A Meaningful Moment with Maya Angelou
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
Rikki-tikki-tavi by Rudyard Kipling Part One
Rikki-tikki-tavi by Rudyard Kipling Part Two
What I like best about using podcasts in the classroom is that they are easy to use if you have a computer with internet access and speakers. After searching and exploring for podcasts that relate to the subjects I teach however, I found some difficulty in locating podcasts that could actually be used and that students would like and find interesting. A short podcast from the "Grammar Girl" for example, could be a way to introduce a topic/subject being studied in English class as long as it grabs students' attention. I find that my students enjoy and are more attentive if there is a visual involved. Having said that, the podcast does offer teachers a way to help students work on listening, a skill that many students need work on.
Listing podcasts on my classroom wiki for students to listen to and then respond to either through online discussion or by written paper would allow them to become aware of high-quality podcasts worth listening to that can enhance their learning experiences. I have a link to an RSS feed of Daily Mass Readings in podcast form right now for my students to go to on my wiki. Having these podcasts available to them readies them for the weekly student mass that our school has every Wednesday. Parents love it too!
Another way that I am using audio in my room right now is by using an audiobook from Audible.com for the novel, Johnny Tremain. In my seventh grade literature class, students listen to and follow along to the book. (I will have them finish a chapter at home independently before we continue again on the next chapter in class using the audiobook.) I have found that this has raised reading comprehension for some of my lower reading students. Sometimes they can't wait to continue on the next day in class to find out what happens next! (Side note: I did have to install Audible Manager and purchase the audiobook for a small price, but so far it has been worth it!)
Overall, I can see that having students listen to podcasts in the classroom can be beneficial. Like any technology tool or application, the use of the podcast has to lend itself reasonably to and enhance the learning of the lesson, activity, or subject being taught.