Friday, February 18, 2011

Blog Post 5 Podcasting

Eagles Nest Radio

Wow.  I never knew a group of third graders could be so articulate.  They very creatively collaborated a podcast about Ancient Rome.  The students took turns taking part in the podcast which kept it exciting for the viewer (and the students I'm sure).  Not only did they put together an entertaining flow of information, but you better believe they learned a lot on the way.  When it is exciting for the students, then they are more likely to remember the information and the experience, and this is one I'm sure they won't soon forget.


Silvia Tolisano is a 21st Century Learning Specialist, her blog helps people understand the benefits of blogging, glogging, skyping, wiki-ing, podcasting, and so on.  I found on of her posts to be very helpful, it actually showed the process that the children go through in order to create a podcast.  Until this post I never fully appreciated the amount of creativity and the advanced thought processes students must use in order to make a podcast come to life. The students took turns writing suggestions about the subject of the podcast on the smart board, the image of the list was then uploaded to their class blog where each student was asked to write a paragraph about the possible story lines.  The class then voted on the subject planets, split up into groups, created individual audio segments, collaboratively pieced the audio clips together in Garage Band (after they were able to "play" with the program and learn about tracks, background music, splitting, editing music, etc.), then were finally able to complete their educational journey by producing a podcast.

Just the sheer amount of creativity these students were able to use in this ONE project amazes me.  Not to mention the many, many, forms of technology they used in oder to do so.  I have never seen such a good example of a use of technology such as this one.  The students fell in love with this process, and learned so many skills along the way.  We can gladly honor their efforts as

  • storytellers
  • collaborative team members
  • creative writers
  • producers
  • directors
  • audio editors
  • podcasters
The following picture shows the vast amount of skills students can improve through the use of podcasting, and I will admit until this post I wasn't fully convinced of the creative benefits.  But this is just the beginning, new programs are being created everyday,  If we can use them all together in a fun project such as this one, students will learn so many skills as well as use all of their creativity. 


(If you still aren't convinced, this is a great blog to check out!)

Joe Dale points out the fact that the group of students being taught today have never been accustomed to a life without technology, so something such as podcasting is familiar to them. Two benefits he points out in the beginning, I believe are especially important to the learning process. Differentiation-if students sit in a classroom day after day copying notes from a lecturing teacher, they will soon lose interest and therefore retain less.  Another great thing he pointed out was the fact that through Project-based learning (like the example from the Langwitches blog), podcasting can become more students centered.  This is by far the best approach!  Students are then able to engage in the process and fully immerse themselves into the podcast.  Before I had always thought the main benefit of podcasting, was for those students who miss school (I know I would have used for that!), but I'm starting to see thats not the most important thing it offers.  By far, I believe that project-based podcasting that is student centered is the best benefit of podcasting.  The higher order learning skills and creativity used through project based podcasting is unbelievable.

iPods are no longer just used for listening to music.  This site lists the many study guide programs, podcasts and audio books, tutorials, applications, tools, and sites that will help you use your iPod more effectively while learning.

Is a decent link for teachers just starting to embrace the world of podcasts. If you still aren't convinced about the benefits of podcasting here are just a few:  
  • It’s a cool way to have interactive communication
  • Education can be advanced beyond the classroom
  • Parents can download students’ work
  • Available 24/7
  • Students can make up missed classes
  • Appeals to auditory learners
  • Portable learning
  • Students can enhance their communication skills
She also gives a list of Tips to Succeed:

  1. Make sure you spend enough time learning Audacity (or the software you use) to feel comfortable with it.
  2. Give students a choice of topics
  3. Let students pick the people they want to work with
  4. Have some exemplary podcasts for them to listen to
  5. Include a list of criteria for research
  6. Allow plenty of time to complete the project.  Everything takes longer than you think it will!
  7. Invite the principal, department chairperson, or some other person to come in and see the presentations.  Students will be very proud of their work.

These were all very helpful sites, but Langwitches is a great place to start with your podcast education!


  1. Paige,

    Students who are interested in what they are learning will definitely perform better. As teachers we need to find exciting and new ways to do things because students do actually learn when the subject matter is engaging. I am glad you were able to see some creative podcasts. Podcasts can be extremely helpful in the classroom, and I think it is a great tool to get students to research and learn more about a topic. Podcasts allow students to work together and truly engage with not only their group but with whomever listens.

  2. Hey Paige,
    I'm glad to see that you find podcasting to be a useful tool in the classroom. Like you, I didn't realize the benefits that can come from podcasting.

    The Eagles' Nest Radio blog amazed me as well and I agree with you it is such a creative way to get your students to learn. I even learned things from listening to their podcasts.

    The fact of the matter is the US is behind in Education. We have used the same ways of teaching for a hundred years and it is not working. We do have to realize the amazing benefits technology can have in our classroom or our student will continue to be bored in our classrooms. It's great to see that you are interested in using technology in your classroom!