Learning by doing: Podcasting in your classroom
By Mario and Alberto Herraez-Velazquez (a.k.a. The eTwinz!)
We all remember those tedious classes in which the teacher did all the talking and all we needed to do is to sit there and listen at what he/she was saying. That was one of the main reasons why we struggled in school through junior high. We were not made for that; we don´t learn by listening. We learn by doing, we learn by experimenting with the content, by creating meaningful connections and by researching interesting topics.
One of our main goals when we joined education was to change this paradigm. We wanted to transform our classroom into a place where students learn by doing. A place where our students feel safe to drive their learning, make mistakes and grow.
The world is changing, and we as educators must change with it. We must consider the direction it is taking and focus our efforts towards preparing our students for this new future. No one is going to ask you to fill the blanks of the project you need to finish by Monday or to choose between three words to complete the PowerPoint your boss have already created for you. Students are going to be asked to think critically, to solve problems and collaborate with people from all over the world.
“We must teach looking at the future and stop teaching thinking about the past” - eTwinz
We have attended many trainings in which we go home thinking that we learned a lot about the theoretical context of the approach or strategy, but practical examples were not shown or explained. For this reason, our sessions and trainings are not only based on research and theory, but they are full of examples of how to start your own PBL project in your class.
Are we ready to enter the world of the podcast as an educational tool?
The power of podcasting
The popularity of podcasts has risen a lot in recent years. Many are the public figures who have started producing their own podcast. The rise of this popularity helped podcasts to become a powerful tool for many teachers around the world. Podcasts not only develop important skills for the future of our students, but it also stands out for their ability to deliver content.
When we produce a podcast with our students, we can focus on any of the content that we are teaching in class: The destructive capacity of volcanoes, the biography of Pythagoras and its importance in history, the differences between the British and American vocabulary.
There are many types of podcasts that can be used in class: interview podcasts, monographic podcasts, historical podcasts, discussion podcasts, rating podcasts (products, cities, cars, sports…).
And it is not only the different types of podcasts that make them an exceptional tool, but also the grouping in which they are carried out gives us many possibilities. We can produce podcasts individually, in pairs, or in groups. We can produce podcasts with students in our class, connect with other classes in our school, around the world, or even have guests from our community or a different country.
We break all our projects into three different stages: Pre-production, production, and post-production.
- Pre-production: This stage is probably the most important one and includes all the actions we need to take before pressing the record button. Organization is crucial for a project like this. Students need to organize the steps they need to take, the different roles they will have throughout the project and create the rundowns and the scripts of the podcast. They will also need to do the settings of the platform or software we are using and create the music, intros, and outros.
- Production: This stage focuses on creating the content of our project. Students will need to record the podcast using the software the chose. Normally, they need to record several audio clips before coming up with the final version. Each of the students have a different role in this phase from sound technician to the anchors or reporters.
- Post-production: This stage houses all editing activities before delivering the final product. During this time, we can see students working on editing the podcast. They add the music, make changes to the audio clips and much more.
There are many benefits of using podcasts in the classroom, but many times we do not know where to start or how to carry out such a big project.
Would you like to know more about the three stages of the project?
Do you want ideas of how to create roles for the students to be independent and drive their own learning?
Are you excited about starting this project in your school, but you don’t know what is the best option for your podcasting equipment?
Have you already started with this but would like more ideas for lessons, worksheets, and new materials?
Don’t worry, we got you covered! Find our session during the 2022 IDEAcon conference!
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