Monday, April 6, 2009

Groovin' with My Favorite iTunes Artist-- ME!

Several weeks ago, Andy Mann briefed students, teachers, and parents at our school on social media issues . After meeting with faculty, he and I had some time to talk Web 2.0 shop. He showed me a number of interesting web sites and I shared what I had been doing with Moodle. The subject of audio files came up, and he casually mentioned how great it was to podcast using GarageBand.

For the past two years I have really enjoyed using podcasts in my classes and extra-curriculars. But for each of these activities I have been reliant on creating mp3s by telephone. Recollecting what Andy had mentioned, I decided to embark on a new podcast project using GarageBand. What a blast!

My Lit into Film students recently submitted detailed notes
on two films for the purpose of comparing and contrasting them in a later paper. Rather than jot my feedback in red pen, I decided to try podcasting and then emailing my audio reactions to the students. Click to listen to one of these podcasts. If you have iTunes the mp4 will go right into your library. I only mention this because as I noticed as I was creating my twenty-five podcasts that I was loading my iTunes with .... me!

Podcasting and emailing took some time at first, but I thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace and the opportunity to really explain my reactions rather than scrawling cryptic written phrases. Besides, after I got the hang of it, I could make and send a detailed mp4 in ten minutes. The students appreciated receiving much more feedback than they would have gotten, conventionally. And as a bonus I was introduced to GarageBand, which has been ignored on my personal computers for three years. No longer!

Two last comments: 1) Podcasting was particularly suited as an evaluative tool for this assignment because general remarks were appropriate. 2) I am going to introduce Audacity to my government classes soon, so that they can have an experience similar to mine for our coming project. I'll post on that experience in a month or so.

jpgs: "Doofus at Leisure" taken by Chris Baker & GarageBand '09 screen capture.


Alison Kline-Kator said...

A fabulous addition to your playlist! One of my profs uses mp3 feedback for assignments, and it's very helpful, especially for larger online assignments - I can open my website or assignment and navigate to various spots while listening to the audio file - I could see that being helpful for your government wiki projects, perhaps. :-)

Larry Baker said...

Thanks for the comments, Alison. I am going to try the mp3's this month and next with my sophomores and AP class as well. I think they are very well suited to overview evaluations or projects with lots of pieces. (I will definitely try it for the wikis next time 'round). Lynn and I are wondering if "Jing" can be used to reference specific passages in text with recorded comments. (So many interesting applications, so little time).

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