I find myself choosing topic words for DigiLitSunday that are current struggles of my own. This week I was faced with a decision about my students’ podcasts. They were written and recorded, but the technology department would not open Soundcloud as a venue for online publishing. I asked myself, “Then what was the purpose of all that work?”
My teaching philosophy leans heavily on purpose. I feel students need to have authentic learning experiences. We listened to podcasts, discussed the elements, and wrote scripts based on research. In order to fully experience production, though, the podcasts needed an audience.
I turned to YouTube. In order to make the sound recording work for YouTube, we had to design a video using Movie Maker. This added another step to the process. We had to select images, load them into the Movie Maker app, and add the sound, playing over and over to make sure the images matched the words.
For this step with most of my students, I worked one on one which took time and patience, so I questioned its purpose. I gave it back to the kids. This step was important to them. One student was excited to share the video with her sister who is away at college. I tweeted out one podcast on Friday and received a response from a literacy coach who plans to share it with a 3rd grade classroom.
I believe it is important to model for our students authentic learning experiences and navigating the digital world. It’s a scary place out there. If my students begin in a safe place, perhaps they will become confident and responsible digital citizens.
Today I am featuring Madison’s podcast on Barn Owls. Madison becomes a teen barn owl in this podcast. What you can’t see is how she “flaps her wings” when she says her part.
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