Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thing 20

I believe my students would like listening to podcasts if they were entertaining enough for them. Of course, they also have to be educational and related to the subject being taught. I think that if the podcast is used at the right time and is short and to the point, my students would welcome them into the classroom as something new and different from the norm. Some of my students stop listening after a while, so hearing another voice explain or enhance learning may be a way to recapture their attention. Some podcasts my students would like to listen to:

Math Dude
ABC-Kids RollerCoaster -Fetch Faves
The Coolest Stuff on the Planet

My students would be interested in creating podcasts as long as they are given detailed instruction on how to create one and my expectations are clear. Some students shy away from recording their own voice because of confidence issues, but if given the time to practice and listen to themselves enough before a project is assigned, I believe they would enjoy creating podcasts. I have already had students create podcasts of narrative poetry they have written. It is a great way to get them thinking about and using the correct inflections and intonations in their voice to create the mood of the poem they have written. Some examples of these can be found on my classroom wiki. Other ideas for student created podcasts would be to “advertise” or review a book that has been read by producing a “radio commercial.” “Newscasts” of interviews with characters being studied from a novel read would be a fun project for students while still digging deeper into characterization. It always seems like my students themselves can come up with very creative ideas that I wouldn’t even think of…I always depend on that when assigning a project and welcome their ideas.

Podcasts that I have found to benefit me professionally:

Middle School Matters
K-12 Greatest Hits – The Best Ideas in Education
IRA Radio – Literacy 2.0 The New Frontier
Meet the Experts (Reading Rockets)

Podcasts that I have found to benefit me personally:

ANN-Smart Talk Women’s Radio Network
Oprah’s Book Club
Family Talk on OnePlace.com – Dr. James Dobson


  1. So many resources, so little time!?!

    I like your specific suggestions for ways your students can create (and have created) podcasts. Many students HATE to speak in front of the class (and many adults too). By creating a podcast, students can re-record themselves as many times as need to get it right. I know of a couple of examples where students would record one sentence at a time, then mix them together to create a seamless final product. Granted, you may not have time in the school day for this kind of project, but if students have access to the tools at home, they could create some great stuff that they would be proud of.

    I also want to emphasize the benefit of students having a real audience. Some students would be motivated to create something extraordinary because they want their podcast to be entertaining for the listener. Being able to add music or sound effects, or to create a dialogue between various characters they imitate may be just the motivation students would need to go above and beyond what they might provide in a written assignment.

  2. I totally agree with students having an authentic audience to share their ideas. I find that students tend to take more pride in their work when they have that in mind.

    I still have to look into how to add music and sound effects to podcasts. I am sure my students would love to add these things to, like you said, create something entertaining for the listener.