Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

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Podcasting Options for the Classroom

Overview

Last week, I shared my favorite podcasts with you, but ran out of room to share with you how podcasts can be used in the classroom. So, this week, we're diving into the numerous benefits of these awesome tools. From elementary to high school, podcasts have a definite place in the classroom and can be used from both the student and teacher/building perspective in a variety of ways.

Ideas for the Teacher and the Building

Below are a few ways that teachers and the school building as a whole could use podcasts in the classroom.


Sub Plans - What a neat way to communicate to your students what they're to be doing while you're absent. If you'd like to record parts of a lecture on a topic, or wanted to make sure they remembered key points of an exercise, or even just general directions on how to complete the day's work, a podcast could accomplish this. Then, share it out in Google Classroom and, aside from written sub plans, your students can complete assignments more thoroughly.


Everyday Lectures - Recording everyday lectures on notes or assignment details could really prove beneficial if students are absent. Then, this could be shared as an announcement in Classroom, or uploaded to your class website to engage those that weren't in class.


Audio Tour of School - If you're ever lucky enough to take a tour of Alcatraz, you know that the audio recordings of the building provide much more insightful information in an easy format. This could be done in much the same way with the school. Imagine creating a "recorded tour" for incoming or transfer students! Have them scan a QR Code near the front door, and let the podcast guide them through the building!

Ideas for the Classroom

Below are a few ways that teachers could use podcasts in the classroom:


Book Talks - Instead of having students generate a book report or create a project, have them make a podcast over their novel. Offer them prompts and let them share their thoughts vocally, without being in front of the class, which will make for a more streamlined presentation.


Lab Write-Ups / Reflections - Again, instead of a written lab report, have students offer their insight and thoughts in the form of a podcast. This may allow the student to express more than the figures they came up with, but a deeper reflection into their learning.


Current Events - If students are asked to bring a current event with them on a set day of the week, let them be news anchors or radio hosts and summarize their article using a podcast. This would be an easy way to engage students a little further into current events.


Musical Creations - Maybe you'd like your student to create a podcast documenting their journey of a piece of music for solo fest from beginning to end. Have them record it in the beginning, comment on it several times throughout the process, and then have them record again at the "final practice" before the big event. This would be a great way to track student growth and confidence in a piece.


Math Explanations - Oftentimes, students are asked to show their work. But, maybe they've shown their work and demonstrated they understand the material. Then, you can use a podcast to have them explain their thinking to teach their classmates. Doing this enough times throughout the semester could generate quite the library of podcasts to reference!

How to Create a Podcast

These are all awesome ideas, but how is the podcast actually created? The easiest answer is an online voice recording software known as Vocaroo. This is as simple to use as it gets. Open up the website, hit record to document what you'd like to say, then click stop. Once the file is created, select the option below to download it as an MP3 to upload it to the web.

Sharing it with the World

Once the audio file is created, there are several options for sharing it out. Vocaroo has several dozen other sites and tools that you can share to. However, a nice way to "catalog" each podcast is by using a website known as PodBean. This is a free podcast hosting site that is of the highest quality for podcast playback. Simply upload the MP3 file from Vocaroo, give it a title, and you're finished.

Expanding the Podcast Horizon

If you decide to try one of the previous ideas, let me know by sharing the link. I'd love to have a listen. Or, if you have additional ideas on how to incorporate podcasts into your classroom, pass those along as well. This has the potential to be a wonderful project addition to any curricular area and skill level.

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