to use Web 2.0 tools for personal, business, or educational projects, this is the course for you!
Wednesday - Lesson 01
Welcome to the Web 2.0 universe! During the next six weeks, you're going to learn how to blog, manage a wiki, and produce your own audio and video podcasts—all skills you can put to use on personal, business, educational, or even political projects, right away. In this first lesson, you'll get acquainted with blogging terms, the parts of a blog, and the important differences between a blog and a Web site. We'll also critique a couple of blogs and figure out what makes them work successfully. You'll learn the best way to search for and locate blogs on topics that interest you, and you'll discover ways to creatively use blogs to express yourself, teach, advocate for a cause, promote a product . . . the possibilities go on and on!
Friday - Lesson 02
• It makes sense to give something a try before doing it yourself, right? So today you're going to learn how to participate in the blogosphere by commenting on a blog of your choosing. Before you click Submit Comment, though, we'll explore the process together and talk about the do's and don'ts of blog commenting etiquette. After that, it'll be time for you to start planning your own blog. We'll walk through a series of questions to help you develop a sustainable plan for your blog's content, setup, and long-term maintenance.
Wednesday - Lesson 03
In this lesson, we're going to explore your options for blogging software and hosting, and you're going to decide where and how you're going to build and store your blog. You'll learn about free online blog software options, and you'll get hands-on experience working with a free blogging service as you start setting up an account for use throughout the course as a practice blog. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a blog all ready to go, with a nice-looking design, clean layout, and appropriate privacy levels.
Friday - Lesson 04
Today you'll learn how to write an effective first blog post—one that will capture the attention of your readers and compel them to come back for more. You'll give some thought to your particular writing style and the kinds of writing that tend to work most effectively online. You'll learn what the Five W's and One H are and how using them can improve your writing. And, finally, you'll practice working with text formatting tools to get your post looking polished and professional before it's published. Since blogging is all about tapping into and connecting with other bloggers and online content, you'll also learn how to include links to other sites in your blog posts.
Wednesday - Lesson 05
Well, you've mastered the process of formatting the text of your blog post, so now it's time to include some photos. After learning how to locate and incorporate appropriate images into your draft, you'll create labels to categorize the content of your post so that online readers interested in your topic will be able to find your post. Next, you'll develop a policy you can use to quickly and easily handle reader comments. And, finally, you'll publish your first post and learn how to promote your blog to boost readership.
Friday - Lesson 06
With a blog under your belt, you're now ready to learn how to work with wikis. In this lesson, you'll discover how you can use wikis to facilitate educational projects, business activities, and personal projects. You'll learn how to edit a wiki using Wikipedia's sandbox area for practice, and you'll become acquainted with wiki markup language, which you can use to format your wiki edits. The skills you'll acquire by playing in Wikipedia's sandbox will be transferrable to other wiki hosts you may decide to work with.
Wednesday - Lesson 07
Practice has presumably made your wiki editing skills perfect—or close enough. So now it's time to create your own wiki. As you did with the blog, you'll start by developing a game plan for your wiki's content, setup, and long-term maintenance. Next, we'll walk through the process of creating a practice wiki using Wikispaces, a free host. You'll learn how to format and manage your wiki's content, invite others to participate in the collaborative content-development process, and consider ways to monitor and manage participants.
Friday - Lesson 08
Today we'll start exploring the third Web 2.0 tool you'll be mastering in this class—the podcast. You'll learn the podcasting terms you'll need to know to feel at home with this technology, and you'll discover the important differences between radio broadcasts and podcasts. You'll find out how to search for and locate podcasts you'd like to listen to, and you'll download and install a free podcatcher you can use to subscribe to your favorites. Finally, you'll take the first step in the PREP method of podcasting: You'll plan your own podcast, following our effective formula of developing strategies for content, setup, and long-term maintenance.
Wednesday - Lesson 09
In this lesson, we're going to explore the minimum equipment you'll need to record your first audio podcast—as well as other equipment you may find of interest if you become a serious podcaster. You'll experiment with your telephone as a microphone, and we'll talk about how to make the most of your voice before you press the Record button. We'll discuss how to script or outline a podcast so you feel confident and comfortable in front of the microphone. And, after that, you'll continue to follow the PREP method of podcasting by recording your first podcast.
Friday - Lesson 10
• Today you'll work with the last two steps of the PREP method of podcasting: editing and publishing. I'll provide you with sample voice and music files for your practice edit. You'll learn how to cut out dead air and an unexpected sneeze, adjust the volume so listeners don't have to strain to hear you, and add effects so the sound fades in at the beginning and out at the end. Then, you'll use one of the sample files I've provided to add background music to the practice podcast. After mastering these skills, you'll use them to edit and enhance your own recording. When you're done, I'll walk you through the steps to get your file Web-ready, and then it will be time to publish your work.
Wednesday - Lesson 11
Now that you know how to prepare, record, edit, and publish an audio podcast, doing the same for a video podcast is going to be a lot easier. But, of course, there are some important differences between the two podcasting styles, so we'll begin today's discussion by exploring what makes video podcasting different. We'll discuss the equipment you can use for video podcasting—and you may be surprised to discover that even a simple cell phone with video capabilities will do! You'll learn about video editing software and video podcast hosts. We'll discuss how to develop a recording script so that everything runs smoothly when the camera's rolling. And, finally, you'll learn how to import and edit video using a sample file I've created for you to practice with. We're going to use MovieMaker for Windows, but the principles you'll learn with this program can be adapted for use in other video editing programs, for example iMovie for the Mac.
Friday - Lesson 12
It's time to fine-tune your video podcasting skills as well as your video podcast. In this final lesson, you'll learn how to add transitions and video effects to your video file, trim unwanted portions out, and make audio enhancements. You'll discover how to convert your video podcast into a file format suitable for the Web, upload to YouTube, and embed that file as an entry on your blog. We'll also talk about how you can use a feed management system to keep track of visitors to your site.
Click the link below to learn even more about this course or locate a school in your area that offers it.