One of the best technology conferences recently was one I did not go to. Rather, it was one I was supposed to go to, but due to a very busy schedule in the labs, could not. So at the last minute I approached a science teacher to go in my place.
It was the best thing that could have happened. Mrs. Merlino went to Riding the Digital Wave 2008 at our regional BOCES site, and got hooked immediately on podcasting.
Why was this best? Because since I go to many events and see many new things, I sometimes spend too much time thinking about how something could be rolled out, or what the logistics are, etc. I’ve been hooked on podcasts for a few years now but never got over the hump of getting them into the classroom. Mrs. Merlino saw the end product of podcasting at the conference, and came back to me for the details. With a bit of leg work, we soon had a plan, a podcast feed host, and results.
I’d like to share an example of her podcasting with you. For this initial attempt she was doing an end-of-year review show to help students prepare for the final exam. As we worked together, I suggested that she get students talking, and present it in a way other students could relate to. In this example, Mark and Kevin talk about moon phases (total time = 3:33):
Note the player above is audio only, although it looks like a video window.
One of the very useful tools with this medium is that when you engage in a dialogue, you can talk through the thinking process. In other podcast episodes, Mrs. Merlino speaks with students, and when they don’t understand, they discuss that. This is a huge learning tool!
To listen to some of the other episodes in her podcast, titled Merlino’s Mystery Media:
Her students are coming in this week to create their own podcasts – it should be really cool!