Technology has become the norm in classrooms today. Although some of us may be squeamish about this new development in teaching, it is one of those monsters you must tackle if you want to stay in a modern classroom. We all know how the classroom has been affected by the appearance of technology: easy access to information (even if not all accurate), easy access to teaching ideas, interactive whiteboards, scanners, computer programs..the possibilities are endless!
In this article, I will be discussing podcasts and some ways that you can use them in the classroom.
What is a podcast?
It is an Mp3 (audio) or video file
You can subscribe using an RSS/XML file (don’t worry, just click the subscribe button)
It can be downloaded and listened to on a variety of software (such as iTunes and Quicktime)
It usually was done as an episode or continuing information about a similar topic
Where can I find podcasts?
There is a wide variety of places where podcasts can be found. Do a Google search and you will find a plethora of information. The following is a list of places to start your search.
iTunes. Download the free program iTunes. In the top bar, you will see “podcasts”. In this section, you can search for pretty much any topic that you are looking for. You can also search by category.
podomatic.com – Not only is this a great place to find podcasts but a great place to start one of your own!
How can I bring a podcast to the classroom?
First, you need to find some podcasts that you are interested in. These can be downloaded onto your computer as audio or video depending on the type of podcast it is.
Many school servers block websites that include podcasts and blogs. I would suggest putting the mp3 that you want to include in your classroom on a travel storage drive for USB. Then you can place the mp3 onto a student-shared drive for students to listen to on their computers or on your teacher computer hard drive to play for the kids as a whole group activity.
And that’s it! You know, have the podcast ready to go!
What are some ideas for use in the classroom?
You can find podcasts about grammar, language, writing tips, words to add an extra element to your Language/Arts program
Have the students create their own podcasts as an alternative to book reports and essays. If you have a windows computer – Use Audacity. It is a free program that makes podcasting easy to do! If you have a Mac computer – Use Garageband for easy podcasting!
Have students listen to podcasts about self-Improvement etc and then have them journal write their responses to the information.