Yesterday's technology project involved making a podcast. A podcast is basically a digital sound recording that can be uploaded to the web. Then, it can be played via the internet or downloaded onto your computer or mp3 player. Podcasts seem to be everywhere nowadays; there are thousands of podcasts available to search and download (most for free) in the iTunes store. They are fun to make with kids and the kids absolutely love making them.
We were able to spend about two hours creating our "Alligator Pie" podcasts yesterday. A few groups still have some finishing up to do today, but I think I'll be able to work on uploading them this weekend so they'll be ready to premiere sometime next week.
Why do I have students create podcasts? Well, like I've already said, students really enjoy them. And I've found that when students enjoy their work, they tend to do a much better job on them. Sometimes they're so much fun that it doesn't even feel like work! I also use them because it incorporates so many different skills: writing (I always make them write a script first), reading, and speaking. They're also a great thing to have groups of students work together to create, allowing them to build cooperation skills, too. In the future we'll be using them for reading projects (they are great alternatives to book reports), writing and poetry projects, social studies projects, and even a weekly podcast about what we've been learning in school. On top of all that, podcasts last forever...the podcasts they create with me will be available for download when they're 60 and want to listen to what the "good old days" sounded like.
So I think that about sums it up. Keep an eye (or ear) out for a post next week that explains how to listen and/or download them.
We did have a final "Tech Camp" project planned for today which was even more awesome than podcasts, but we will have to postpone it. Our laptop lab is being used for the MAP test the rest of this month and they needed to set them up this morning. All-in-all, though, I'd have to say my first ever "Tech Boot Camp" was a total success!
Please don't forget to vote in the poll on the left side of the blog and don't forget to come to Back to School Night next Wednesday the 15th from 5:00-6:30.
Have a great weekend.