Podcasts are an excellent way of getting your students more excited about learning. In Langwitches blog post, 1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook, they talk about partnering with a fellow 1st grade teacher to help students prepare their own audiobook. They created a script for the students to read off of and one teacher took three at a time to record, while the other teacher read the rest of the chapters of Dinosaurs Before Dark to the remaining students. Once the audiobook was completed, they printed off the script so their students could follow along with their voices on the podcast. They said the students were eager to get their voices just right by changing up their speed, emotions, and inflection. Then in the article, Flat Stanley Podcast, another group of students in the same school was influenced by the previous class. They sent Flat Stanley's all around the world and received notes and pictures back. The children then chose a place they would've wanted to been mailed to and wrote a short script describing the adventure. When they recorded the podcast they were to use their voice to help describe the smell of the place they went, what it felt like to be mailed, and the sounds they heard. I noticed that by using this technology the children seemed to be more eager to read, write, do research, and learn about new places just so they could record it. As a high school history teacher my kids won't be reading children's book, but it might spark in them to do a vocal reenactment of a part of one of the wars in history or a famous speech they liked.
After reading Benefit of Podcasting in the Classroom, I started thinking of ways I could gain from podcasting as a teacher. I already said things my students can do, but ways I might can use it I had never thought of. On days in advance that I know I will be absent from classes I can podcast the students notes and leave a little quiz for the substitute to hand out. That way we aren't behind on our syllabus and can keep to a schedule that will allow for more projects (less lecturing).