Thursday, February 14, 2008

Podcasting (or should it be titled "Authentic Learning"?)

February 14, 2008~I have created a few podcasts and listened to many, taken the SCOPD online course on Podcasting, attended workshops given by Tony Vincent on podcasting and LOVE it. My question, comment, concern is how to I get teachers to buy in and want to either have their students do podcasts or at the very least record a class and allow me to produce a podcast from their lesson. They all have their iPods and MP3 players but haven't converted to using them in the classroom. Students listen, sync, and download all the time at home, how do I assist teachers in learning the value of them in the classroom?

The potential for podcasting, as well as a lot of the other technology vehicles available, provides the students the ability to create their own learning. Is it because teachers are afraid they will loose control of the classroom if they are not in control of the classroom? Aren't we supposed to step back and guide the learning process in order for the students to learn? I mean truly learn not the recurgitate back facts learning. I guess what I am not seeing enough of with the use of technology is authentic learning.

So my question posed for everyone is how to I change the tide? How do I get teachers as a hole to see the authenticity with technology? I can share lessons, provide software and hardware training but not seeing a big change. Yes, I have my few that are producing Photostory projects from their mythology tales and seeing results with the use of Moodle and book clubs but I WANT more for ALL OF MY students. I want live news broadcasts, podcast book reviews, Sketchy's on how the water cycle works, Crazy Talking with their mammal it too much to ask or am I just being impatient???


  1. What's worked for me is team-teaching with a couple of teachers. As technology specialist, I'd be in the room to co-lead lessons and assist students. We'd create a product like a podcast or a Sketchy animation. The teacher would see how excited the students are about their projects. They'd see that it was not a nightmare to manage. The students would end up with a great product and I'd let the classroom teacher take the credit for such great classroom activities. That teacher would rave about what their class did, inspiring other teacher to want to give it a try. Also, parents really enjoy sharing these kind of productions with family and friends--much more impressive than a written report or quiz grade.

    Yes, getting teachers on board initially can be hard as they are busy people and like to stay in their comfort zones. But when they see such successes, they are more likely to give authentic learning a try.

  2. Hi Robin,
    Wow, you know so much about podcasts with the training and experience! Change takes time but I feel sure that with your enthusiasm more and more teachers will want to try podcasts and other technology. Have you tried inviting the teachers to stop by your room after school for "Pound Cake and Podcasts?" I found that serving teachers a snack along with teaching tips works well. Then, while they eat you could play a podcast from Radio WillowWeb.
    Keep trying,
    P.S. The Boyce & Cathy is my gmail address with my husband.

  3. Your idea of authentic learning is
    great. An even larger problem for teachers as far as integrating technology into the classroom is are issues such as integrating subjects across the curriculum versus textbooks; classroom management and time. But I have not worked in a classroom as a public school professional for a few years, so I am interested to see how the new Web2.0 has been integrated into the curriculum. I feel this new technology is great for the learners and working together the educational professionals will be able to work it all into the classroom.

    Also sometimes the teachers are more willingly to introduce the technology than seems apparent but they face administrative concerns or issues.

  4. I love your comment about students creating their own learning. With your enthusiasm, I'm sure that you will have your teachers singing the tune of podcasting in no time!

  5. Robin,
    I agree with the other comments. I think if you can show your teachers and administration the benefits and cool examples as well as provide them with the support and help, then you might have some takers. It sometimes only takes one or two teachers to buy-in and then other teachers see what you are doing and want to join. Good luck!

  6. Robin- These are great ideas- what time frames do you have for creating these podcasts? Our staff has little time to vary much from the curriculum and as all classes rotate through a strict schedule each day (we have no self contained classrooms)this could be an issue for 50 min periods. I am thinking maybe an afterschool club or collaboration groups. And... I would like to know which version of Moodle you are using for your book reviews-
    I am a Moodle fan-