The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Located on his blog, Integrating ICT into the MFL Classroom, Joe Dale provides a video with several reasons why podcasting can be beneficial in the classroom. Class lectures can be recorded to make review time at home easier for students. Instead of reading study guides over and over again, students would be able to listen to their teachers' lectures, and catch any information they might have missed. Another reason why podcasts could come in handy is that absent students could easily access their assignments and other information online. Also, video podcasts could give parents a glimpse of what is going on inside the classroom, and keep them updated on their child's upcoming assignments, projects, test dates, and other important activities they might be involved in. The school's principal, Christie L. Forrest, seems to be very supportive of the idea, and says "It is another opportunity for project based learning." Projects that involve creating podcasts give students another chance to show off their creativity, and students seem to be very excited to participate in hands-on projects like this. The more students are excited about what they are learning, the more they will take away from it.
1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook
This article posted on the Langwitches Blog informs us about an innovative teacher, Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, who created story booklets for her students to read along with while listening to audiobooks in the classroom. She even provides examples of the booklets she made on her blog to give teachers a further idea of how to make their own in case they want to do this project themselves. These types of documents could easily be shared over Google Docs, Skype, or e-mail, which would make them incredibly easy for everyone to access. Her students were eager to follow along with the booklets as they listened to the podcast recordings, and it helped them to become better readers. Not only did Mrs. Tolisano accomplish this, but she also made plans to work with the school librarian to establish a book review library, similar to what Anthony Capps has been doing with his book trailers. Creating a book review library gives students the opportunity to get excited about reading different books, and also gives them the opportunity to share this excitement with students all over the world.
Another way that podcasts could be used as a helpful tool in the classroom is in studying different languages. Podcasts could give students the ability to listen to new vocabulary words, hear the context in which they are used, and practice using them on their own. Students could record podcasts of themselves speaking in a different language, and then listen back to the recordings to hear any mistakes or mispronunciations they might be making. On the Langwitches Blog, Mrs. Tolisano tells us about how her students recorded a Hebrew story on Garage Band. After listening to the clips over and over again while editing, it helped reinforce everything they had learned. When I was taking Spanish in high school, my teacher made us do similar activities by listening to recordings on CDs. The downside of that was that the teacher was the only one who had access to the CDs, so we couldn't practice at home, but with podcasts, recordings can be easily accessible anywhere.