Sunday, March 11, 2012

Teachers, leaders, and learners can podcast right from their phones!

In the busy school day many teachers and leaders don’t feel their schedules allow for the complexities of the equipment and set up necessary for podcasting. But it needn’t be that way. Even the busiest educator can get started quickly and easily with just their cell phone. Because of its ease and simplicity, phone casting has become a popular resource in an educator’s the bag of tricks.

Phone casting provides the ability to easily create and capture an audio broadcast from your phone that can be published and shared. Once you register for your free account, you simply call in to iPadio, enter your secret code, speak your phone cast and when you hang up, Wah La! You’ve created a phone cast that can be broadcast to the world. What’s more, you can listen to a phone cast from your phone as well.

So how might administrators, teachers, and students use iPadio to enrich leading, teaching, and learning? Here are some ideas.

  • Administrators
Use phone casting to serve as a free and easy tool to record and share daily announcements! There are many advantages to doing daily announcements as a phone cast. One advantage is that you can tailor phone casts to specific audiences so as to decrease the amount of instructional time lost. For example you may have your announcements broken down into those for students, staff, and particular groups or teams. Now announcements can be customized and targeted to the right audience. Another advantage is it strengthens the home school connection for family members who may want to stay connected to what is happening at the school. Finally, student or staff who are absent, can still stay connected to what is happening at the school by listening to a phone cast.
  • Teachers
Phone casts can be posted directly to your class blog or website. This is what 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher Josh Stumpenhorst does for his class in Naperville, IL. He uses phone casts as a way to share what he and his students are doing. This window into his classroom provides students, their families, and other interested school community members with up to date information about what is being done in class.
  • Students
At the start of the year, teachers can reach out to their class and ask them to make an “All About Me” phone cast. These can be placed on an “All About Our Class” page of the teacher’s website, blog, or other online space. The teacher may want to guide the students with what they may consider including in the phone cast such as, “What are you most proud of?” “What are you passionate about and how are you pursuing that passion?” “What can/have you done to make the world a better place?” For lower grades where student’s birthday’s are celebrated, this could be a part of the celebration. For older students, activities can be designed for classmates to get to know each other better. For instance, you could ask students to do a scavenger hunt like activity where they need to find 3 people with whom they share something in common and 3 people who they’d like to learn something from based on their “All About Me’s.”

For more ideas about effective ways to use cell phones for learning, including research-based strategies, lessons, and more order Teaching Generation Text

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