Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Blogging, Podcasts, and Webcasts make a Difference

One of my favorite teachers is David Warlick. No, I never actually had him as a classroom teacher, but I've been to many of his presentations, read his blog, and have read his book and have learned a lot from him. Anyway, in his book he mentions how blogging has really impacted the world today, really making a show in politics. The way that blogging has impacted education is even more amazing.

Yesterday, Apple's Steve Jobs gave a keynote where he introduced the iPhone, available in June of 2007. According to a news article, there are now hundreds (if not thousands) of blogs already about this new toy. Okay, so this has nothing to do with education, but can you imagine the lessons that can be taught with these blogs? Watch the original keynote (found at the bottom of the link above) and then have the students read the thoughts and journalistic opinions of others. How many report facts? How many report opinions? What are their thoughts on this new gadget? Can they tell you how this will impact education?

In eSchool News there's an article on how webcasts are really providing a boon to the sports of smaller schools. Now I'm not athletic myself, but I do support sports in schools. I even watched the webcasts to keep up with the football games from Sumter when I moved. Now let's take these webcasts that college sports are going to make use of and see how we can use them in education. Simple idea that comes to mind is actually having your students create a webcast of the science experiment and explain how they are solving it. Or maybe they can do a webcast of interviews as they research an era of history. Sharing what they learned in a verbal sense gives them a chance to re-evaluate what they learned and if they are watching webcasts created by other students, then they are also learning from those students. Score one for education!

Podcasts are very similar to a webcast, but they are usually only the audio files. I take that back, lately you can watch enhanced podcasts with images or videos enhancing what the podcast is about.

How do you use these tools in your classroom? Which one is your favorite? Have you seen your own impact?

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