Wow. That was easy!
The task for this week was to find a tool or app that I haven’t used before that could be used to make learning visible (either for me or for my students). In thinking about an area of my content delivery that is perhaps a bit lacking, I quickly decided to search for a way I can create audio content and make it easily accessible for my students. After looking at a few possibilities, I decided on Anchor after going to their website and seeing that they provide their services for FREE and will not ask for my money. As a thrifty (cheap?) teacher, I appreciate that value!
Nothing technological has ever come very easily to me… but I can honestly say that Anchor is the one of the easiest tools I’ve ever used. From start to finish, it took me a very minimal amount of time to create my content. Which is perfect, considering my schedule last week and this week have left me with very little time to explore or spend too much time on something. I think possibilities abound for classroom content with Anchor! There are some legal or copyright issues with recording entire books, I realize, but creating accessible audio files of articles, poems, stories and such seems to be okay based on my brief research. Please correct me if I’m wrong!
I am excited for the possibilities this could mean for my online students as well as my face to face students who miss class, and especially for English as an additional language (EAL) learners. Comprehension of content often increases with multiple modalities and this is especially true for EAL learners. Not only does providing an audio help students with pronunciation, having an audio file (as opposed to me reading something aloud in class) enables the learner to repeat the audio as many times as needed in order to fully comprehend what is being presented.
I can already see where I can improve some areas of the podcast. First, I can get a microphone instead of relying on my system microphone. That will help to enhance the quality of my recordings, which will increase the understanding of the audio. I can use Freesound to add effects to my recordings! That will be a fun tool to play around with!
My classmate Amanda talks about her adventures in podcasting and gives a really great breakdown of Anchor’s features this week in her blog! I agree with almost everything she lists as positives and shortfalls. I easily tweeted my podcast, and though at first it appeared that the embed code would work, the embedded player would not seem to work no matter how many times I tried. So, I took it out and added the hyperlink to my podcast at the end of this post!
In her blog, my classmate Catherine also wrote a great review of Anchor. Catherine’s post inspired me to check out and listen to some podcasts – something which I am a bit ashamed to say I have NEVER done. My friend is always talking about how great The Business of Life podcast by Jann Arden and Arlene Dickinson is, so that may be first on my list to check out. I will also check out Serial, since true crime is fascinating to me (thanks, Dad, for making me watch Unsolved Mysteries and The First 48).
Students can use podcasting in many ways, so by becoming familiar with this podcasting platform, I can help provide my students with another resource to share their learning in addition to providing them with content in an alternate format.
What are some ways you use podcasting in your classroom?
To listen to my podcast on Anchor, click HERE!