This was a very fun week of study for this course. Storytelling in any format is a grand adventure. Podcasts and digital storytelling should be integrated into the classroom. What better way to integrate technology and allow for creative expression from your students. It also opens up new avenues of learning for students who struggle with a traditional class format. Podcasts allow audio learners to enhance their their cognitive and literary abilities, and digital storytelling devices allow students to create their own stories without pen and paper. It is just always nice to have options for students, because they will more than likely become bored with day to day traditional learning. Education technology has to follow suit with what makes students go, and podcasts and digital storytelling certainly does that. At the same time students can enhance their technical abilities.
The variety of podcasts out there for students is phenomenal, especially narrative podcasts that encourage students to follow an arching story line. These stories can be carried anywhere for review, and are not just limited to the classroom. Not only that, teachers can actually create podcasts for their students to review for things such as tests or projects. For complete student engagement the students themselves can create podcasts too. This was a specific podcast that I listened to this week, and it was outstanding. Schools, because of public pressure or the politics of the schools, may be prone not to include podcasts such as these because of their coverage of controversial topics. It is also a true crime podcast, which carries a high degree of reality to it. However, I am on board with implementing podcasts such as these because there are many books (that aren’t even banned) which will include the same themes covered in the podcast. The audio element makes it appear stronger, or more persuasive, but the fact of the matter is that it is reality. Students should have the option to talk and discuss things that have traditionally been forbidden. Hiding things will not forbid students from discovering it on their own, and, in fact, the early episodes of the true crime podcast discusses these issues. This was a fantastic article that we read in class this week, that discusses in great detail why implementing podcasts is a great thing.
Digital storytelling was also a great learning piece for this week. Unlike the podcasts, they are short, but still hold great meaning. Their creativity and inspirational messages coalesce nicely with the longer, narrative form of a podcast. They are seemingly more difficult to make than a podcast of equal length, and a teacher would want to be very familiar with story creation technology before bringing these into the classroom. But students can be surprising in their independent, technological abilities. I just cant stress enough that the more creative choices students have, the more they are going to bloom into great learners. With projects such as these sound technological instruction needs to be in place so students are not overwhelmed by this element. What shocks me about all of this digital storytelling is the personal stamp a student can put on a piece of work. They can use their own graphics, their own tone of voice, their own transitions, their own relevant topic. They can make something that they can call their own. Then they can reflect on what can be done better, and make the change. I viewed quite a few digital stories this week, but I particularly enjoyed these two below.
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