Image via WikipediaMr. Dale who runs the blog Integrating ICT into the MFL Classroom, posted a very useful video on pod casting. He gave some great tips on how to use podcasting in the classroom to boost student interest. For example: creating podcasts of lectures and posting them on iTunes for students to use (something my high school chemistry teacher did, and I loved), and having the students create their own podcasts to facilitate more project based learning. Both of those things are very important, and according to Mr. Dale, by using the podcasts the students will also be reaching higher levels of thinking on Bloom's taxonomy. There were some links to other websites with videos of students making podcasts. In one, the students are actually teaching their teachers how to create podcasts. It was great to see the students so excited about learning something new and about teaching it too.
Another great website is the Education Podcast Network or EPN (which kind of makes me think of ESPN for educators and students.) On the site, you can find all kinds of podcasts for almost any subject, and you're pretty much guaranteed to find something that can help you. If you're a student or a teacher, the EPN site is a definite help. Being the English major that I am, I quickly found the English and bookish podcasts, and a podcast with one of my favorite authors (Meg Cabot) as the guest. So I listened to it. In the future, I probably will find my way back to listen to more of those.
Curriki has some great tips and videos for how to get started creating your own podcasts. There are also some great ideas for projects and a rubric for grading the podcasts created by your students. I'm definitely going to bookmark this website. In my future English classes, I hope to be able to create interactive podcasts with the students acting out the parts of the characters we are studying, or perhaps for me to record myself reading the works and making comments on what I've read. I think it would be a definite help to the students in the long run. Sometimes it's just hard to understand something if you just read it for yourself, but as soon as your teacher (in this case me) starts to go over it, the meaning clicks.
My group's podcast--which I have posted on my blog--was not as hard as I had originally thought it was going to be. We recorded it using Audacity and then uploaded it using some website that I already forgot the name of (sorry Stephen). But it wasn't that hard. Okay, I admit that we did have a little trouble figuring out how to convert from the Audacity .aup file to the .mp3 file, but in the end, it was done and it all worked out. I even enjoyed making it. Quite a lot actually. I'm most certainly going to use podcasts in some way when I'm teaching. I think there are a lot of benefits.