Posts Tagged ‘student podcasting’

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts



I find myself choosing topic words for DigiLitSunday that are current struggles of my own.  This week I was faced with a decision about my students’ podcasts.  They were written and recorded, but the technology department would not open Soundcloud as a venue for online publishing.  I asked myself, “Then what was the purpose of all that work?”

My teaching philosophy leans heavily on purpose.  I feel students need to have authentic learning experiences.  We listened to podcasts, discussed the elements, and wrote scripts based on research.  In order to fully experience production, though, the podcasts needed an audience.

I turned to YouTube.  In order to make the sound recording work for YouTube, we had to design a video using Movie Maker.  This added another step to the process.  We had to select images, load them into the Movie Maker app, and add the sound, playing over and over to make sure the images matched the words.

For this step with most of my students, I worked one on one which took time and patience, so I questioned its purpose.  I gave it back to the kids.  This step was important to them.  One student was excited to share the video with her sister who is away at college.  I tweeted out one podcast on Friday and received a response from a literacy coach who plans to share it with a 3rd grade classroom.

I believe it is important to model for our students authentic learning experiences and navigating the digital world.  It’s a scary place out there.  If my students begin in a safe place, perhaps they will become confident and responsible digital citizens.

Please consider following my YouTube channel (margaretsmn) as well as our class Twitter account (@MrsSimonsSea).

Today I am featuring Madison’s podcast on Barn Owls.  Madison becomes a teen barn owl in this podcast.  What you can’t see is how she “flaps her wings” when she says her part.


To join the digital literacy conversation today, please leave a link below.


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Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.



Celebrate #1: He bought me roses.  The beauty of a single rose is enough to take my breath away.  Something so small and simple is really a sign of the hope. I need that hope this week.

Celebrate #2:  NCTE is coming!  I leave on Thursday and will be meeting up with many friends.  I celebrate that I am co-moderating two panels.  I will also be involved with 2 roundtable discussions.  But most of all, I will be surrounded by like-minded people who want the best for their students.





My NCTE schedule:

Sat., 8 AM: F.21 We See Their Faces: How Historical Fiction Advocates for Empathy, Diversity, and Social Change B311

Sat., 9:30 G.12 Writing for a Better World: Poetry Response to World Events B210

Sat., 1:15 I.27 Authentic Voice in a Digital World: Using Technology in Our Literate Lives B215

Sunday, 1:30 N.20 Teachers as Writers: Practices and Possibilities (an NCTE Roundtable Session) b206 


Celebrate #3:  Class Twitter account: @MrsSimonsSea.  My students are excited to have their very own Twitter account.  I look forward to exploring ways we can connect with authors and other classrooms.  If you have a class account, please follow us.  Our first Tweet was a 4th grade student’s podcast about the importance of pets.

Jenn Hayhurst tweeted back.

I can’t wait to share this with Andrew on Monday.  I celebrate online connections and building student confidence with social media.

Please come back tomorrow for DigiLitSunday! Our topic this week is “Purpose.”


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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts


A friend once told me that I have an artist’s mind, random and all over the place.  While it was a nice way to put it, what she was really telling me was I lack focus.  I’ve always hopped from project to project, idea to idea.  It’s difficult for me to stay tuned in to one thing for any length of time.

Last weekend I had a chat with Irene Latham on the steps of the State Museum at the Louisiana Book Festival.  We were talking about conferences.  She said she realized she could be a conference junkie but questioned whether that would serve her mission.  Her mission?  Yes, Irene has a mission statement.  Don’t we all?  She wrote about how to find your own mission statement in her post on Smack Dab in the Middle. 

The first question, “Who do you admire?” reminded me of a process my friend Kimberley talked about; Find the person who is doing what you want to do and find out how they got there.  In other words, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

When creating a mission statement, I had to consider my personality type.  I really care what people think of me.  It’s a fault, except that it keeps me behaving in ways that are kind and thoughtful.  I want others to respect me, so I respect them.  Not a bad way to be.  It’s tough when I chew on an incident for a long time.  I’m not good at letting things go.  

What does this all have to do with digital literacy and teaching?  In creating a mission statement, a focus for my life, I see clearly that I want to empower others to be the best they can be.  I want to bring creativity into the world.  Through my teaching and writing, I can be both wind and wings.

My students worked all week on their podcasts.  They created scripts from their research and collaborated on making something creative and new.  Yet, the learning curve was high.  I wasn’t sure we could meet it.  I am still waiting on tech help from our district department; however, the glitches didn’t really bother the kids.  They understand that’s all part of making something new in this digital world.

When I reflect on the projects we do in my class, I realize the ones that encourage the strongest focus are ones that are highly creative, honor choice, and are student-driven.  My classroom mission statement is not that different from my personal mission statement.  Margaret and Mrs. Simon walk hand in hand to find their focus and meaning in this world.




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Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

October came to an end this week.  Why does this make me sentimental?  Maybe it’s the smell of sugarcane fields burning, or the taste of satsumas, or kids in costumes, but this time of year makes me think about the past, about time, about celebrations.


The sun rises as I drive to school each day.  I took this picture out of my car window.  Next week the time will change and I won’t see the sun rise this way for a while.  Stopping to capture beauty…




My students worked all week on their podcasts.  What fun!  We were challenged by technology and with cooperation.  I celebrate that they came together to support each other.  When I figure out how to make the podcasts public, I will post them.  They wrote about everything from Halloween to mythological creatures and homework.  I celebrate the strength of their writing.  They were motivated to write for an authentic audience.




On my morning walk, I came to this overgrown shrub (or is it a tree?).  I don’t know what it is, but the bright yellow flowers attracted my focus.



A weird organic fall phenomenon is webs in the grass.  They were dotting a field and sparkling with dew.  Who made this?  How tiny a creature?



All of these photos were taken this week on my iPhone.  I never tire of photographing grandmother oak.  Here the fog is rising from the bayou silhouetting her expansive girth.  Nature nurtures the fall air, and I celebrate her gifts.




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