Podcast Use #1: Allow parents to hear, from their child's own mouth, what went on in class today.
"So, what did you learn at school today?"
Now parents will actually know the answer to the question before they ask at the dinner table! My F block honors freshmen started researching various topics related to slavery in the American colonies during the 17th and 18th Centuries. Here are the results of their preliminary research today. After allowing them one class period to research certain online databases and the online textbook, I asked one representative from each group to talk about an interesting fact they learned today. Using a digital voice recorder, iTunes, and Audacity (an audio file editing program) I pulled their recordings together into a podcast. I posted this on our Edline class website and emailed a notification home so parents can check it out as well!
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Podcast Use #2: Provide students with step by step audio-visual instructions for tasks that are somewhat complex.
"Can you show me that again? I wasn't paying attention!"
"Mrs. Gallagher? I don't get it!"
These questions can be things of the past! As I plan for our next units on the Enlightenment and the American Revolution, I found a great analysis activity in a relatively obscure section of the ABC-CLIO database. While my students are familiar with using ABC-CLIO for research purposes, they have never quite used it in this new way. So, I typed up step by step directions AND recorded a video demonstration using SMART Recorder. Then I put it on our Edline class website so students can download and watch it whenever they find the time to do the assignments within the due date parameters.
Audio and visual instruction and news has become the standard in today's media-driven society. A classroom teacher that shares student work and explains instructions and concepts to students using these tools truly has a 21st century classroom that extends outside of the classroom walls.