Honestly, when I found out we were going to be listening to podcasts this week, I was a little disappointed. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, (maybe some stuffy documentary?) but what I found out surprised me. I LOVE podcasts! The podcast that I chose to focus on was Serial—a true retelling of the murder of a woman named Hae Min Lee. What many people don’t know about me, is that I was very torn between whether I wanted to be a teacher or a lawyer. Ever since late middle school, I became obsessed with lawyers, court cases, and government in general. When I read that there was actually a podcast about this kind of thing, I was thrilled!
I automatically opened up a new browser and searched “Serial.” I was not disappointed. I spent hours listening to Serial. The best part about podcasts is that you don’t have to be watching to know what is going on. Typically if you turn on the TV to listen to a show, you miss important information because you aren’t watching. Podcasts don’t have video, so you can multitask while you listen. For example, I listened to Serial while I was doing the dishes and folding my laundry. It made these boring household chores much more interesting. Believe it or not, I’m listening to it as I write this post!
I can definitely see the benefit of using podcasts and digital stories in the classroom. The benefits are monumental. For students who are auditory learners, this is the best way for them to learn. It can be helpful for students to get a break from hearing their teacher talk and listen to somebody else talk. Podcasts tell stories and give information in a new, exciting way. As far as digital stories go, students are able to think creatively and have a say in their education, all while becoming digitally literate individuals. Generally speaking, students become more invested and motivated to produce their best work when they get a say in what they are doing. For example, you could tell students that they need to make a digital story about a mouse who found a piece of cheese. Instead of telling students to write a story, or draw a picture, students have endless possibilities of how to complete the assignment. They could type a story, draw a picture with a drawing website, take a video, make an audio, etc. Allowing students to create digital stories can also create some problems as well though. There would need to be strict guidelines on the websites that students are allowed to access to make their stories.
As an elementary teacher, I feel it would be a little more difficult to give students free reign with making digital stories just because many of the online tools may be too advanced. However, there are websites such as Paint Go that allows students to paint/draw with different mediums. This would be a safe site where students could create a digital story. When I started on the assignments this week, I definitely didn’t have as open of a mind as I should have. I’ve actually found more useful tools in this class this week than any other week so far. I guess what they say is true: Don’t know it ’till you try it! 🙂