Digitizing Classroom Reflection:
Blogging and Podcasting= Engaged Learning
Combine blogging and podcasting for tremendous learning in your primary classroom. Blogging platforms and podcasting tools in the Apple, Google or Microsoft-powered classroom will be shared in hands-on activities.
What steps can you take to get there with students?
Step #1: Reflection
Think Pair Share:
- With an elbow partner (introduce yourself), explore the Top 10 Reasons for Students to Blog (view larger size image) shown right.
- Share: How are you showcasing student accomplishments in your classroom now?
Prepare to Share to the Whole Group:
- How could it be different with a blog?
Step #2: Read Blogs, Articles, or Engage
Make Conversations Happen
- Listen to Marie Schmidt share her insights
- Listen to PT England School podcasts about ramping up engagement and reading outcomes
- Learn more about Tara Martin's BookSnaps
- Why Listening to Podcasts Helps Improve Reading Skills
- Teens Create Podcast as Final Exam
- Fifty Creative Writing Prompts for Student Blogging (Contributed by Dr. Bruce Ellis)
Step #3: Select a Blog Platform
In Your Home Group
- Divide into groups of FIVE people each. This is your Home Group.
- Number off from 1 to 5 so that each person in the group has a number.
- Each member of the Home Group will be responsible for learning and teaching one "blogging platform" to your peers, assigned by the number you have.
- Take a look at your blog platform (list shown right).
- Go join your Expert Group, the people who have the same number as you, to begin the activity.
In Your Expert Group
Working alone in your Expert Group
- Study your assigned resource for 8 minutes.
- Jot down the big takeaways, the key points, and/or the must-knows. This jigsaw notes organizer will come in handy.
Report to: Home Group
- Return to your Home Group. You now have just two minutes each to teach the others in your group what each Expert learned.
- Use the resources/notes you created as you share.
Step #4: Select Podcasting Solution
Unless you're engaging in full-blown podcasting which involves scripts and audio-editing, use Voxer to record interviews in less than 15 minutes then post to social media (e.g. Instagram, Twitter).
Be sure to combine your media shares online via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
Tip: Use Linktr.ee to manage ONE place to share your links across social media.
- Voxer.com (Android/iOS/Web): Use this mobile or web-based tool to record "voxercasts" featuring students, staff and community. Easily share links to audio. Here are some examples.
- Shadow Puppet EDU (iOS only): Snap pictures of great learning or displays, then combine them with your audio narration, mix in music, then share as videos online.
- Hokusai (iOS): This audio editor (try Audacity on Win/Mac laptop or Beautiful Audio Editor on Chromebook) makes it easy to edit sound. In-app purchases extend functionality.
- Podcasting with Microsoft Sway or Powerpoint+Office Mix
Need some gear to get you started with Podcasting recording? Read this blog entry!
The following come from this article at WeAreTeachers.com:
- Current Events Newscasts: Practice nonfiction reading skills by having your students do weekly or monthly podcasts on an interesting current event.
- Reading Radio: Have your students make short radio broadcasts summarizing the books they are reading.
- Roving Reporters: Send your students out into the “field” (a.k.a. the school) to interview key players in important school events.
- Celebrate Culture: Have your students record podcasts about important cultural months like Black History Month or Hispanic Heritage Month and then present them to the school or parents to commemorate the events.
- Bring Your Teacher Home: Send a little bit of yourself home with your kids by podcasting important parts of your lessons.
- Podcasting Library: Have your students collaborate to create a library of podcasts from which future students can learn.
- MusicCasts: Have band or orchestra students create podcasts for each instrument, detailing specific notes, sounds and characteristics of each instrument.
- Awesome Audio Tours: Give your students the chance to be tour guides for new students at your school by having them podcast school tours that kids can listen to when they enter.
- Podcasting Pen Pals: Record interactive or encouraging podcasts and then send them to another classroom in another state or country.
- Reenactments: Have your students reenact important events in history using period language and vocabulary.
Web-based, Chromebook Friendly Audio Editors
When decided on which web-based audio record to use, consider these seven questions.
- Will the web-based audio recorder work without Adobe Flash? This is important because it ensures compatibility with a wide range of devices. Since our priority is Chromebooks, this is a key feature.
- Can audio files be stored on Google Drive? Again, since we are discussing Chromebooks, it would be best to save any files to Drive.
- What format is the recorded audio stored as? The best answer is MP3 audio format. This is because you can insert MP3 audio files into Google Slides now.
- Does the audio recorder provide audio editing features? While it is easy to record audio, web-based audio editing (like Audacity) is harder to find.
- Can you share the audio file as a recording with an embed code? In other words, can you save the audio file on the recording site and share it? Vocaroo had this as one of its features.
- Will you be able to save (get or download) the audio recording as a file on your device? Sometimes, if you can’t save audio to Drive or share it with embed code, downloading is the only option.
- Will K-12 students be able to record audio without account creation? Students in primary grades may find it easier to record audio and then share it with others as they may be too young to log in to G Suite EDU or other system.
Give the free ChromeMP3 Recorder a try
Step 5: Decide Where to Save Audio
When podcasting, it can be difficult to find a reliable place to host your audio or video over the long term. Consider one of these locations:
Enhanced podcasts (video)
- Google Drive or
- Seesaw Class Blog (vidcasts)
- Google Drive
- Seesaw Class Blog (vidcasts)
- Write About