Learning Through Podcasts

Throughout my technology in the classroom course we have been covering all types of technology resources that we can use to teach and also use as a learning tool of our own. Recently we discussed the use of podcasts as a way to continue learning through other means than just the teacher lecturing. Before I took the plunge into this program at Marymount I was a health science professional with my main focus on college athletics. As a trainer, coach, or even athlete the world and communities of athletics is huge! I would frequently listen to podcasts to stay up to date on the new sciences of exercise and learn new things that helped me help my athletes. That being said, I guess I should not have been so surprised that educators have that same community and are able to also login and listen to podcasts geared towards them.

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 Two of the Radio Stations you can find on BAM! Radio Network. 

BAM! Radio Network is a podcast network created by early childhood educators that began as a single online radio station with the goal of bringing ” parents the latest insights and wisdom from the leading experts in the fields of early childhood education, physical education/motor development, play research, child development, and the neurosciences.” In 2008 the creators expanded who they broadcasted through as they realized that educators and administrators also were logging in and listening. Today BAM! Radio is the largest educational radio network in the world.

When navigating their website one is able to choose from a variety of drop downs with podcasts geared towards educators, leaders, or parents. From there there are hundreds upon thousands of radios and podcasts to listen to and learn from. I listened to a podcast off of New Teacher Chat Radio; 3 Ways to Write Consistently Great Lesson Plans. Lisa Dabbs and Angela Watson discuss easy ways to create a lesson plan that aims to reach a standard while also feeling free to add other creative aspects that you as a teacher know your students will learn well from. It was a great podcast, especially for me being a new teacher, and reassured me that you will learn and it just takes time and experience. You will only learn from trying new things and having lessons that fail is not a bad thing.

I also listened to another podcast on the station Taboo; Confession: I Don’t Like All of My Students and Some I Really Dislike. I really liked this station because the speakers cover topics that some teachers are not very open to speaking about. When you hear that everyone has these negative experiences or has these thoughts it makes you feel better and understand that you are not alone and other teachers and educators are there to help you through it. On the topic of not liking all children they spoke about their experiences with groups or individuals who they did not like. Rae Pica, William Chamberlain, David Bloomfield, Nancy Blair,  and Joan Young discuss and help you understand strategies to not allowing these students to have a negative effect on your teaching. The one thing I really took away from this podcast was that although we may feel like we need to connect and become friends with these students that will not always be the case so we need to look for ways around those students who are not on our good side and learn the best ways to deal with their behavior.

As a teacher I would probably follow some of these podcasts as I begin my first few years and even after as I look for more ideas and support. For my students, I am not completely convinced that a podcast would work as a learning method. There are no visuals and they are basically listening to a conversation occur. For high school aged children it would be a little more reasonable to assign a podcast as a home assignment but for the middle school and elementary aged children I do not think they would get much out of it, assuming they would actually listen. In a creative light, having students create and run a podcast channel is a great way to not only have kids teach kids but also allow them to use any type of creativity they may have.

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