Teacher Josh Withrow and the Grade 7 students at John Knox Christian School are creating podcasts with their SET-BC Tier 2 Classroom Based Solution. Josh chose iPads to engage his students in podcasting because he felt that infusing technology into their learning would lead to further language development through discussion, sharing and blogging and at the same time help students who have difficulties in written output and social skills. He is structuring the learning in his classroom with a focus on the new BC curriculum for Gr. 7 Language Arts. These are the focus areas:
- Communication competency: Encompasses the set of abilities that students use to impart and exchange information, experiences and ideas, to explore the world around them, and to understand and effectively engage in the use of digital media.
- Big Ideas: Exploring text and story helps us understand ourselves and make connections to others and to the world.
- Curricular competencies: Exchange ideas and viewpoints to build shared understanding and extend thinking, use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create engaging and meaningful literary and informational texts for a variety of purposes and audiences, respond to text in personal, creative and critical ways.
After an overview and introduction about recording and editing using the ‘Opinion App’ was presented, the students formed their groups and picked up an iPad and microphone. They quickly dispersed to other areas in the hallway, library or corners of the classroom to start their podcasts. The students were comfortable using the iPad, recording and publishing their work independently.
The students are excited to use the new iPads for sharing their projects. Comments such as: ‘I like using Opinion app because it is easy and simple. You can tell your story and edit out any mistakes.’ ‘I’d rather use an iPad because we can work anywhere in the school, it’s easy to use and portable!’
Students have worked in groups of 3-5 while they designed ‘Utopia Travel Brochures’ for the novel ‘The Giver’. They created a utopian society including a purpose and vision of their society, membership policy, location, what people do to live, activities and attractions, price/cost, contact information and overall design of the community. Some of the communities were ‘underwater, energy efficient, affordable and in Hawaii.’ Using the iPads and a microphone, the students interviewed each other about their communities. Some of the skills they learned were: considering their audience, turn taking, introducing topics, summarizing, editing, script writing, and delivering information effectively with interesting details, using active verbs, and being specific and direct with language.
The next step in their learning is to use the ‘Chronicle app-A personal Journal/Diary/Writing Notebook.’ Students will also contribute to blog posts and reflect on their experience using the iPads.
Stay tuned for some more podcasting stories from John Knox Christian School!