Thursday, June 27, 2013

Research Meets Podcasts

It has been a while since I have blogged! A little too long if you ask me. But my absence is not a reflection of what I have not been doing but rather all that I have! With the close of the school year, comes state testing and evaluation of our gifted ed program- so to say the least it's been a busy Spring. Then to top it off, I had to teach for our district's enrichment program. (I couldn't help myself.) I love teaching this program because it gives me a time to test out some methods and projects that I normally don't get to try during the school year or like in this case, haven't tried in a while. Last year, I touched on some podcasts with some of my students but didn't get a chance to fully integrate them due to my lack of experience with them. I admit, I am a little weary of throwing tools at my students without trying them out myself, but this summer has taught me to do the opposite. This time around I took a leap with my basic skills and knowledge and jumped right in. And let me say, I am not at all disappointed!

This year I was assigned as the Activity teacher for our program and decided to focus on exploring one tool and creating a product with that tool. Because I only saw my students for twice a week for 30 minutes, I had to select a tool that would be fairly easy to use yet open enough to allow for creativity. I choose podcasts and narrowed their final product to a talk show where they would interview other scientists. So after a hands-on tutorial of the basic functions of a Macbook and Garageband, I had my students research some careers in Science (since the program's theme was around Science). As they researched, I had them think of their information as an interview. Instead of just locating random facts or even worse, creating questions that they could not find the answers to, they summarized their information and compiled interview questions as they were researching.

Next, they were given a storyboard to take notes on some conversational pieces to add, what questions/responses were to be used, and what media would be inserted in their final podcast (i.e. theme music, sound effects). At first, my students were not sure why they needed more than 3 questions to include in their interview, but soon realized how quickly they went through their questions once what was written was transferred into speaking. They had the most fun recording themselves and inserting their jingles and sound effects. The best part however, was seeing their reactions as they listened to their final products. Another reason why I love this tool-it captured my students' personalities the best. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as we enjoyed making them!

To create your own storyboard, click here.

For some career research resources, click here.

For free stock images go to: MorgueFile and Ookaboo