Podcast: Word of the Year

As a new year approaches, people usually look for something to change, adapt, or improve about themselves or their lives. Setting new goals is an extremely common thing for people to make as New Years Resolutions. A lot of resolutions include saving more money, losing weight/getting fit, or to quit an unhealthy habit (drink less, quit smoking, etc.). On a more recent trend, I have seen people choosing individual words to conquer over the upcoming year instead of setting specific goals. I don’t usually take part in these trends of choosing new words but in a recent Media and Digital Literacy class, we were asked to choose a word and record a short podcast on that word for our 2019 year.

For this task, I chose the word outgoing. I read through the list of words from Julie Balen’s #onewordONT and the word outgoing popped out at me. I started reflecting on the word and how I could become more outgoing. My peers questioned this choice as they think I am already outgoing; which I am, but I want to be more outgoing in different aspects of my life. Reflecting on the word was the hard part. Am I outgoing? Can I be more outgoing? If so, how? What does it even mean to be outgoing? Once my ideas started flowing, I wrote a script for my podcast. Then came the easy part… recording the podcast. You can listen to this mini-podcast here.

I was first introduced to recording podcasts as I started my internship with the Digital Human Library (dHL). I had listened to a few podcasts before my internship but never thought that I would ever speak on a podcast or record one myself. Initially, I was very nervous about recording my voice (I am like many others and don’t like hearing my voice recorded). Many thoughts ran through my head. Do I really sound like that? Who will hear my voice? Will they dislike my voice like I do? What if I mess up? When I finished recording my very first podcast for my internship I instantly felt relieved and all of those fears disappeared. I remember thinking WOW! That was not only fun, but it was as easy as talking to someone in real life! My first experience of recording a podcast was amazing and it left me feeling excited about my next podcast.

You can check out some of the podcasts I have recorded with dHL here: voicEd.ca

I’m not sure if podcasts are becoming more popular or I have just opened my eyes to the podcast world (which I will now never tune out of). Podcasts can be very educational and helpful to students. There are a variety of ways that podcasts can be used in education to benefit both students and teachers. There are so many podcasts out there that are great for teachers! Check out these podcast lists from We Edit Podcasts and We Are Teachers.

Listening to podcasts can be educational but creating them can be even more educational and experiential to students. Teachers are starting to use podcasts in their classrooms more and more. This can be done more easily with the increase of technology in schools and classrooms. With the readily available iPads and handheld devices, recording a podcast has never been easier. Some educators are using podcasts in their classrooms to further enhance their student’s education through a variety of curriculum areas. Podcasts are a form of media, which falls into the Ontario Language Arts, Media Literacy curriculum. They can also be used cross-curricular by creating a podcast on a topic that falls into other subject area curriculums. Podcasts can also be used as an inquiry/critical thinking and storytelling project that has them research a topic or event and then create a podcast to demonstrate their learning. Check out Education World for more information.

Using podcasts in classrooms not only makes the project cross-curricular but it also provides students with an engaging way to do something with their research. The finished podcasts can then be published or shared with the class, whole school, parents, community, and beyond! Sharing them will help students to have a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work. There are many ways that creating a podcast can be used in classrooms but here are 11 ways to include them into lesson plans from Teach Hub:

  1. “Audio Tours
  2. Celebrate Culture
  3. Current Events Newscasts
  4. Debates
  5. Guest Speakers
  6. Interviews
  7. Musical Podcasts
  8. Podcasts Librar
  9. Publish Presentations
  10. Radio Show
  11. Roving Reporters”

Podcasts are a simple form of media that can have a good impact on student learning. Podcasts are very easily accessible and are available 24/7. This is beneficial to students and teachers because they can be accessed anytime they want to listen to them. They can be paused, rewinded, and replayed which can help to reinforce a certain phrase or part that is of significance to the audience. Experts on topics can reach a large audience range through podcasts instead of physically being in a school setting to educate on their knowledge area.

There are some concerns that teachers should consider when using podcasts in their classrooms. Some parents have a more restrictive stance on their child(ren) being filmed, photographed, or recorded by school professionals. A great thing about podcasts is that it truly is only voice recording; no pictures or videos. This is beneficial when sharing student work because if the student’s face is not being shown, parents will likely better accept of the podcast being shared.

Here are some more great resources about using podcasts in classrooms:

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