Podcasts and Digital Storytelling

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Photo CC by Francois Schnell

One of my high school teachers used podcasts in a few of the courses I took with her.  I really enjoyed them.  I’ve always liked when a teacher reads a book out loud to the class – it was relaxing yet intriguing – and that is how a podcast is, too.  The podcast that I listened to was Serial (http://serialpodcast.org/).  It just sounded too good to not check out!  The teacher who used podcasts in my class used a mystery once, and I can remember my classmates and me talking about it outside of class, which is a great sign of its success.  I like the fact that we have so many digital resources, but I hope the new never fully replaces the old.  Hearing this podcast, although from 2014, I have hope that old-fashioned radio never goes out of style.

I like the idea of using digital storytelling to add to a podcast.  I think it would be so fun to listen to a few sections of Serial and then have my students create their version of the end of the story.  Since, as the article “What is Digital Storytelling, and Why Do It?” claimed, (http://www.edudemic.com/guide-digital-storytelling/ digital storytelling) digital storytelling “requires a clear organization of thought, discipline, and problem solving skills — all of which can translate directly into more traditional essay writing” this would be a great way to have my students collaborate and use their creativity in a way that’s fresh!  I’ve always been a big fan of writing, but I understand that not everyone is.  In art class I would have this creative, amazing vision for a project but then when I got it on paper it looked like a kindergarteners’ preliminary sketch.  Due to this struggle, I can understand a students’ frustration with essay writing.  It can be hard to figure out what you want to say sometimes.  A student may know how they feel and what they think, but they may not be able to express it through the written word.  Because of this, using digital storytelling could be a wonderful way to aid a student in their process of expression.

One part of podcasts that worries me is students’ attention spans.  I don’t remember it being a problem in my past experience, but I wonder if it could be.  I bet using a mystery story would be a great choice of a podcast because of its sheer excitement and mental stimulation.  I would worry about using a podcast like the ‘Pardon the Interruption’ Sports Center one that was mentioned in the article because it might not be arousing to all students.

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7 thoughts on “Podcasts and Digital Storytelling

    • Probably the best podcast I’ve ever heard was about how long normal actions (trimming your toenails, brushing your teeth, laughing, etc.) take to complete in an average life. It was thought-provoking and I want to use it in my classroom for a journal topic someday. I just need to find the actual podcast first haha.

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  1. Shannon,

    I’ve never had a podcast implemented in any of my teaching lessons (or at least not to my memory) so I really have no idea how it would be in the classroom. I can say, however, is that my attention span would be shorter than usual, as I am a kinesthetic learner. Using only audio as a form of teaching, in my mind, is not conducive to all types of learners. I also had a substitute teacher back in high school that read aloud Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was great because he made it not only audibly entertaining by reading all the characters in different voices but visually as well with the gestures and motions he made during the reading. It was pretty cool! I think teachers should make things interesting like that for students so they have a desire to learn!

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  2. I really like the idea of using digital stories as a form of writing in the English classroom. All of the skills we try to teach in writing can be taught using digital stories instead, so why not incorporate more technology into our classrooms as a way to connect with more students and to teach skills that can be applied in many different areas, not just school?

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    • I think a goal of mine while I teach will always be to use more technology in my classroom. I’m not very confident in it, but I think it will enhance my students’ experience if I do.

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