Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thing Fifteen - Podcasting

Podcasts are interesting. I have had an iPhone for about 2 years now and had not done much with podcasts. After reading the chapter in Richardson's book, I decided to explore a little. I found some interviews with authors under Reading Rockets. I downloaded one with Mem Fox and one with Lois Lowery. I enjoyed listening to both of these and thought that might be something I could share with my students if doing an author study. The author interviews did have a video component with them which I liked. I am more of a visual learner so just audio pod-casts are not something I think I would personally get into the habit of using. I also found one called Curriculum 21, the same name as a book by Heidi Hayes Jacobs.This has interviews with educators on how to improve curriculum and instruction in the face of changes in the 21st century. Last summer I got to attend ASCD's summer conference and got to hear from Heidi. She is such a forward thinker and definitely promotes technology.
I did add Grammar Girl to my reader and then went to listen. One of the things I saw was an app,, for smartphones that allows you to get pod-casts without having to connect to your computer. If you use iTunes, you can subscribe but you still have to hook up your iPod or iPhone to transfer the podcasts. With stitcher, they come directly to your mobile device. On stitcher I did find several podcasts that I might be interested in - "The Accidental Creative", "Tech Stuff", "PRI's The World in Words" and my daily horoscope. I will blog more later as to whether I get into the habit of listening to any podcasts.
I can see several uses for podcasts in education. Teachers could run podcasts of important lesson introductions or even of daily classes so that absent students could still have access to lectures. You could also add a podcast to a blog page to give homework or class updates. Since I enjoyed the interviews with authors, you could create a podcast of "mock" interviews with historical figures. Using podcasts may allow an introduction to public speaking without having to get in front of a large audience.

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