Sunday, March 29, 2009

iTunes U WGHB Grades 9-12

From WGHB Grades9-12 Podcast's I selected to view the podcast "Characteristics of the Sun". The podcast was a great film that had 3-D visuals accompanied by a well spoken narrator. Through each step of explaining about the sun, the podcast provide definition to certain scientific terms and also provide interesting facts and figures about the Sun, such as how hot the sun gets and how far away from Earth it is. All in all, the video was very informative and entertaining. It provided just enough great facts to where the student may want to try to find out more about the sun on there on. I think podcasts are great teaching tools because I feel that most students are visual learners. It is one thing to verbally tell a student about something but it is completely different if you not only tell them but show them. In a world that is evolving more rapidly with cell phones, laptops, video games, and ipods, it will take more than "yesterday's" teaching methods to reach future students.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Edutopia Podcast

The Edible Schoolyard was a great podcast. It was exciting to see kids learning while they were doing hands-on tasks. I love how that one garden taught them science, math, cooking, responsibility, independence, and lots more. The best part for me was when the boy could explain how the plant became dry vegetation and then soil and then the soil helped grow another plant to complete and restart the cycle. It really was great to see that you don't have to hammer in the book work, and kids can learn from real life experiences.

A Night in the Global Village was another great podcast. It not only showed students about true hunger and poverty, but it let them live it for a short time. I like how each were divided into groups with different conditions. The best part is that the different groups were all given different supplies such as matches, food, flashlights, etc., but no group had a way to complete a meal. This forced the students to work together to try to reach one goal. This was a great way to teach independence but an even better way to teach teamwork.

These podcasts taught me that I don't have to be another boring teacher. I can have fun with my class and at the same time they have the ability to learn something that is very important. I like the Edible Schoolyard the best. I could see myself having a class like that because I love hands-on learning. It's one thing to teach children something from a book, but it is another thing to let live it, feel it, and experiences it. I think that any prospective teacher should watch these because these were doable and enjoyable projects, and I think the smiles on the kids faces showed that.

iTunes University

A great technology tool to help teachers is iTunes University. Several major college and institutions used the iPod in their classrooms. iTunes University allows college professors to upload their video lessons and audio podcast lectures to iTunes University. From there other professors, students of that particular, or anyone with a free subscription to iTunes can go into iTunes University and subscribe to the lesson or podcast. This is a helpful tool for any teacher because iTunes University covers more than just college lectures. iTunes University includes educational media from famous museums and PBS stations. Not to mention it contains over 100,000 audio and video file to explore and continues to expand everyday day.

As a teacher, you may be asking why this is so great. The iPod has become an everyday part of life for millions of people and can be a great tool in teaching. In a university setting, as a student, you could miss a week of class and pull all of the lectures you missed from iTunes University, provided that your University participates in the service. For instance, you could be a teacher at a school that can't afford to send classes on field trips, or you could be to far away from the place you want to visit. With iTunes University, you could go to the Brooklyn Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum all without leaving the classroom. Those are just a few of the many ideas and uses that iTunes University presents. If you would like to see more about the use of iTunes University then Click Here.