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 |

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