One thing I’ve learned from the vast community of those interested in education is that embracing technology is key. Not only are our students going to be immersed in technology, but it is important to embrace technology in order to get on the same level as our students. By doing so, we will be expanding our teaching possibilities and growing personally. One such example of using technology in the classroom is the implementation of podcasts and digital story telling as part of the curriculum. At first, I thought maybe it would be a sort of cop-out. I remember more than a couple instances where a teaching saying, “Class, we’ll be watching a video today,” might as well have been translated into “Class, we’ll be slacking off today.” My senior year of High School, my AP Government teacher resorted to making us watch C-Span for the second half of the school year. To me, that was not interactive nor effective teaching.
Reading “Teacher’s Guide to Digital Storytelling” really opened up my eyes. If you had asked me what digital storytelling was before reading the given articles, I would have had no idea. But “Teacher’s Guide” was a great way to start learning! I especially loved how there were multiple formats provided as a way to incorporate digital storytelling into every day curriculum. I’ve found in a lot of classes, incorporating multi-media can often seem forced and out of touch with what the “kids” are doing nowadays. I loved the ideas that the article provided, though. They seemed refreshing and completely doable. In particular, the book trailer was my favorite. It requires books (love!) and re-imagining something that doesn’t immediately come to mind.
I also really loved the idea of adding podcasts to the class curriculum. “What Teens are Learning from ‘Serial’ and Other Podcasts” really made me smile when I read it. For me, podcasts are soothing and informational. They are a fairly hands-off way to learn that are at the same time engaging to the listener. In this day and age, there are numerous podcasts that appeal to whatever your interests are. I also loved the point that Linda Flanagan made: some students are more capable of listening to a higher level podcast than they are writing or reading at a higher level. Anything that helps people learn and overcome obstacles gets an A+ in my book!
My overall takeaway from reading about podcasts and digital storytelling was that incorporating student-relevant media into the classroom is crucial, and so is how it’s implemented! I had some pretty mediocre experiences as a student myself, so at least I know what not to do. I was also given plenty of ideas that enriched the classroom material as well as expanded my “tech” comfort zone! Overall, I think it will be something to keep in mind when I make lesson plans in the future.
PCC: Daniel Filho