Still catching up with piles of unread RSS fed stories, reams of email, I am happily taking in a few new web things that have popped up around the Maricopa web neighborhood.

Out at Paradise Valley Community College, they have set up a site for a book club – they are posting descriptions of some current books, inviting comments as discussion, and posting book related events. Nicely done, and a pleasing template.

While I have written about setting up podcast feeds for digital stories done at our MCLI LearnShops, my colleague and D-story teacher Cheryl Colan has posted digital stories done last semester by her students at Phoenix College, one of which I believe won a top prize at a California film festival. Wow, these stories are great. I saw them back in December, but check them out now in iPod format.

And my long time colleague, Karen Schwalm, a pre-web internet pioneer faculty at Glendale Community College, shared this little Odeo recorded piece on Watching Boars. She got some ideas going after a podcasting session I did a month ago– this is what happens when a creative person applies technology in her discipline and does something much better than I can do… Hers is a thought piece for an English 102 class where her students are researching a single topic of electronic surveillance. I like her small touches of including the text of her recording, but most of all, the creativity woven into this short web piece.

Three great web things done locally uncovered in one day. This is what makes Maricopa a great place to work and a hard place to leave.

The post "Local Gems" was originally rescued from the bottom of a stangant pond at CogDogBlog ( on March 21, 2006.


  • That “Watching Boars” piece is truly inspiring: a little NPR-type gem. It’s an image, some fine writing, a simple website, and Odeo. Students could do something like this very quickly. And what a great way to teach the relation of sound to writing (using the mind’s ear), and of reflection to articulation. Well done, Karen!

  • Since the experiment with the boars, I’ve done a little more experimenting that you can see by my new piece, Phoning It In. I’m really intrigued with this idea of “phoning it in” and I’d like to play off the irony of that, at least in my own mind. I’m not sure students will understand the double meaning; I’ll have to ask them. They are writing an analysis of a surveillance product where they are the watcher, hence this theme. I’ll know in a day or two if they’ll choose the audio option for publishing their introductions to this essay, or if they’ll stay with text.