Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blog Assignment #4

Langwitches is such a creative blog to explore. To hear children with such excitement in podcasts and blog posts is absolutely inspiring. The mission of Langwitches is not to focus on the technology being taught; instead, the focus remains on the skills these children gain from using the technology.

Flat Stanley

Ms. Tolisano and her first grade class read the book Flat Stanley by Jim Brown. In this children's book, Stanley is a normal boy that gets squished by a bulletin board and is flattened. Instead of feeling down about his situation, Stanley travels the world via mail. With the original storyline, Ms. Tolisano and her class put together some ideas in order to recreate their own version of this story. Each student was able to choose a location and asked to research that place either from a book out of the library or online. The goal of the podcast was to allow the students to learn about different places of interest and each have their own turn recording a part of their own unique flat adventures. The expressions in all of their voices was nothing short of adorable.

Their adventures spanned the entire globe. Some went east to Europe, some west to Asia, and others from the North Pole to Antarctica. My favorite of all the journeys was Flat Emily and her trip to Alabama. There are few sweeter sounds than someone yelling "Roll Tide", but her exclamation has to be at the top of my list. I think that the use of the podcast for such young children is useful in our technologically advancing world. They are being introduced at a young age which allows them to explore further than most at an earlier age.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom

To further indulge my interest in podcasting for education purposes, I took a look at Mr. Joe Dale's post Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom. To aid Mr. Dale's advantages, he posted Podcasting in the Classroom by Doug Saunders. Some of the benefits he included were the ability to push the classroom boundaries further, allowing the lessons to be portable at a radio quality, and pose a possible solution to keep children from falling behind if they happen to miss a class. These are only a few examples of how podcasting in classrooms is becoming a growing interest among educators.

I love the capability to allow absent students to be able to keep up with missed work. As a firm believer in preserving the creativity of our future generations, I am very intrigued by the possibilities this innovation provides. Another aspect that appeals to me is the level of involvement this gives to parents. I feel very strongly that for children to be successful in their studies, their parents must also take part to ensure they are taking the necessary actions to help them. When I was younger I may have become frustrated with my parents for reprimanding me for not receiving proper grades if I put off studying; however, as I am getting older, I have become very grateful to them for the extra push that has prepared me for college level study requirements.

1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Book

Ms. Tolisano got together with her first grade students and came up with a creative idea to make a read-along for the book Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osbourne. While a separate classroom teacher read each chapter, Ms. Tolisano took out a few students at a time to record their parts in the book. In addition to recording their parts, the children also took part in creating the effects that are heard during the story. At the end of production, the audio file reached about 15 minutes in total length. When the students were able to hear their podcast for the first time, they were all very involved in their parts, what they would like to perfect, and the project success as a whole.

The idea to record the types of media that surround children of this age is fantastic. It allows them to see the stories they may read in class or at bedtime in a whole new light. I enjoy that these children are so engaged in these projects. You can tell that they truly enjoy taking part in these activities, which I feel is important in learning. If you are given something that you already enjoy, and you are asked to learn anything you can from it, you will more than likely become so deeply engaged in it that you will produce a product worth being proud of. These are the modes of teaching we need to continue to introduce to our classrooms because it allows each student to discover their creativity and express it.

2 comments:

  1. Do you think you will be a podcasting teacher?

    Thorough, thoughtful, well done!

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    Replies
    1. Dr. Strange,

      After listening to some of these podcasts by such young students, I definitely look forward to trying out some of these things in my classrooms one day. I was particularly sold after hearing how excited they were!

      Leah

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