Sunday, 16 December 2012

Creating Podcasts for Classroom Instruction

The piece that was created for this portfolio entry is a Podcast.  A podcast is a digital audio or video file or recording that can be downloaded from a website to a computer or media player.  The podcast is seen as an essential teaching tool because it provides many benefits to both teachers and students.  It is our belief that education in the 21st century should focus on the development of authentic literacy skills for students.  Hence, we should provide our learners with materials that allow them to become 21st century learners.  As teachers, instead of asking students to write exclusively on a topic, we can now challenge students to publish for global audience via podcasts.  Students are required to use higher levels of thinking as well as exhibit some level of creativity and problem solving skills when using such a device.  A podcast is a cheap tool that can be used to enhance any lesson within the classroom.  Podcasts can also be interactive where teacher uses this tool to give information and then engage in a whole class discussion about the topic.  Students can also use this device to enhance their work and receive valuable information from the teacher about their work.    It is also a great way to develop team work skills in students.  The children will work together to complete a podcast.  Podcasts are also a great way to develop literacy skills for students.  It allows students to develop and practice their speaking and listening skills and they will also learn some amazing ICT skills

The podcast created by my group members and I was for a Grade Four Science class which focuses on the topic the "Human Skeleton."  This device will be used to sensitize students about the human skeleton as well as provide valuable information about the amount of bones and the different types of bones found in the body. First, my group members and I had to decide what information we wanted to put in the podcast, then we each wrote a few things about the human skeleton.  We then pooled our ideas together to compile one information for the recording.  Each of us then read a line or two to create the podcast.  We then edited it and converted the file to that of an MP3 player format.  Using this device to teach a lesson will be one that is very interactive, fun and educational.  Students will be able to develop their speaking and listening skills and learn to work together in a group setting.  

While creating this podcast, there was one major challenge that was faced by my group members and I. While editing the video, there were a few gaps in the recording.  We tried re-recording a few times with no success.  It just did not flow smoothly like if recording a song.  However, we decided to go with it since the software was new to us.  I believe that this piece could be improved by first getting familiar with the software and then rectifying the problem.  I believe that if we were familiar with the software, the recording would have run smoothly.  Also, maybe we could have added a few more information about the skeleton system in the podcast.

Two ways a podcast can be used for classroom instruction are:
  • It could be used to create class reports.  This will be done on a weekly or monthly basis.  Students will work in groups or independently to record what they learned or did in class.  This will help to build their literacy skills where they are able to enhance their speaking and listening skills.  The report could be in the form of role plays, news reports or just talking naturally about the topic.

  • It could be used when engaging in project based learning activities.  Students will create a podcast to demonstrate their research skills on a particular topic.  Here, they will also work in groups or independently.  They will learn the importance of group work as well as enhance their public speaking skills.  It is also a form of authentic assessment where teachers can assess students instead of using traditional pencil and paper tests.

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