Several years ago when we were living in Lubbock, Texas, I worked with 2nd grade students to create seven podcast episodes in a channel we called the “Mills Murfee Podcast.” After we left Lubbock, however, this channel joined the ranks of the podfaders.

Today I received an email from Mrs. Wieland, a 2nd grade teacher in New Jersey and the facilitator of “Mrs. Wieland’s Class podcast.” Students are using their PodoMatic channel to show what they know:

Our class posts here as we learn new things. We hope to post here as much as possible. All of the posts are written, directed, and recorded by the second grade students. Enjoy!

This is the type of transparency and regular publication I’d love to see in my own children’s classrooms here in Oklahoma!

The most recent epsiode from Mrs. Wieland’s class was titled “The Incredible Life of a Monarch Butterfly.”

When I worked with 2nd graders in 2005-2006 on the Mills Murfee podcasts, we learned quickly that students HAD to work from a script. Listeners will be able to tell Mrs. Wieland’s students are reading scripts in their podcast as well. Tony Vincent’s classroom podcast segment planning guide (PDF) is one of the best planning and scriptwriting resources I’ve encountered for classroom podcasts like this. I have this and other resources relating to classroom podcasting included on handouts.wesfryer.com/podcasting.

When students “show what they know” via podcasts, they not only revisit the ideas and concepts included in their podcast script but other students and parents do as well when they “tune in” to listen. Perhaps in 20 years recording our voices and publishing them to the Internet like this will be less exciting because it will be common, but today it remains a fairly novel and unusual learning practice in many schools. Podcasting can be used to help motivate and engage students in the process of reflecting on and sharing their learning with others.

Want to encourage students and parents to visit your classroom website more regularly? Publish a steady stream of student work there!

In addition to PodoMatic, consider using Podcast People if you’re wanting to get started with your own classroom podcast. Cheryl Oakes, Bob Sprankle, and Alice Barr’s K12Online07 presentation “Flat Agents of Change” as well as their Seedlings Ning social network are also great resources for teachers to utilize who are creating or want to create regular classroom podcasts. I also recommend that teachers consider starting audio-publishing with VoiceThread, and then consider whether or not it seems appropriate to advance “beyond” VoiceThread to create and publish a classroom podcast channel.

The Support Blogging wiki includes not only a list of classroom blogs but also a much shorter list of classroom audio podcasts. Does anyone know of another wiki (or other open, collaborative document) which lists links to classroom podcasts and invites others to contribute more?

The subject of this recent podcast from Mrs. Wieland’s class, the Monarch butterfly, reminds me that I need to scan and share photos I took in 1993 in Michoacán of the Mexican National Park to which thousands of Monarchs migrate for the winter months in North America. It was AMAZING to see millions of them together in the trees. It would be fun to remember that trip and share those photos both in static form and as a VoiceThread.

I’ll add that to my to-do list after K12Online08 is over! :-)

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If you're trying to listen to a podcast episode and it's not working, check this status page. (Wes is migrating his podcasts to Amazon S3 for hosting.) Remember to follow Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wesley's Facebook pages for "Speed of Creativity Learning" and his eBook, "Playing with Media." Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Mapping Media to the Common Core / Curriculum."

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  • http://khokanson.blogspot.com Kristin Hokanson

    We if you are impressed with that, you need to see what this rural first grade teacher is doing with a wikispace, green screen, ipod, and glogster and students’ own reading and writing to increase motivation, and learning in her students
    http://b-7bobcats.wikispaces.com/
    I am IMPRESSED every year at how far her kids come…

  • http://www.wesfryer.com Wesley Fryer

    Oh my goodness, Kristin. You are right. Tracy B’s wiki and podcasts are amazing. I had heard of Glogster but not seen it used in an integrated way on a wiki like this before. Wow. I’m amazed!

  • Tom M

    I’ve heard Traci’s podcasts too and they are truly amazing! Her teaching skills are one of a kind! Those students are soo lucky! Keep up the good work! Nice Job Wes!

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