When Apple released the first-generation iPod back in 2001, many of us—after finally figuring out what iPods and podcasts were!—dismissed the device as simply the latest techno-gadget in a long line of portable distractions.
Teachers are resourceful though…so it didn’t take long for them to transform these “distractions” into tools. Here’s how we’ve been using podcasts over the years.
5 of Our Favorite Ways to Use Podcasting in the Classroom
Connect with a global audience
Before you get started, you’ll have to find another classroom to connect with. Edmodo, a social-networking and learning platform for teachers, is an excellent place to inquire. Once you create a partnership, it’s time to swap podcasts.
We have our students collaborate on a podcasting script that describes their school culture, their routines, their daily activities and other sundry things that our sister class might find interesting.
It’s roving reporter time
A lot of newsworthy things happen in our schools every day. One of the best ways to highlight these events is by sending students out into “the field” with their digital recording devices (smart phones) where they can interview teachers, thespians, musicians, student athletes and anyone who is doing something worth talking about.
Create audio tours for incoming students
What’s it like to be a student at your school? What might make your school unique, welcoming, and intriguing to new students? Have students answer these questions by creating an audio tour of their school. Post this podcast on the school website, or email it to incoming students.
Increase reading comprehension and fluency
Here’s an idea we picked up from Jill Janes over at We Are Teachers.
To help students improve their reading fluency, we’ve taken Janes’ suggestion to have students create monthly podcasts about current events. First, students practice their comprehension skills by reading and summarizing nonfiction news articles. Then they prepare a "script" and record their digital podcasts before posting them on our classroom blog.
Podcasting book reviews
We love hearing book reviews on National Public radio, so we started having our students do something similar. Included in our book review criteria are the following:
- Give a brief summary of what happens in the book
- Recommend the book to a certain age group and type of reader
- Explain why this book is worth reading.
As with the current-events podcasts, students upload their finished products to the classroom blog.