1. Judy Scharf's Podcast Collection
Ok, so to be perfectly honest, I have never really paid attention to podcasts. I was not sure what they were, where they came from, or how they were made; and was kind of apprehensive to find out. Essentially, they were...mayonnaise.
But that is exactly what Dr. Strange's class is all about; finding out things we did not know before that we can use later on to advance our classrooms technologically. There is no need for "mayonnaise" technology when we can easily find out about it and see that they are more than that. There is no need to fear the mayonnaise!
Let me direct your attention to.....
Judy Scharf's Podcast Collection!
If you are, like me, sort of viewing podcasts in the "mayonnaise" sense as I described, you will need to stop, take a couple of minutes, and read what she has to say. It is informative and instructional and you will find out a lot. You will find out, as I did, that podcasts aren't "mayonnaise" technology at all! Oh no!
It's radio for the 21st century.
That's what it is.
By reading her podcast collection, you will learn how to approach a podcast as an educator. One of the things I recognized right away that I could definitely implement as a teacher was the "Tips to Succeed". I appreciated how it was not just instructional, she actually listed the best ways to structure a lesson using podcasts, like "give students a list of topics", "let students pick the people they want to work with", and "include a list of criteria for research." As a beginner and an amateur educator these would not be classroom management ideas that I would neccessarily know, and to have someone who has already tested the waters point them out is very helpful.
And she has more to go off of than just the Tips to Succeed, she has a suggested time schedule, and a list of suggested topics. I also found the grading sheet and the rubrik useful as well. Things like this would save a lot of time and energy for a first year teacher who will already be working hard, learning as she goes along!
I have just made my first podcast, so I have just somewhat gracefully lept over one hurdle. I now how to make one, AND how best to use incorporate into classroom time.
2. Langwitches Blog: The Magic of Learning
The post I enjoyed most, "Documenting...Lesson on Perspective...Podcasting...Glogging..." by Silvia Tolisano is all about her experience collaborating with her school's Language Arts Teacher to accomplish the goal of uniting technology, student narration, short stories, and the teacher's lesson. I would like to add that it turned out splendidly. (That is a fact, not an opinion, I might also like to add.)
Tolisano had high hopes for this collaborative project. She hoped that whatever results came out of it, they could be shared on her school's blog, Ning, and the Langwitches blog.
She uses the Mac software Garage Band in her 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes to create a podcast that demonstrates the lesson concept of Author's Point of View. She assigned them to create a podcast that retold a story from the point of view of another character or even an inanimate object. But first, she allowed them to brainstorm on job responsibilities and choose who would perform them. They came up with things like project manager, sound manager, and character coach. They also constructed their own rubric for the project:
I like this idea because the students work with their teacher to know exactly what is expected of them on this project. I am not sure if this would work better or worse in a high school classroom, but I think I would like to try this in my own classroom. The idea of having students actively engaged in not just the project but their role in it and understanding what is expected of them beforehand seems like something worth implementing.