Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Podcasting to Increase Student Achievement in Math

Think about something you’ve learned recently.  Did you talk to anyone about what you were learning?  If you had would it have helped you learn the material better or faster?  Most of us would answer yes to these questions.  Now, think about your students.  Do you think they would learn more if they had additional opportunities to talk about what they were learning?

When we talk about what we’re learning, we deepen our understanding. Our brains need time for processing new information.   Talking about new ideas/concepts helps us bring to light and flesh out misconceptions we have about the topic.  We have so many standards to cover in math, that we are always pressed for time.  As a result we often neglect to give our students sufficient processing time.  The catch is that our student’s would gain more understanding and retain more information if we allowed time for processing new information. 

We also make stronger memories when we use multiple modalities for learning.  So, talking about what we’re learning can have significant impact on what we understand and what we retain.

Podcasting is easier than you think!

There are many technology tools available for making podcasts.  I'll highlight several of these in future posts.  Today, I'd like to share one podcasting tool that you can start using immediately. 

What is Ipadio?

Ipadio is the easiest podcasting on the planet!  Well, it's at least one of the easiest podcasting tools on the planet!  Ipadio allows you to create podcasts from your phone.  After you sign up for Ipadio, you register the phones that you’ll use to make your phone casts.  You can use landlines and/or mobile phones for podcasting.  Ipadio gives you an ID number that you’ll use every time you call in.  You also get your own channel for hosting your phone casts.  If your students use this, they’ll get their own channel.  If you have your students use Ipadio, you may want to use LiveBinders, or Net Vibes to help you keep all of their channels in one location.  This will give you easy access when you review their podcasts. 
The great thing about Ipadio is that it provides an easy platform for allowing students to process and consolidate their learning.  You can use Ipadio in and out of class, so you can assign Podcasts for homework.  This way, you don’t always have to use class time for making student podcasts.
Here are a few benefits that podcasting can have:
  •   deepen understanding of concepts by talking about them
  •  strengthen memories by using more than one modality for learning
  •  engage students with content
  • motivate students by using a tool they enjoy learn about student’s misconceptions
  • differentiate by appealing to auditory learners and those who may be interested in entertainment

Using Ipadio to Support Learning in Math

A few ideas for using Ipadio to support learning:

Teacher Podcasts:
  •  Make podcasts of your lessons.
  • Make podcasts to reinforce your lessons.  For example, if you are teaching a lesson on Pythagorean Theorem, you can make a podcast describing specific uses for the Pythagorean Theorem.   If you're teaching fraction operations, you can make podcasts that describe the steps for solving each type of fraction problem.
  • Make podcasts of key vocabulary words for a lesson or unit.  You can also incorporate these podcasts into other applications so you can include visuals and the words. Any application that supports links would work for this. --- Wallwisher would be a good application for creating these multimedia Word Walls. 
Student Podcasts:
  •  Have students make a short podcast about what they learned each day or each week.  This has many benefits.  Students are keeping a record of their learning and their growth.  They can create a Live Binder and organize it by Units, Topics, or Math Standards.  Teachers can use Live Binders or Net Vibes to keep student podcasts organized.
  •  Have students pretend to be a math topic, concept, symbol, or vocabulary word.  Their podcasts would reflect the perspective of whatever word, symbol, or concept their pretending to be.  For example, if a student is pretending to be an improper fraction, they could describe themselves as being top heavy or a heavy weight.
  •  Have students conduct math interviews.  They can interview each other about math concepts.  Or, they can interview other teachers, students, administrators, parents, etc.  These interviews can be very quick with just one or two questions about a topic, or they can be more involved.  If you decide have students conduct interviews regularly, you may want to have them create 'Glogs' that contain their interviews.  Glogster is an interactive poster maker.  It's very easy to use and does require much time to make posters. 
How would you use podcasts with students?  Leave a comment and share your ideas.



tjwayne7 said...

I am a seventh grade math teacher just starting to use the iPod Touch in the classroom. I appreciate your information, and am interested in trying your tips for podcasts. I will also look into Glogster and Wallwisher. You have excellent ideas. My blog tells a few ways to incorporate iPods into classroom instruction and I would love your comments. Thanks again!

Kristi Grande said...

Hi tjwayne7,

Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you liked the ideas. I hope you do try Glogster and Wallwisher. You and your students will probably like them. If you need any other suggestions for using Glogster or Wallwisher, you can email me. I'd be happy to send you some ideas. ---

Please come back and leave another comment after you use these ideas and applications with your students. I'd love to hear how it went.

I'm looking forward to visiting your blog. Thanks for the link!