Darin Janssen’s Weblog

Jeff Utecht Interview

For my “Interview with a Learner” I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Utecht from Bangkok, Thailand.  I was first introduced to Jeff when I took ECMP 355 two years ago and I have been following his blog since.  Back when I first met Jeff he was working in Shanghai, China at the Shanghai American School.  Jeff is now Elementary Technology and Learning Coordinator at the Bangkok International School. I thought at first it may be difficult to arrange a time to do my interview with Jeff because of the time change.  In the end it all worked out because when Jeff’s day in Bangkok was beginning my evening was beginning; it could not have been better timing for me.

I was not able to use the video recording of the skype call (as explained below), but here is the link to the audio of my interview with Jeff.

I would like to thank Jeff again for allowing me some time in his busy schedule.  It was greatly appreciated.

Two things from the interview really stand out for me from the interview.  The first is parent/teacher communication and education.  I now realize that when I am using technology in my future classroom I will have to educate parents as much, if not more, than I will have to educate their children.  Parent education sessions on technology should help ease the fear some parents have about technology.  I really like the how Jeff’s school has now gone to not having parents give image consent, but having parents fill out a form if they do not allow image consent.  I do not understand parent’s fear of posting student’s images on the web.  Parents would be thrilled if their child’s picture was on the news or in the newspaper for an achievement they had.  Why is the web any different?

The second is the use of a 1:1 digital camera program for primary grades.  This is something I never thought of before but it makes so much sense to me.  Students can take as many pictures or videos as they like and it does not cost anything.  They can keep what they like and delete what they do not like.  The possibilities are endless; especially in the viewing and representing areas of the curriculum.

I did run into some technical difficulties (which seems to happen every time I use technology lately).  My video feed froze up basically as soon as we started the interview, but Jeff’s was working so I ignored it and continued without worrying about it.  I used Vodburner to record the skype call.  Vodburner worked well, but I was not wearing ear phones so I ended up with bad feedback so my recording was not of good enough quality for me to post.  If I knew something about video editing I could probably fix the sound quality, but I was able to move to my back up plan instead.

My backup plan was my digital recorder.  I recorded the audio of the interview and it did not have all the feedback.  I used Audacity to edit the audio file and the file was ready to go.  Accept of course for the fact that I could not get my audio to export out of Audacity as an mp3 file only as a wav file.  After a tweet I was able to convert the file to mp3 via iTunes.  I uploaded the file to my Podcast People account and my ordeal came to an end.  It sure would be nice to have a technology endeavor to go off without a hitch soon.

Over all the interview was a beneficial experience.  I was able to ask Jeff some questions about things I am struggling and thinking about and I received some ideas which now give me some more things to think about.  I definitely will be more open to contacting educators on my own if I think they will help me work on some of the struggles I have and will have in the future.

Image:  http://www.facebook.com/jeffutecht

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April 12, 2010 - Posted by | ECMP 455, school | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. It was great talking to you Darin. Glad you were able to get the audio. When I’m doing the sospodcast.org show the times I forget to start the backup recordings are always the times that it fails.

    Great talking with you!

    Comment by jutecht | April 19, 2010


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