Something I would like to try with students is my school is using podcasts to enhance reading skills. Students could practice reading stories with fluency and expression in preparation for reading them on a podcast. Both parents and other students (including younger students) could then listen to the podcasts. The podcast-producing students and their teacher’s could use the podcasts to evaluate students’ fluency and expression. These podcasts could be included in e-portfolios. Once comfortable with the podcast format, students could progress to writing short stories, poems or skits to podcast for a similar audience.
I love the idea of using podcasts to make broadcasts (like Radio Willow Web) of what is happening in the school, not only showcasing student work but helping students to develop oral presentation skills.
Think of the paper that could be saved by making the school newsletter available on a podcast! Parents could “listen” to the school news while preparing dinner or driving. Parent Advisory Council meetings could be made available via podcast for parents who are unable to attend regular meetings. Band or music performances could also be podcasted for self-evaluation, in lieu of sending performance tapes for engagements, or for parents who miss performances. Language teachers could make podcasts of practice lessons. Podcast links on research topics could be posted on the school’s library website along with other research links for particular classes or grades.
Podcasting is a valuable tool to accommodate different learning styles. Students who find text-based resources challenging would benefit from being able to access information in an auditory mode. Using iPods to do research could be a great motivational tool! Perhaps in a few years, our school supply list will include a set of personal earphones to be used with school iPods.