Saturday, October 29, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Using Podcasts for Teaching and Learning

Tips and Tricks: Teacher Podcasting Strategies

The following are tips and tricks for curriculum integration strategies for teacher use of podcast technology. Tips and tricks for creating a podcast include:
  • recording lectures – for greater mobility, teachers can wear wireless microphone during lectures. This strategy is ideal for students who miss a class due to sickness, school field trip, and other reasons.
  • class newsletter distribution – saving paper for take home parent newsletters, a newsletter podcast is placed on a class website. This trick gives parents access to the newsletter 24 hours day, with internet access. Helps eliminate or reduce the problem of students who never seem to get the newsletter home.
  • test and exam study guides – are placed on a class website (web page, blog, or wiki). Allowing students the ability to access these study guides 24 hours a day; from anywhere they have internet access.
  • lesson plans for substitutes – entire or partial lessons are available on class website for substitute teachers to use in class. Subs must follow the lesson plan provided for the day and students view the work as coming directly from their teacher; not just busy work.
  • creating virtual field trips – these podcasts are invaluable for supporting lectures, class work, and providing students with research resources. These are especially helpful during periods of tight budgets and student field trips are not possible.
  • problem solving activities – a weekly or monthly puzzler or brain teaser as an audio podcast. Students have to listen carefully to the words and vocabulary used to figure it out.

Lesson Planning: Student Podcasting Strategies
The following are podcasting strategies for students using podcast technology. Students create podcasts for:
  • project based learning activities – students create a podcast for demonstrating their research artifacts in support of a project based learning activity. Examples are recording interviews with experts, visuals of research resources, visual research site, etc.
  • field trips – students create a podcast of specific aspects of a zoo or museum during a field trip. They then use these podcasts to support completion of assignments or posting on the class website for others to view.
  • everyday concept applications – for example students use for demonstrating where they observed specific curriculum concepts outside the classroom. This strategy provides a means of alternative assessment for teachers to determine level of student understanding.
  • class projects – which students embed in multimedia presentations or interactive posters using a web 2.0 tool such as Glogster or WallWisher.
  • completion of assignments – for example recording data collection techniques, science experiments, and modeling a specific content concept being studied.
  • debates – student debate regarding a specific topic is recorded as a podcast and posted on a VoiceThread for other students to add their comments and opinions regarding the debate.
  • how to’s – students create a podcast for how to accomplish specific tasks. Examples are steps for completing algebra problems (math), complete research in the library or online, key elements of an essay (language), recreate historical events (social studies), and determine the characteristics of a biome or habitat (science).

Benefits of Podcasts: Advantages for Teaching and Learning

So what are the benefits of podcasting (audio and/or video) in classrooms? Podcasts offer the ability to:
  • reinforce concepts studied in class for both auditory and visual learners.
  • reinforce writing and reading skills as students prepare their own podcast scripts.
  • increase parent communication.
  • conduct alternative assessments of students, beyond the traditional tests and reports.
  • provide another teaching and learning strategy for helping students be successful in the subject they are studying.
When creative ways are used to integrate podcast technology in lessons, both teachers and students gain from this tool. Because the curriculum drives podcasting, teachers have another tool in their toolbox to help their students learn. Students develop a greater understanding of concepts and connections between concepts, because they are more engaged and willing to learn. Teachers are also provided with another alternative means of assessing student learning beyond traditional methods.

Read more at Suite101: Creative Ways to Use Podcasts in the Classroom |

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Interactive Teaching & Learning with MimioStudio Notebook

MimioStudio Notebook includes many easy-to-use features that enable you to create interactive, engaging lessons in a short amount of time. If you've used your Mimio Interactive whiteboard mostly to interact with websites or display resources, you and your students are missing out. Try creating an interactive lesson using these tools from MimioStudio Notebook:

  • Screen clipping lets you clip images and/or text from websites and documents to include in your Mimio lesson. 
  • Lock objects in place so students can't accidentally move them around during a lesson.
  • Insert pictures, videos, files, and hyperlinks to include additional content and resources in your lesson.
  • Use items from the Gallery to increase your lesson's interactivity. Try a few of the Tools and Templates to allow students to get immediate feedback during a lesson. Or insert a Graphic Organizer from the Gallery to organize student learning.
Click here to download a sample Mimio lesson and see these features in action. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Five Funky Flickr Tools for Teachers

Five Funky Flickr Tools for Teachers

This article has 5 super easy and creative ways teachers can use Flickr in the classroom. Click the link above to learn how you can use Flickr for poetry and story writing, spelling, sequencing, and picture book creation.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why It's Okay to Be Addicted to Pinterest

If you haven't checked out Pinterest, you should. However, you should proceed with caution. You might just get addicted.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. It lets you organize and share stuff you find online. You can browse other people's pinboards and follow your friends. Repin what others have pinned to their boards, pin things you find online, or create your own pins by uploading digital pictures or videos. Click here to read more about Pinterest.

I've used Pinterest for a few months, since some friends convinced me to check it out. I actually planned my daughter's 4th birthday party based on the great ideas I found on Pinterest. I've mostly used Pinterest for personal interests, but several of my friends pin school-related ideas. A colleague recently shared an article with me in which a teacher describes how she uses Pinterest to find literacy ideas.

Click the link below to read the article.
Angela Bunyi: Finding Literacy Inspiration: Why It's Okay to Be Addicted to Pinterest | Top Teaching

My favorite thing about this article is the way the author describes replacing outdated lists of links with visual pinboards. There are so many possibilities for creating and organizing ideas onto pinboards. Create a pinboard for each subject area or topic you teach. Pin classroom management ideas. Find new blogs to read and people to follow.

Happy pinning!

(Thank you Cierra Winstead for sharing this article with me! And thank you Michael Lemke and Brooke Simpson for sharing your addiction to Pinterest with me.)