Real Focus in Technology-Infused Academic Learning in Podcasts-NECC


At NECC, I had several people come up and challenge my ideas about technology-infused learning in podcasts. They did agree that the students only spent 25% of their time in learning science (1 day of learning content, 1 day to plan the podcast and 2 days to produce it) but they insisted that the students were doing higher level thinking within the podcasting. I agreed that the students were but that higher-level thinking had nothing to do with science content. It focused on media literacy. They were selecting which images to use and which words to use. Hopefully, each time they were becoming better at media literacy. However, media literacy does not show up on state assessments. Nor have most schools identified it as a major academic priority. If a school has identified this 21st skill as a priority, then they have to have a way to measure it and assess it. If it is not on the state assessment and not a school recognized academic priority, then doing such an activity does not contribute to the school’s academic priorities.

They still are only learning science 25% of the time during the project! What is your percentage of learning to technology in a project?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

2 Responses to “Real Focus in Technology-Infused Academic Learning in Podcasts-NECC”

  1. 1 Mathew July 9, 2007 at 4:55 am

    I think you’re both right. I think in your example that not enough time was spent on science content. However, I think you’re underemphasizing the importance of media literacy since students spend a lot of time interacting with media outside of school and yet schools give them no tools to understand and think critically about it. The fact that it’s not on state assessments means nothing to me. Technology isn’t on any state assessments and yet we know that to be economically successful students will need to know how to use a computer to be able to apply for college, apply for a job, find a job, work at a job etc. etc.

    Back to teaching media literacy…I don’t think you go from mindlessly watching television to all of a sudden having the brain power to really think critically about your academic work. If students had the tools to think critically about the media that’s around them then that would spill over into reading comprehension and critical thinking. Schools try to work the other way around and I think we’re only partly successful because students are much more engaged by media then they are by academics.

    But I don’t think media literacy was really the focus of that particular assignment.

  2. 2 hgtuttle July 9, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    I agree that media literacy is an important skill. If we want students to learn it, then we have to teach it to them and assess their growth in it. I am not sure if students have done five podcasts in a science classroom that their podcasts necessarily become better academically or better in terms of media literacy.

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