Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thing # 17

I am also a fan of podcasting. I think it adds a new dimension to the information - providing the speaker is interesting and doesn't sound like an automated drone :) In addition to adding more personality to the lecture or information, podcasts are excellent tools to help learners with visual impairments, language barriers, and learning disorders that hamper fluent reading.

I can see where podcasting could be used in many classes and programs. ESL and foreign language classes would benefit greatly from the podcast creator modeling proper pronunciation and accent. Also, how great would it be to have a class blog where the teacher creates a podcast for the days lessons. This would be a fabulous tool for substitutes to use as well as for students who are absent. This way, the teacher is still somewhat able to teach the lesson, and the student is able to stay abreast of what his happening in the classroom. The only drawback is the lovely child who would rather sleep in class and just catch the discussion online at home :)

I actually worked with one of our History teachers and encouraged him to have his students create a Voicethread project over a famous Texan that they researched. The Voicethread program allows you to create a photo slideshow, then do voice over comments that play during the slideshow. It was a little time consuming, but it allowed the students to create a unique project. We then linked all of the podcasts to a class blog. Check it out at Schreiner's Shelf.

I decided to subscribe to the Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing and Just One More Book. I like both of these podcasters. I have always liked grammar (I was the dork who liked diagramming sentences in high school), and I love to read. The grammar girl site is a great site to refresh the memory on those grammar rules that we tend to forget as we fall into comfortable slang speech patterns, and let's not even mention what IM and texting has done to grammar. Just One More Book is a great site that is organized very well, offers book reviews, book lists and podcasts galore.

On a final note, Gabcast is a program that I have used before that was a super easy way to create a podcast right from your phone. You can then drop a widget onto your page that will play your podcast. It used to be totally free, but now the VoIP (from your computer) is free and from your phone it is $0.10 per minute. I created a brief podcast using this program and embedded it below - forgive me for this not being the most interesting or stimulating podcast ever. I'm trying not to wake up my husband :)

Gabcast! 23 Things Podcast #1

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