Photo By: Casey Fiesler (https://flic.kr/p/qt5a94)
Wow! I would have never thought of incorporating podcasts into the classroom with mystery storytelling! I think this is so cool and I totally wish I could have experienced it when I was in high school. We read the usual requirements like Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. Very boring, and long, readings that were extremely difficult to get into. One thing that our teacher did that made you have to follow along and pay attention was we either had characters assigned to us to read or we popcorn read (called on a person to read after we had finished). It made us have to follow along and pay attention like I said, but it was still boring. I love listening to podcasts while in the car, and living in the country I have to drive to get anywhere.
I think it is such a great idea to use podcasts in the classroom for learning. Like the article said, students are much more engaged when they are able to listen to something that they are interested in, and who doesn’t love a good mystery? Also like the article, “What Teens Are Learning From ‘Serial’ and Other Podcasts” said, there are a variety of Common Core Standards that are met when using these podcasts for teaching/learning. The students practice good listening skills, comprehension, communication and social skills as they hold discussions with each other about what heard on the podcast. They also work on organization skills as they gather information/facts and draw conclusions through research.
I have the same feelings towards using digital stories. I think they are a great way to encourage students to be engaged in learning and developing critical skills like; social interaction, holding professional conversations, gathering facts, performing research, using teamwork, and becoming more familiar with a variety of different technology resources as pointed out by “Teacher’s Guide to Digital Storytelling“. Skills that are focused on when it comes to meeting the Common Core Standards. The benefits of using both of these tools for learning is that students often become engaged, due to curiosity and using creativity, and don’t view or realize that they are learning as they partake in the activities and homework.
I was surprised that as teachers we have that much freedom to use these interesting resources, like mystery stories, to help us teach our students. I had in mind that we had to stick to what we are required to teach and use the common resources, like Macbeth and Shakespeare, but now I think we just have to make sure we are meeting the Common Core Standards and we can do that in just about any way we want. I think a disadvantage to using these learning tools is how time consuming they could be to prepare for. The teacher has to be super organized to keep everything flowing and know where the class is at in the story or on the project. They need to understand how to use different forms of technology for storytelling, and they need to have the podcasts charted out ahead of time so that they can guide the students with meaningful discussions and other research projects.
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