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In the Classroom: Live Oak Elementary School Students Produce Audio Podcasts

| August 17, 2012 | 4 Comments
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At teacher training workshops, the question always comes up, “What grade can you begin to teach students how to produce their own digital media?” Of course, this is a loaded question as there are several different types of media, each with its own set of learning curves. But, in general, I default to fourth grade as my response.

This past Spring, my perception shifted.

Monina Salazar, a 3rd Grade teacher at Live Oak Elementary School in San Ramon has raised the stakes and lowered what I thought was the age requirement for students to produce rich audio podcasts.

In this video, Monina describes how she teaches her students to create audio podcasts about biomes that explain a variety of ecosystems, referencing the climatic conditions along with the types of plants and animals that live there.

In her class, her students produced three different audio podcast assignments. They go through the process of researching and reading about specific biomes, writing a script that incorporates relevant sound effects and perhaps music to convey a sense of place and mood, research the internet for these sounds, and then they record their voice and edit and layer all of the sounds using Audacity.

Monina also reflects about the value added for integrating technology and multimedia, specifically media project assignments, into her teaching practice.

Monina’s students use other great media formats for their projects like Google Presentation as well as develop individual websites that function as e-portfolios. To view some of this great work, go to her class website.

Last Fall, Monina attended KQED Education’s Teacher Tech Training where she learned the basics of how to produce narrated slideshows for elementary school science, led by Nancy Yamamoto. Click on the link above to view some of the teachers’ projects from the workshop.

Do you know young students producing great podcasts or other rich media? Please share with us!

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Category: In the Classroom, K-5 Science

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About the Author ()

Matthew Williams is a filmmaker and media educator who has recently transplanted to Oakland from Los Angeles. He believes that you are what you eat and feels everyone should have a multitude of dietary options for self-realization. Matthew is the Educational Technologist at KQED.
  • http://jeremyperson.com Jeremy Person

    This is just great. Way to go! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://jeremyperson.com Jeremy Person

    This is just great. Way to go! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://Www.portableradio.ca Nathan Toft

    I’m a grade 5 teacher in Ottawa, Canada. This will mark the seventh season of our “Portable Radio” podcast. It’s a 10 – 15 minute variety show that the students script, perform and edit. We also do 2 minute opinion pieces about current events. These “Portable Radio Point of Views” have frequently been played on our local CBC radio station. Last year, my students added a video version of the show and called it Portable TV.

    One of the highlights for last year was creating physical challenges, like running a relay race, putting up the video and daring classes from around the world to beat our score. We received video responses from Texas, Michigan and New Zealand.

    Creating digital media like this authentic learning. It matters to the kids. It is also hard work but approaching it as a series and not a “one off” allows for the students and teachers to constantly improve.

    Find the shows at http://www.PortableRadio.ca or search “Portable Radio” on iTunes.

    Nathan Toft

    Ottawa, Ontario
    Canada

  • http://Www.portableradio.ca Nathan Toft

    I’m a grade 5 teacher in Ottawa, Canada. This will mark the seventh season of our “Portable Radio” podcast. It’s a 10 – 15 minute variety show that the students script, perform and edit. We also do 2 minute opinion pieces about current events. These “Portable Radio Point of Views” have frequently been played on our local CBC radio station. Last year, my students added a video version of the show and called it Portable TV.

    One of the highlights for last year was creating physical challenges, like running a relay race, putting up the video and daring classes from around the world to beat our score. We received video responses from Texas, Michigan and New Zealand.

    Creating digital media like this authentic learning. It matters to the kids. It is also hard work but approaching it as a series and not a “one off” allows for the students and teachers to constantly improve.

    Find the shows at http://www.PortableRadio.ca or search “Portable Radio” on iTunes.

    Nathan Toft

    Ottawa, Ontario
    Canada