Monthly Archives: December 2016

5 Alternative Uses for a Classroom Podcast Station

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Sometimes it’s hard to justify the expense of new technology at school, but if it can be used in multiple ways, the added value almost sells itself. So, if you are looking to add a podcast station to your classroom, here are some quick ideas for what else it can be used for when you are not podcasting.

1. Fluency Practice

Elementary students will work on reading fluency at pretty much every grade level. With a podcast station, students can record themselves and listen back to what they read in order to hear themselves and listen to the areas that they think they need to improve on. The teacher also gets a record of each student that they can use to share with parents or peers. Older students who are in speech or are practicing an oral presentation can use the podcasting station in much the same way.

2. Listening Comprehension

A good way to meet some of those speaking and listening standards is to practice some listening comprehension. This is particularly useful when you consider that many state standardized tests already have this component. This station could be part of a blended rotation and need not require multiple computers if you have something like this 5-way headphone splitter that allows up to five students to listen to the same audio at once. Websites like ListenWise already cater to this demand, while others have already noted that Listening to Podcasts Helps Kids Improve Reading Skills.

3. Video Creation

A podcast station is basically a collection of computers, microphones and headphones. Coincidentally, this is often what you would have if you were putting together a video station. Teachers can use the very same equipment to make videos for flipped classroom lessons. Students can use the computers to edit video and the microphones to add professional sounding voice-overs.

4. Audio Responses

I think it is always good to give students options over how best to submit assignments. That is one of the reasons why I like SeeSaw so much. Text, audio, video and more can be used as a way to showcase learning. Your podcast station is a perfect place for students to leave audio responses to question prompts and another way to reinforce those speaking and listening standards. What if you had a question of the day for your elementary students to answer each time they came to school, or the option for older students to record an video response in Recap?

5. Skype Station

Another great use of your microphones (and headphones) could be for video conferencing. Whether you are playing Mystery Skype or taking a virtual field trip, the technology you put in your podcast station could easily be repurposed for the duration of these activities. There are many Skype in the Classroom ideas that are available to teachers, so your microphones and computers will go to good use here.

 


Curious as to what you might need to create your own podcast station? Take a look at the Podcast Classroom Gear Guide on my sister site, The Edtech Gear Guide.

Getting Creative With iPads in K-12 Classrooms

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My iPad is a bit of a mess right now. Too many apps are in need of a folder for some kind of organization. As I began that process today, I noticed that I have an abundance of apps that were designed for creative purposes. I wasn’t surprised that I had all these apps, (they are absolutely my favorite type of apps), but I was surprised at how many new ones I have added this year. So, I thought I would take some time to share the ones that mean the most to me and to group them in some kind of order that might make sense on my home screen.

Feel free to add your own suggestions to the comments at the end because you can never have too many creative apps! These are not the only creative apps on my iPad, (that would be a very long list), but it is a good chunk of them. (Note: this post contains iTunes affiliate links).

Creative Video Apps

Creative Photo Apps

  • Pic Collage Kids – a safe, fun, collage app that is very versatile
  • Annotate – Handy editing tools like crop, draw, arrows, text, emoji and blur
  • Photoshop Lightroom – the mobile version of Adobe’s Lightroom editor
  • Photoshop Mix – cut out, combine & blend pictures to create multilayered images
  • Photoshop Express – fast, powerful, and advanced editing now with collages
  • Pixelmator – a powerful, full-featured, layer-based image editor
  • Superimpose – create superimposed or juxtaposed photos on your iPad
  • Snapseed – a complete and professional photo editor developed by Google

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Introducing The Edtech Gear Guide

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Today I am excited to announce the launch of a new website that I’ve been working on. It’s called The Edtech Gear Guide. It was created to help answer the emails, tweets and face-to-face questions I get about what technology hardware is best for a variety of classroom projects. Everyone wants free options to enhance teaching and learning with technology, I completely understand that, but there are some things are worth paying for to get the results you want. In essence, this is the mantra of The Edtech Gear Guide. If it can be done for free, here’s how to do it. Otherwise, here’s the gear you need.

So, what can you expect to find on this new site? Recently, I wrote a couple of posts that proved to be quite popular – What to Buy For a Green Screen Classroom and Build Your Own Google Expeditions Kit. These posts were a little different from others that I have written because they were basically a list of technology things that you could beg, borrow or buy to accomplish a task. I got some great feedback on these from educators who were looking for ideas and inspiration like this, so it got me thinking that there are many more topics that could be approached in this way.

I’m still in the process of adding new articles to The Edtech Gear Guide but I would love for you to drop by and take a look. Questions, comments and ideas are more than welcome, and if you like what you see I would love it if you would share this project with others.

You can visit The Edtech Gear Guide at https://edtechgearguide.com.