I think that many of us can say that we grew up being read to, or reading to ourselves. Some of us loved reading books and still do to this day and that includes me. There are also kids who completely hated reading and still do to this day. Personally I think that digital storytelling and podcasts apply to both of these groups. These digital stories and podcasts pull you in, interest you, and keep you wanting more.
As a future teacher of middle school language arts, this is a form of media that I feel comfortable using. The thing that I love the most is that there is appropriate content for people of all ages. I believe that this is a great resource to use in the classroom. This breaks up having reading groups, centers, and from having you read from a book. There are also a wide variety of genres that are offered through these podcasts, so why not make time to explore this!
There are so many positives for students listening to podcasts. In the blog What Teens are Learning From ‘Serial’ and other Podcasts, the author Linda Flanagan, listed many positives that aligned perfectly with Common Core Standards. Nebraska public schools don’t currently follow Common Core Standards, but they are still great skills that I believe all students can work on to improve! One of the positives that isn’t restricted to the CC standards is the fact that when students listen to podcasts, they are able to listen and comprehend content that is two or three grade levels above what they are actually reading. This is a positive for all students, especially students who struggle and get frustrated when they read.
Another great reason to integrate podcasts and storytelling into the classroom is a pretty plain one, but students enjoy it! They are able to connect with and understand the content more than that of the classics that all students read. Now, don’t get me wrong, the classics are a must and for me they were enjoyable to read, but with resources like this at the tips of our fingertips, a change of pace is nice, not only for the students but teachers as well.
If you’re looking for educational podcasts, then check out Angela Watson’s blog on 12 of my favorite podcasts for teachers. These are specifically for teachers and has a variety of podcasts varying from classroom management all the way to teaching experiences in the classroom. I believe that looking into these podcasts are essential as a first year teacher, and I believe that these would be great for experienced teachers as well!