Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blog Assignment #4

     For this blog assignment, I had to search the Langwitches Blog and other sources for information about podcasts. Before this assignment, all I knew about podcasts is that they are recorded and can be listened to on iPods. I've never listened to that many podcasts though, just a few here and there! I was interested to find out about how people are using them for educational purposes. After reading Judy Scharf's post about podcasts on Curriki, I learned that the technical term "podcast" is just a cross between the words "broadcast" and "iPod". Podcasts can be thought of as "radio style" broadcasts, which happen to be an easy, cost effective way to share information with millions of people through the internet. I was excited to find out about the different ways that teachers are using them in their classrooms.

Podcasting In the Classroom

"Listening-Comprehension Podcasting" from the Langwitches Blog written by Silvia Tolisano:
     After reading about what these second graders are doing, I realize that podcasts can be used for so many different things. Mrs. Tolisano uses podcasts to their full advantage in her classroom. She has been using them with second grade students to help them re-inforce a new language that they are learning. When you really think about it, this makes perfect sense! Mrs. Tolisano explains that it can take over 70 times to internalize a new vocabulary word. Not only that, but it's also important for someone who is learning a new language to hear the word's pronunciation, to hear its context, and to hear the words that proceed and follow so that they can understand the word's true meaning. Mrs. Tolisano has been working with her students to create a script for the story of Purim, which is in the Hebrew language. 
     This project allowed her students to work together, to act out the story, and to focus on the context of the words and what they meant in the story. Her students were also challenged with using correct pronunciation, and how to emphasize the words in a way that would really tell the story in the best way possible. You can check out the class's recording up at the link mentioned above! This is the perfect example of how podcasts can be used as more than just a lesson in technology, but as a way to enhance learning other subjects too. Podcasts seem to be a perfect tool when it comes to learning new vocabulary words or a new language! 

"Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom" by Joe Dale:
     Joe Dale's post breaks down different ways that podcasts can be used to an advantage in the classroom. He mentions that podcasts give teachers a new way to effectively communicate with students outside of the classroom. For instance, if a student had to miss several classes from being sick, podcasts would be the perfect way for them to listen to their lessons at home. Podcasts also come to an advantage inside the classroom too! Podcast projects encourage students to work together, spark creativity, and incorporate technology, which is something that is very relevant to them in this day and age! 
     The video that was linked in Dale's post brings up an interesting point. We are now teaching "Millenials", kids who haven't experienced a life without technology. I remember whenever my family got our first home computer, and when cell phones were just getting popular. These things weren't the norm when I was a child. Nowadays, toddlers are being entertained by ipads and nearly every kid has a cell phone! It's crazy how much technology has become such an important part of our lives over the past decade alone! Joe Dale is incorporating technology into some of his lesson plans as a way to get his students excited about learning! You can see from the kid's reactions at the end of the video that this seems to be working. Joe's blog also gave some helpful links to tutorials on how to make podcasts through both Garage Band and Audacity. I'm sure I'll be checking back on these later if I need any help creating my own podcast!

"Podcasting with First Gradersfrom the Langwitches Blog written by Silvia Tolisano
     For my last article, I decided to read this post from Mrs. Tolisano about how her first graders were eager to create their own podcasts! After her students heard that a second grade class was receiving feedback and comments from all across the world, her first graders were eager to create some type of podcast on their own. Mrs. Tolisano helped them to create an interview for two of the main characters from a book they were currently reading. She created questions and answers, and then took turns recording her students asking and answering them. Since her students knew it would be heard by people all across the world, they took extra care in acting out the roles of the characters and even gave their input in the editing process!
  Mrs. Tolisano explains to us that having an audience matters, even to 6 year olds! Her first graders got so excited to hear their podcast after it was finished, and took pride in the work that they were doing because they knew it was being shared on the internet. This project wasn't just a lesson in technology either. It also helped them better understand the material they were learning, and gave them practice with listening, presenting, storytelling, and comprehension skills.

     After reading through these sources, I gained plenty of information to check out about how to record a podcast on Audacity and Garageband. I've already had experience recording things in Garageband, but hopefully these tutorials will come in handy if I need them! I also had the opportunity to read about many different ways that teachers are using podcasts to their full potential in the classroom. This is something that I will definitely keep in mind for later whenever I teach!


  1. Savannah,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog! I did not know how they got the word 'podcast' until I read your blog! I also didn't really know anything about podcast until this assignment and now I feel like I have a better understanding of it. I also hope to use this in my class one day. I also really like how you added the links to your blog so it is easily accessed and how you added the videos!

  2. Wonderful post this week. Very interesting and thorough. You are on your way to becoming a 21st Century Teacher.

  3. Savanah,
    Great work on writing your blog. I've heard of podcast because my husband has an iPod but he don't listen to podcast. My brother-in-law however does, and he enjoys listening to them he says he has learned a lot from them about certain things he is interested in. I am really new to all this. I agree it does help a lot knowing that the new age of students, and teachers are making use of everything around them. I really enjoyed reading your blog it helped.