Podcasts as Learning Tools

Increasing in popularity and scope, podcasts not only make a useful medium for a wide range of topics to be explored but can also serve as a dynamic teaching and learning tool, as well.

A podcast is an audio recording with spoken word delivered in an audio file format.  Podcasts can be played or downloaded to any phone or streamed to a computer or other mobile device.  Varying in length from anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour, podcast length can also be influenced by the host, audience engagement, and the topics covered.

Educators can use podcasts to:

  • reinforce classroom discussions or explore other topics of interest
  • assign homework listening sessions for written reflections
  • Language teachers could use podcasts to help students with pronouncing words and developing listening skills.
  • record lectures
  • create episodes based on course content themes
  • the possibilities are endless!

Students can create podcasts to:

  • create and share a narrative
  • tell their story or the stories of others
  • document a field trip
  • share book reviews
  • document their learning and growth over the year as part of a digital portfolio
  • articulate their understanding of complicated or difficult to grasp concepts
  • conduct interviews with subject matter experts or community members
  • explain a process or procedure
  • submit a writing project – essay, poetry collection or how to guide


Anchor  – This fun tool allows free recording and hosting from anywhere.  Creators can build episodes based on themes and previous segments.  Anchor even includes creative editing tools like sound effects, backgrounds, transitions, and more.  Music clips from Apple Music and Spotify also play nicely with the Anchor editing tool, for easy uploading and use and can be distributed using an RSS feed, which could easily be embedded on your onCampus class page.

Resources:

Why Your Students Need a Podcast
Cult of Pedagogy Teacher’s Guide to Tech

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Ten Google Apps & Extensions for Teaching and Learning

Image source:  giphy

Happy Media Literacy Week!  Check out the Newseum’s site for additional resources.

Before jumping into a few of what I have found to be useful extensions for teaching and learning, it might be helpful to briefly explain what an “extension” is.  Extensions are lines of code that run within a browser that “extend” the functionality of the browser.  Here are just a few additional things you should also know about extensions:

  • The more extensions you have, the slower your browser will become
  • The extensions travel with you as long as you are signed into the Chrome browser.  FYI… Being signed into your Google Account and the Chrome Browser are 2 distinct actions.
  • You can modify or remove extensions by visiting the Chrome Web Store.

Extensions:

  1. Extensity – Manages extensions in your toolbar
  2. Loom – Video Recorder: Screen, Webcam and Mic
  3. Drive Slides – Create a Google Slides presentation from images contained in a Drive Folder
  4. Google Docs Quick Create – Quickly create Google Docs from your Browser bar
  5. Google Keep – Easily curate and organize materials on the web, as well as create lists
  6. Kaizena – Give verbal feedback on student work
  7. One Tab – Converts all your tabs into a list that can be saved, edited and shared
  8. Tab Resize – Split-screen layout on Chrome

Apps:

  1. Newsela – Daily news sources from the Associated Press, Washington Post, Scientific American, the Smithsonian, the King Center, biography.com and more!
  2. Desmos Graphing Calculator – Plot functions, create tables, animate graphs

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