Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blog Post 4

1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook
Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano is one tech savvy educator. I could hear the pride and joy in the voices of those first graders. Tolisano taught them without their even realizing it how to read out loud, using tone and inflection to create the audio version of a play. Breaking them into groups and pulling them out of the reading session to record probably kept distractions to a minimum, but also gave the students a sense of the seriousness of the project. Creating a read-along booklet was brilliant. Reading instruction is spotty at best in large classes. This is a great way to refocus attention from following along with a group of unrelated students to reading along with a group of students you are connected to by way of the experience. In her reflection, she noted she would like to have the children edit their own voices. It is my opinion that the best way to get students to desire to read correctly is to let them hear their own voice. This goes one step further, now they could learn to edit their voices, teaching them how to speak in public, speak with authority, and in a joking manner...all in the first grade. Imagine how far these children will go.

The Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
Joe Dale's use of the quintessential radio headgear caught my attention right away. I had something to focus in on as he explained what this podcast (or was this more of a vodcast) was about. The use of video sequencing kept my attention. I did find myself wanting to get to the meat of podcasting which may have been one of the primary benefits of his podcast. I'm sold, now what do I do. What stood out the most was the use of podcasting for children out sick. While I never minded being out for a test, I did mind being out the day before the test.

Podcast Collection
Now this was what I needed. The first two links I went to merely whetted my appetite to learn podcasting. Judy Scharf contributed practical information and links to instructional youtube videos about podcasting. For example, she recommended How to Create a Podcast using Audacity, a free downloadable podcasting program. I went ahead and joined the website Curriki. It is free, although they do ask for donations, they do provide a "maybe later" button. By joining, I was able to access "Creating a Podcast" in a word file that was easier to follow than a youtube video. I will keep searching the site and let you know what else they have to offer.

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