Archive for the 'Podcasting' Category

Giving Students’ learning Choices Through Technology

I like to rent Redbox movies, those red kiosco in grocery stores and McDonalds. I can preview the available titles from the comfort of my home; I can take my time to decide which movie I want. I can even rent the movie online so that it is ready for me when I get to the store. I can return it to any Redbox.

I wonder what school would be like if we could have more options and choices available to students. Sure all students have to learn the same basic standards. How much choice do we give the students in how they go about doing it? Do we provide lectures, demonstrations, guided instructions, interactive activities, group activities, and self-tests in various digital formats for them? By using technology we can have many different forms of learning the standard available to the students. What, if instead of lock stepping the class in terms of the students’ learning, we freed up the class to make their own choices? They can select in what order or format to see/hear/experience the learning.

We can start small with podcasts, emovies, and interactive Power Points as we build up our library. Imagine if a department (all English teachers in 9th grade) worked together to create these resources. Then we as teachers could really be guides on the side instead of the sage on the stage. We can spend time in providing formative feedback to students in one-on-one and small groups instead of being infront of the room “teaching”. When students experience a learning gap, we can refer them to a specific technology application that focuses on that learning gap. We can give more help to those who need one-on-one feedback.

Let’s use technology to help us better guide students in their learning.


Podcasts: Science education or technology focus?


Do you believe that technology is to support education?

Do you really believe it?

Listen to a student

“I created a planet podcast. It took four days (1 for content, 1 for planning the podcast and 2 days in the lab). Each of us created a podcast about the planets or other parts of the galaxy. We created and posted them. I did not listen to any other students’ podcasts.”

I listened to his podcast. It contain the same facts found in any science book or encyclopedia.

Was this a lesson in Science standards or in technology? 25% of the time was on the content and 75% was on the technology.

Did the teacher focus on academics or on technology? What do you focus on?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Podcast: Students Add Worthwhile Learning Content

Local and National History

So why is it worth listening to your students’ podcasts? Does their podcast add new knowledge? Does it give others a new and deeper perspective on the topic?

Here’s some suggestions for a Social Social class podcast:

1- Compare how a local historical event fits in with the bigger one. For example, where does your town’s underground railroad station fit in the bigger underground railroad route? How did the actual location of the slaves’ hiding places compare to where the hiding places in other stations? Was the station near a river? How did the slaves “sneak” in?

2-Evaluate a local system such as the monetary system of “Ithaca Dollars” against the monetary system of the USA. How are they same? How are they different? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Contrast local government to state or federal government.

3-Create a graph of the growth (or decline) of your town since it was incorporated. Explain the growth (or decline). How does it compare to other towns in your geographical area?

4- Analyze the values of your community as expressed through bumper stickers. What does a random sampling of cars at the various grocery stores show you about what people value? How does the result of that study compare to the way your community voted in the last elections?

How have your students produced new worthwhile learning content for others? Share your stories.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Podcast Questions: Content not “Appearance”

Ugly Podcast graphic

Podcasting, at present, reminds me of the early days of desktop publishing and web pages. People would put up stuff just to have it published or be seen on the web. In desktop and web pages publishing, many people would overuse different fonts and sizes; they focused on the appearance of what they had to say. They did not focus on content. Students put up webpages that were direct copies of encyclopedia entries or slightly reworded versions but they had bold colors and many dancing bears.

Podcast is a technology and that technology should enhance student learning. It should not be its own purpose.

Your students’ podcasts

How much time do your students spend in preparing a podcast? Is the time proportional to the amount that they learn about the standard?

How in-depth about the standard is their podcast ?

How comprehensive about the standard is their podcast ?

At what level of thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation) about the standard is it ?

How do you assess their standards-based learning (not the podcast)?

Listening to Others’ Podcasts

Have you determined which of your students are auditory learners and which are not?

Do you have your students listen to educational podcasts produced by other students or educators?

What do they learn about the standard? Does that learning go beyond “textbook” factual learning?

How do you assess them on the standard?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Podcasts: Let Students Question and Let Listeners Learn

Podcast Questions

Most podcasts do not invite the listener to think about the topic. The listener is passive. The podcast seems more like a lecture than a dialogue.

The students can start off the podcast with an essential question about the topic or a critical problem such as “What impact is global warming having on you?”and then pause for about five seconds for the listener to think about the topic.

Your students can use a Question and Answer format about this higher level thinking topic. “Were you hotter than usual last summer?” “Was it due to a weather pattern or global warming?” Then they can give some possibilities about why it might be global warming. They can ask another question and offer some possible answers. They can frame their answers in the form of questions such as “Could it be….?” or “What does this image show you about the effects of global warming?”

You will have to model this format for the students and have them practice it. A good starting point is for them to identify what questions they have the topic and its impact on their lives.

Let’s change podcasts from boring mini-lectures to engaging thought provoking learning.This way not only do the students producing it learn the content to a high level of thinking but the listener also does. Share some examples of how your students cause others to think and question.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Student Podcasts to Support the Standards

Podcast Categories

Here is a beginning list of some different educational uses of podcasting in P12 settings that have a direct focus on academic standards:

Demonstrations such as students’ drawing and explaining the differences in geometric shapes
Sharing students’ misconceptions/errors
Stories/Book Reports that analyze a book instead of just tell what happen
Poetry Reading/ Slams about a certain topic or theme
Interpreting Historical Documents such as Federalist Papers
Debates to show two perspectives on a topic
Role Playing the conflict between two sides
How Tos such as how to write a persuasive paragraph or to build a housing using math formulas
Biographies such as the lives of Kansas people
Music/songs that teach different aspects of a topic
State National Test prep
School events such as a local Shakespeare play
Lecture/Telling factual information about a topic
Language lessons (such as learn Spanish) or learn English vocabulary
Reading tests to students with IEPs

What other examples of podcasts have your students produced that directly support an academic standard?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Refocus Podcast Rubrics to Assess Academic Standards

Podcast Rubric

I am helping a teacher do some podcasts so I decided to look at some existing podcasting rubrics.

I believe that a rubric should assess student growth on a critical component of an academic standard. I believe that technology is a tool that supports student learning and is not the purpose of student learning.

I found that in ALL of these rubrics the value of standards-based learning was considered equal to voice quality, art work, introduction, etc. Student learning of a critical component of a standard counted for 1/6 or less of the rubric grade.

Let’s refocus the rubrics so that student learning of an academic standard is weighted the most, like 70%, and all other podcast rubric items support that standard. We can re-work it so that all items focus on the standard such as Does the art work help convey the standard? Does the student voice quality help to emphasize key vocabulary in the standard? If we do not refocus the rubric, then we cannot use it to evaluate student standards-based learning. A non-weighted, non-refocused podcast grade means little, if nothing.

Do you use a podcast rubric that focuses on an academic standard? Please share it.


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Podcasting: Use Meaningful Images for Better Student Learning

Podcast Words Visuals

During a workshop on podcasting, people downloaded numerous podcasts. Several math people downloaded audio podcasts on sets and on angles. They felt that, without visuals, the podcast were not helpful; in fact, the audio podcasts made the topic incomprensible. I have trouble with audio podcasts since I am not an auditory learner; I easily get lost in spoken words.

Other people downloaded podcasts that had images along with the spoken word. I had something to look at! However, since I focused on the visuals (Yes, I’m a definite visual learner), I quickly discovered that the visuals were not self-explanatory. They were decorative; they were not informative. (Could I look at the visual and see what its purpose was in the message?) If I tried to understand the podcast by looking just at the visuals, I maybe could understand what the general topic was. I certainly did not get the specific message.

Yes, I did see a podcast that used a movie. That solved my learning problem, right? No, because the actions in the movie did not make much sense without the spoken word.

If you are creating podcasts, please, for visual learners like me, make sure that all of the visuals convey the precise information of the podcast (avoid general images), that the visuals are arranged in such a way as to explain the indepth message of the podcast, and that the visuals are different enough to give me a comprehensive view of the message.

My eyes and my brain thank you for helping me to learn!

RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior ( Equally important, a letter […]
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]

Blog Stats

  • 803,069 hits