Eagles' Nest Radio and Class Blog
The Eagles' Nest Radio and Class Blog is a website directed by a 3rd grade classroom. These children create interesting podcasts for everyone to listen to and to learn from. The students have already created many, but the one I listened to was Episode 1a: A Shark-tastic Interview. The students have been learning about sharks in their class, so they decided to interview a shark expert, Mr. Ward, to learn more about these creatures. They recorded a Skype video conference, but only audio is heard on the website.
Anna Catherine was the student who asked Mr. Ward questions about his experiences with sharks. I was surprised that such a young girl was able to ask such great questions. She asked him questions that received an interesting answer and there was never an "awkward silence". The podcast was organized with thought-out questions and sounded almost rehearsed it was so great. Anna Catherine and Mr. Ward did most of the talking, but the other students made background noises when an answer required a reaction.
This podcast impressed me and made me want my students to do something like this. If 3rd graders can do such an amazing job and teach a college student about sharks, then so can my future students.
The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
In Joe Dale's blog post, "The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom," he discusses why podcasting is such a great way to learn. This was a cute video that shows many reasons why podcasting is amazing. There are two different ways to podcast in the classroom. One is that teachers could record their lecture and then students can play it back to help them learn and catch everything. This is also useful if a student is out sick. Many students do not want to miss school because the fear of getting behind. With a teacher podcasting his or her lecture, this will help students become less stressed (and probably help with less germs spread in schools).
Another way to podcast in the classroom is to let the students write a script and act it out while podcasting. This helps the students learn in fun ways and allows creativity in their learning. It also will make it more memorable and they will be more likely to learn the information and not just memorize it. The process of creating and uploading podcasts is easy, according to Dale, and so all students should feel like they are a part of something in their learning.
In this website, Langwitches, the teacher talks about a first grade class podcasting. She spent a little while with the students reading a book and then took a few students out at a time to record the book. The main classroom teacher kept reading every word in the book, while this teacher made a script for each student to read. She also created a book for the students to follow with as they listened to their podcast. At the end of each chapter, there was a little noise in the podcast for the students who become lost during the reading to catch up.
The students had to write down about their experiences. The teacher talked about how amazing it was. Each student wanted to redo their part if it wasn't perfect; they wanted to be involved with it as much as possible. The students experimented with their tones and pitches in their voices and they were "eager" to read along in their book while they listened.
On the blog, the teacher posted the book and the podcast. The podcast was great and talked about a fictional tale of a tree house and a dinosaur. The students sounded very "into" it and their different tones kept it interesting. There was even background sounds that made you feel like you were part of it. There were monster noises, frogs croaking, wind blowing, dinosaurs roaring, and many more sounds. It was very clear when each chapter was over; the sound made sure you knew it was a new chapter. I hope I am able to do something like this with my students. Since I will be teaching literature, I kept thinking of all the ways I can help my students learn in creative ways. Having them shorten a book or a piece of literature and then make a podcast of it is a great idea!