Tag Archives: podcast

Empowering Students with Digital Media Creation

25 Aug

The new school year is getting underway.  We are filling drawers with math manipulatives, cabinets with supplies for science experiments, shelves with books… and lesson plans with inspired ideas for teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.

Yet, while we make plans to teach these tangible standards, let’s not forget to plan lessons that teach the intangibles, too — Dignity, compassion, identity.  Let’s commit to intentionally making plans that provide our students with opportunities to discover their greatest potential, to making plans to share that potential with the world.

One way to start is to give power to their unique voice though digital media creation.  Technology tools provide opportunities for students to create diverse and engaging media that can be showcased for live audiences around the world.

Throughout this year, I will be posting innovative technology tools, lesson applications and even opportunities for you to share about the amazing digital media created by your students.  Interactive Student-Created Digital Media PortalIn addition, this summer at ISTE 2012 was the official launch of the Engaging Education Interactive Student-Created Digital Media Portal.  This portal provides ideas and tutorials for integrating Movie-making and Animations, Digital Storytelling, Audio and Podcasting, 3D Media, and Web 2.0 Apps. Plus, the Resource section can direct you to free, copyright-friendly photos and screen/video capture apps.  This Interactive Portal is the perfect place to get that first idea to kick off the school year.

So, what are you waiting for?  Empower your students this school year through student-created digital media projects…  And be sure to share their amazing creations with a world who sincerely needs to hear their inspiring voices!

7 Ways Technology Can Enhance Your World Read Aloud Day Celebration

2 Mar

With World Read Aloud Day just around the corner, it’s not too late to use your technological resources to enhance your celebration and bring reading to life for your students. Here are seven ways to do just that!

1. Guest Readers & Audiences – Using Skype, iChat, Facetime or other applications, classes can bring in virtual guest readers. Guest readers come in all shapes and sizes. LitWorld and Kate Messner both provided a list of published authors who are willing to Skype with students on WRAD, which you can find at
LitWorld.org/WorldReadAloudDayChats
KateMessner.com/skype-with-an-author-on-world-read-aloud-day-2012
Yet, guest readers can also be students’ parents or grandparents, volunteers from local businesses or organizations, or even students and teachers at other schools. If you would like to connect with other educators who are interested in Skyping for WRAD, visit this wiki created by John Schu and Shannon Miller – ChangeTheWorldStoryByStory.wikispaces.com/Skype+Schedules+and+Projects.
By the way, don’t miss out on the opportunity to allow your own students to serve as the Guest Readers for other classes or schools as well!

2. Podcasting – Get your students excited about reading by using voice-recording applications to record themselves reading aloud. Vocaroo.com or the Voice Memos app on various iDevices are simple ways to implement this… or use a more robust program like Audacity, Aviary or Garageband, which would even allow students to add mood music or sound effects to their productions. Play these finished masterpieces for the class or publish them online to share with others!

3. Talking Avatars – Using the voice recording function at Voki.com, students can use their voices to create an avatar that can read aloud to the class. Whether Abraham Lincoln is reading the Gettysburg Address or a cat is reading Carl Sandburg’s famous Fog poem, this activity will delight students of all ages.
Bonus: Students can read their own poems and compositions aloud as well! Check out this elementary Voki project by Samantha Lewis that promotes literacy and writing through Dr. Seuss inspired rhyming poems.

4. VoicethreadVoicethread is a dynamic digital media tool that will allow your students to write or record comments. For World Read Aloud Day, create a Voicethread with slides for various figures of speech or genres and allow your students to read aloud to audio or video record examples that they discover in literary works. (Learn more about this tool’s potential at Voicethread.com.)

5. Digital Storytelling – To celebrate both reading and writing, consider allowing the students to create Digital Storybooks using the Web 2.0 application, Little Bird Tales. This application allows students to compose a written piece, draw original illustrations and record themselves reading the book aloud. Best of all, they are easy to share with the class, e-mail to parents or paste on your class website.

6. Puppet Shows or Reader’s Theater – Lights! Camera! Action! Bring reading to life with a little drama! Use your document camera to create live or recorded Read Alouds of Reader’s Theater or other works with engaging images of student-created popsicle stick avatars, finger puppets or other manipulatives. For example, read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar with a large popsicle stick avatar of the caterpillar and real versions of the red apple, two green pears, a cupcake, a single leaf and more.

7. Video Book Reviews – Students can use a webcam, Flipcam or Doc Cam to record a review of a favorite book, including sharing illustrations and reading their favorites passages aloud.
Bonus: Upload these video book reviews online and connect their URLs to QR codes (qrcode.kaywa.com) that can be printed and affixed to the cover of the book for other students to watch throughout the school year!

Using Technology, you can easily use your World Read Aloud Day event to ignite a passion for reading in your students and allow it to spread far beyond your classroom walls.

World Read Aloud Day takes place on Wednesday, March 7th. For more ideas, activities resources, visit LitWorld.org/WorldReadAloudDayActivities. You can even download their original picture book, New Day, New Friends, to share with your class!

Invent an Ice Cream: An Adventure in Podcasting

11 Feb

Over the last couple weeks, we had a very exciting “contest” in my 3rd-5th grade project-based learning classes. Students invented ice cream flavors…. and we are actually going to make the winning one in class tomorrow!

Here’s what we did!
1. Students brainstormed 9 new ice creams, including a name, the flavor of the ice cream itself, and the toppings inside of it.
2. Next, students evaluated their 9 choices to choose the best one to submit to the contest.
3. Students then used Garageband and the online podcasting tutorial to create a “radio commercial” with music, voices, effects, jingles, and/or slogans to “sell” their new ice cream idea. When completed, students exported their commercials as an mp3. (Want more info? Need a Garageband alternative? Click here!)
4. Students created a criteria for evaluating/judging the ice cream radio commercials to pick the winner. They decided on scoring the commercials based on these three criteria, each on a scale of 1-5:
- The (potential) taste of the invented ice cream.
- The overall quality of the commercial.
- The persuasiveness of the commercials.
5. Each students created a chart and listened to all of the commercials, evaluating each one according to the three criteria and then submitting their scores.
6. All of the scores are tabulated and averaged out…. and this week we are making the winning flavor!!

Here are the top 2 commercials:

1. Triple Stack Ice Cream
2. Chocolate Satisfaction Ice Cream

And here are two more, whose ice cream inventions were particularly creative… and salesmanship, clever as well.

1. Pancake Breakfast Ice Cream
2. Sonny’s Feast for Four Ice Cream