Podcamp NYC was a blast of fresh air.
Didn’t make it either day before lunch, which may have reduced my experience somewhat, but I can’t really say. Virtually every session had something to excite inspire, and provoke imagination.
Kevin Seal from Pandora led a discussion on “podsafe” music and the future of music-making and distribution in the age of Creative Commons. Many in the audience, including myself were interested in learning more about how to find the good stuff, and everybody shared their music-finding methods. Also present in the session were Ariel Hyatt of arielpublicity.com, Matthew Ebel, a musician and producer of podsafe music, and podcasters and marketers galore!
I attended two sessions by Whitney Hoffman, both about teaching. Whitney comes from an interesting background. Late in life she was diagnosed with ADHD and found that one of her children also struggles with it. Her experience in teaching kids with learning disabilities is the subject of her weekly LD Podcast. Whitney had a lot to say in both sessions about how web tools are being ignored as the valuable educational resources that they are, mainly due to a fear among educators about the potential dangers. In both of her sessions, Whitney stressed the importance of making learning possible by being an engaging, interested partner in the child’s learning. Lecturing is dead, and the success of participatory media is just one example why it is dead and the truly superior teaching methods poised to take its place.
John Herman, a New Hampshire teacher, artist and filmmaker, discussed his un-orthodox teaching methods using blogs, wikis, and the premier “white label” social networking site, Ning.com. John is in a unique and enviable position of being one of the only people in his school (or just the only person?) hip enough to know the ins and outs of Web 2.0 so that he can have a conversation with his students about it. He uses this knowledge to engage his students and educate his colleagues and administration as to what uses can be made of social software.
Finally I attended a really fun session with Jonny Goldstein who discussed his Haiku Project using the phone-to-blog utility Utterz. Though it wasn’t ground-breaking it did showcase an important aspect of the 2.0 landscape: whimsicality over serious utility.