Most of today’s students either own or use iPods, iPod Touches, MP3 Players, and computers everyday. These digital tools provide a natural strategy to support student learning – Podcasts!
Integrating podcasts in science and math classes is a good way to support student learning, because it leverages the fact today’s students are digital citizens.
In a recent survey, Forbes.com found K-12 students spend more time during the week on the Internet and using digital tools (cell phones, computers, iPods, etc.) than watching TV. This is why today’s students are considered digital citizens.
Teaching: Strategies for Using Podcasts
The following are teaching strategies for podcasts in science or math.
- Audio and/or video reviews for tests – accomplished by providing a downloadable podcasts on the class web page or wiki.
- Audio recordings of science lectures in MS and HS – accomplished by teacher wearing wireless microphone during lectures. Then editing and converting the recording into a podcast for students to listen to later as a review.
- Video recording of math lectures and reviews in MS and HS – accomplished by teacher wearing wireless microphone and video taping lectures or saving interactive white board slides. Then editing and converting the video into a podcast for students to refer to later when completing homework assignments or as a review.
- Audio class newsletter – for parents to access on the class web page or wiki. This does two things – saves paper and keeps newsletters out lockers and trash cans. The newsletters have a greater chance of being read by parents.
- Audio/Video Sub Plans – entire or partial lessons are recorded for subs to use in class. This also does two things – it is just like your are there and it forces subs to follow your teaching plan. The reality is we all know when it comes to subs – “…it is like opening a box of chocolates, you never know what you will get!”
Learning: Ways Students Use Podcasts
The following are ways students use podcasts to support their learning science or math concepts.
- Student groups create a specific potion of a unit studied in class. These podcasts provide a downloadable review for students to use when studying for a unit test. The podcasts are posted on the class web page or wiki. Each podcast should be limited to 5 – 6 minutes to promote clear and concise summary of key concepts.
- Students create a podcast to supplement their research and findings during science or math project based learning activities.
- Students use a podcast to complete science or math case studies using information provided in a podcast to help them solve a problem.
- Students create a class newsletter related to concepts learned in class. Accomplishes two things – students must apply concepts to real world applications in newsletter stories and parents have better understanding of what their kids are learning science or math.
- Students create a virtual tour related to a science or math unit. For example – rainforests, landfills, geometry found on the playground, algebra applications in a skate park, etc.
- Students create mnemonic rap songs to help learn concepts. For example – ROYGBIV.
Benefits of Podcasts
So what are the benefits of podcasting (audio and/or video) in science and math classes?
- Reinforces concepts studied in class for both auditory and visual learners.
- Reinforces writing and reading skills as students prepare their own podcast scripts.
- Increasing parent communication, since parents have access to the class web page or wiki.
- Provides another teaching and learning strategy for helping students in being successful in science or math.
Why Use Podcasts?
It is time to take advantage of our students’ status as digital citizens. Students use iPods, iPod Touches, MP3 players, and computers everyday; use these digital tools to create podcasts to support teaching and learning.