Podcasting with First Grade
Often times we underestimate what young children can do. Someone may think that a first grader may not have the ability to do something as complex as a podcast. That is almost true. They have the ability, they just have not discovered it because they do not have the knowledge. No one has taught them yet, but they are willing and excited to learn. Langwitches post shows us that with a little assistance, 1st graders can make their own podcast.
Often when listening to a podcast, you can tell when someone is simply reading straight from a sheet of paper or book. I thought it was neat how the kids picked up on this, so they were able to practice each sentence and deliver them just one at a time. If the kids could not remember the whole sentence, they could break it down even further to just parts. This would make the end result much more fluid. This is a great skill to remember when podcasting. The sound of the end result should definitely be a key focus when podcasting.
1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audio Book
I can only imagine how much more excited the kids must be about reading when projects like this are in place. I know that as an elementary student, reading was never my favorite subject. I didn't mind it, but it just was not that exciting to me. Using this technology brings books to life for students. They are getting to play a role in the books. As they read along, they get to hear their own voice and the voices of their classmates. This makes reading interesting for all students, even if it is not their favorite subject.
This project is also teaching these first graders a great lesson. This semester I am also taking a speech class. Each week we give our certain assigned speeches, and then we go over as whole what needs work before getting our grades back. Each week without fail, one of the issues is voice variation. These first graders are already mastering a skill that a college class is struggling with. They are hearing their voices and knowing what needs work. They are only six and seven and know what sounds interesting to them. When their voice doesn't sound good, they want to redo it. I have a feeling that they will do very well in a speech class one day.
The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Joe Dale makes many wonderful points to how podcasting in the classroom is beneficial. One opportunity that podcasting provides is for a student that has to miss class. Unfortunately, all of us get sick from time to time. With a class of even just twenty students, there will be many days a teacher will be missing at least one student. Podcasting offers a great solution to keep students from getting behind while they are absent. They can view the podcast from home and return to class without missing a beat.
Podcasting is beneficial in many other ways as well. It opens the door to creativity for students and for the teachers. Because the podcasts are different and interesting, it makes the lessons more memorable to the students. Podcasting also gives parents the opportunity to be more involved in their child's education. The parent can get on and hear what the kids are learning about and see what projects they are doing. As many other forms of technology, podcasting is a great tool for education.