Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's on Your Nano?

During the 2009 Summer Literacy Academy, participants received iPod Nano to encourage them to use the web to identify instructionally appropriate videos and audio/video podcasts to bring into the classroom.

Many years ago, I took an American 20th century history class (yes it was still the 20th century) in which the professor said that all too often US history classes struggle to finish in the current day. So he started with the end of World War I and went forward. The professor used a variety of video clips and laser disc clips (remember those huge disks-thank heavens for the advent of the cd-rom) throughout each class period. We'd talk history, see history, hear history, and have the opportunity to interact in ways that made our readings and discussions more meaningful. Clips were a few seconds to minutes long and helped contextualize the events.The retrospective on 20th century history that uses Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire could have been an engaging way to introduce such a history class.

The upcoming issue of Edutopia has an article on using videos in the classroom. The author observed that “teachers all across the country are finding that judiciously chosen videos help students engage more deeply with the subject matter, and recall the information they’ve learned longer.” The article highlights several websites that teachers may find helpful for getting videos. The article also includes a “primer” to YouTube.

Scholastics' 10 Podcasts for Teachers and Kids provides 10 recommended podcast sources that address core content areas, ESL, and/or are regularly produced by students.

Just yesterday, I was looking up information on Jamestown and came across the Settlement center's podcast collection. Couple with other sources from NPR to NASA to TeacherTube and YouTube there is a plethora of material available. So let's share our favorites.

If you use online videos or audio podcasts in your classroom, are sites that you recommend and share a particular video or audio podcast?


  1. Well the new year is off to a great start and this week has just been basically general rules, policies, and procedures. On next week I do plan on using the strategies that I learned in the Literacy Conference.

    I haven't put anything on the ipod as of yet and that's because I see so much stuff that I do want to add and use! That's the great thing about being a teacher, you can always learn a lot of new things at one time and want to try EVERYTHING!!!

    In past years, I have used a lot of video clips from Unitedstreaming but now that I have been turned on to TEACHERTUBE and all this other great stuff, I might just lose my mind!!

    Thanks for sharing 10 Podcasts for Teachers and Kids. I'm sure I will find something there as well!! :*)

  2. Thank you for sharing all these resources. It's one thing to say "use it;" it's another thing to provide me with sources. Again, thank you.