Photo CC: By oroD Doro
“‘…contemporary podcasts resemble radio shows from the past.'” In this quote from the article “What Teens are Learning from ‘Serial’ and Other Podcasts,” a high school English teacher by the name of Michael Godsey describes the benefits he’s witnessed in incorporating podcasts into his classroom. For example, in listening to ‘Serial,’ his students are “learning at the highest level,” helping students develop their analytical skills, critical reading skills, and public speaking skills, the latter two concerning reading the accompanying transcripts and debating with fellow students. Concerning the digital storytelling aspect of this assignment, some educational benefits of watching and creating digital stories include, according to the “Teacher’s Guide to Digital Storytelling,” “[teaching] students how to navigate the writing and creative process, including brainstorming, constructing unique voices, narrating, and… structuring arguments in a compelling and logical manner.” In looking at these educational benefits, an individual can easily attach certain standards to each, therefore meeting the state and/or national standards for learning. On the other side of the spectrum, however, some disadvantages to incorporating podcasts and digital storytelling in one’s classroom may not be, in terms of podcasts, enough to hold the students’ attention, as the younger generations (including ours) are used to intense, highly-stimulated T.V. shows or video games. In terms of digital storytelling, however, one disadvantage may include lack of money for the required equipment for students to do his/her work. In reading the “Teacher’s Guide to Digital Storytelling, technologies such as video cameras, computers, and the accompanying software are required. If none of these things are available, digital storytelling in the classroom may be virtually impossible. Moving on to the next question of possibly having my future students create in these forms, I would have to say that I definitely would (if the necessary equipment is available) have my students do so. I say this because it would serve as an excellent introduction to the educational benefits I listed before. In utilizing these things, it could possibly be easier for students to learn to create through writing. In the end, my biggest takeaway would probably be realizing that in incorporating these into one’s classroom, so many standards are hit that, at least for me, it would be a no-brainer. Also, to tell the truth, I became pretty excited about the possibility of using these things in my future classroom!