Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blog Assignment 4

This is a podcast symbol.
The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom by Joe Dale
     The video The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom basically explains why podcasts are useful.  Podcasts can be used in many different ways.  A teacher may upload lectures as podcasts so students will be able to listen to them anywhere.  This is a good review tool, and it also helps a student to not get behind when he/she is at home sick.  Another beneficial way the podcast was used was in having a dramatic play read in one.  This would make it a lot easier for students to understand what was going on in a dramatic play because they could actually hear the language.  Another way the podcast was used in the classroom was by letting the students do their own podcasts.  This made the learning more interactive and probably helped the information stick in the students' minds better.
      This video really opened my eyes to how podcasts could help make things easier for students in the classroom.  It also made me better understand what my group and I would be doing in our podcast project.  If used correctly, this tool could revolutionize the way students learn.  I always learn things better when I hear them, so these podcasts would have definitely helped me when I was in grade school.  Also, the parents will be better able to keep up with what their children are learning if the information is so easily obtained.
Podcasting with First Grade
      In the blog Podcasting with First Grade, Ms. Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisano describes how she let her first grade students create a podcast.  She let some students pretend to be characters in a book they were reading.  Other students were allowed to interview the "characters."  She mentions how thrilled the students were to hear their recorded voices.  They wanted to hear themselves over and over again.  She explained how this activity made some of the shy students come out of their shells.  She listed the skills that they had learned which are as follows:  listening, speaking, presenting, comprehension, storytelling, performance, voice acting, oral fluency, media, and technology.
     Making these first graders do podcasts was probably very fun for them, but I didn't really see an educational value in using podcasts in this way.  Are we trying to teach our students to be future actors?  That is what it sounded like the teacher was striving for in this blog post.  I feel like the time she used doing this project could have been used in a better way.  As first graders, these children do not have many academic skills at all.  I just do not see how repeating words the teacher told them to say helped anything.  They may have liked hearing themselves speak, but that did not teach them much of anything.
Langwitches - Flat Stanley Podcast
     Langwitches - Flat Stanley Podcast was about a teacher,  Ms. Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisano, using a podcast in the classroom.  She described how podcasting helps students learn to use a language better.  She says you have to hear a word in context to understand and remember it.  The students in a second grade class at this school had scripts written for them in Hebrew, which they read on the podcast.
     This blog post, like the other one I read, seemed very unimportant.  Yes, the students probably enjoyed doing it, but what did they learn.  The teacher uploaded all the content and wrote the script.  All the student had to do was talk and listen to themselves and others talk.  Once again, I did not realize we were training actors in schools these days.  Also, how is saying something in Hebrew going to help a second grader?  They have not even mastered the English language yet.  It just seems like a major waste of time to me.

1 comment:

  1. Susanelle,

    I am sorry that you find podcasting so useless for first graders. I am still confused as to why because the list of skills that you mentioned (as listed by the teacher) are the very skills that these children need to learn at a young age.
    You quoted that "listening, speaking, presenting, comprehension, storytelling, performance, voice acting, oral fluency, media, and technology" were the skills experienced during this activity. I do not see how these skills are not useful. Acting is a very therapeutic activity that promotes independence and speaking skills - why not start these skills in first grade?
    I can see where your concern lies (that the kids are just playing and not learning) yet, I still tend to disagree. If the students can have fun while practicing speaking, reading, and story telling - why not let them?
    We want to create life-long learners, right? So, we need to make sure that these children want to learn.
    I am glad that you were so open about your view, you made some very good points. I just want to make sure that you realize the implication of exactly what it is you are saying.


    Rebekah Lloyd