Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Podcasting in school

Posted on: February 9, 2008

An online student wrote “I am interested in your opinion about podcasting in school. It sounded like you foresee some issues.” Another topic I see the need to keep exploring beyond my daily dose of podcasts to keep me entertained when I walk.

One of our special education teachers has posted a couple podcasts that she made on her classroom website; We are podcasts are intended as a review for her students. We are fortunate that our web site software allows podcasts, forums and RSS. A social studies teacher who is also a legislator uses podcasts in his classroom.

Some students have come in asking if we have the needed equipment because they have found “just the perfect” podcast that correlates with an assignment. It’s different than using a video or other audio recording I’m seeing the need for our media centers to have ipods and ipod docking stations or some sort of sound system available for use as needed.

I imagine English teachers using Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac almost every day. A science teacher could use Science Friday. Imagine the possibilities.

A January 2008 issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured 6 and 9 year old girls who created a podcast about Webkinz. (they had a little help from their father) Webkinz Webcasts podcasts are available in the “Kids and Family” section of ITunes.

Issues? Would it be any different than the need to make sure any other resource is suitable? The issue I see is more technical– making sure we have enough “stuff” and the computers and sound system to handle it. Many teachers have their own ipods but just need sa decent sound system if they bring it to school. Right now our school’s technology including peripherals is not in good shape! I’m thinking about ways we can use funds from existing media center budgets to provide what we need.

Media technology journals School Library Journal now review podcasts. One example is by Tech Chicks Anna Adam and Helen Mowers in the December 2007 . Go to http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6506335.html# to download the MP3 version of their chat about podcasts that support the curriculum.

Never say never. A friend still reminds me that at one time I couldn’t imagine how he would ever us a 5MB hard drive.


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