Thursday, March 07, 2013

Using Podcasts in the Classroom

     Prior to beginning this post I had never really given podcasts much thought. Personally, I am not one to listen to the radio or music and I have difficulty understanding information if it is purely auditory. I think this has lead to my aversion of podcasts; I haven't utilized them in the classroom much less listen to one myself. As I read through some posts by various edubloggers, and my peers from my Internet for Ed class, I began to get more and more interested. 

podcasts in the classroom, podcast in education
Image Credit: http://radiofreethinker.files.wordpress.com
/2012/04/podcast-cartoon.jpg
First and foremost, podcasts could be a great way to meet the needs of the auditory learners in my classroom. I am a fan of "centers" in the classroom, even at the senior years level, and having a podcast station could provide a good option. Most of my students usually have their phone or MP3 player with them anyways so it would be an easy transition from something that they already enjoy. 

     Podcasts are also a great homework option for students. I've spoken a lot in previous posts about wanting to have a classroom blog and one aspect of this would be to host homework options and resources. In a rural area, however, most of us do not have access to high speed internet! I think podcasts could be a great option to provide to students before they leave and they could still access the resource without needing the internet. I think reading and writing activities are over used in homework and a podcast would be a great way to provide something different.

     Finally, podcasts could also be used as a scaffolding activity to work up to public speaking. I have found that a lot of students can be shy about presenting in front of their teacher and/or peers. Having students create podcasts as a way to work up to public speaking could be a good option for some students. This allows students to become familiar with planning out their speeches and verbalizing their thoughts effectively. After getting used to sharing their podcasts, students could naturally work up to presenting face-to-face.

     In addition to creating podcasts for my students and having them create their own, here is a helpful resource I found for finding ready-made podcasts.

CBC Podcasts
- This website features podcasts developed from CBC's various radio and
  television platforms. Their directory includes topics on regional events, arts &
  music, current affairs, and sports. Teachers can subscribe to topics through iTunes
  or download  a specific podcast to share with their students.
- The good thing about the CBC platform is that teachers can often find film 
  clips, news articles, and even teacher resources that might accompany a specific
  podcast!
- They even have a helpful "FAQs" page where you can learn more.

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