PhotoCC- By Casey Fiesler
Podcasts and digital stories, have you had any experience with these? Personally, I never have until this week and wow, I feel like I have been missing out! I was a little unsure about what to think when I was reading through the assignment this week, I just wasn’t sure what a podcast would have to do with education, however, I was pleased with the results.
I was intrigued by the fact that some students are able to listen and comprehend at higher levels than they are able to read at. I thought “Wow.”, “This is a perfect way to differentiate instruction.”, which is something that is extremely important. It also took me a little while to understand the critical thinking aspect of these topics, but I realized that that comes into play with the digital stories, those are really awesome as well. I find that I get stumped when it comes to trying to be creative and at times, my writers block is out of control, I think creating a digital story would really help get me out of that rut. I think that being able to see the pictures and choosing what to put together really alleviates the stress of staring at a blank paper or screen.
I feel that there are some awesome benefits to podcasts and digital stories, a few I have already mentioned above. As it was noted, students may be able to listen at a higher level than they can read, I also feel that students may be able to visualize and comprehend in a different way than they can when reading the text. The podcasts are smooth and fluent, so that picture that develops in their head, can turn into a “movie”, which in my opinion, will lend to a better understanding of the story and a want to keep listening and be engaged.
Along with the advantages, I feel that there are some disadvantages. I fear that at times, students may find themselves day dreaming about something other than the podcast or even fall asleep and not have any idea about what is going on when they start listening again; at least with a book, you can mark your page and come back to it later. I have not found a solid solution for this problem yet, but I would maybe have my students take notes about what interests them about the podcast, or even have them draw a picture about what they are visualizing when they are listening. I also feel that though, digital stories are something that allow for higher level thinking and creativity, I wonder that if sometimes students aren’t able to be as original as they could be, due to the fact that the internet is providing instant ideas.
Podcasts and digital stories are something that I would definitely use in my classroom. I love that they allow for differentiation almost instantly and they allow for higher level thinking which are both that I always want to reach as a teacher.