Podcasts in the Classroom

I’m always surprised when my three-year-old randomly starts recounting to me every single detail of some offhand story we told him a month ago just to distract him at the time from resisting bath time. But that sort of behavior was enough to push us toward launching Tales Untold, challenging notions of kids’ ability to comprehend more complex language and episodic storytelling.

Today, a friend pointed me toward a recent post from KQED’s Mind/Shift that validates that thinking, albeit for older children.

The post explores how teachers are bringing audio podcasts into the classroom, in an effort to meet new Common Core educational standards. Improved listening skills are a fundamental component of the standards, and podcasts are proving to be a useful tool. From the case studies mentioned in the post, it sounds like shows such as Serial have been a hit with teens in the classroom.

The following stuck out to me as much as anything else in the post:

[quote author=’Linda Flanagan, Mind/Shift’]“I think the kids really appreciate getting the story told to them, as opposed to so much hitting their senses,” he [English teacher Michael Godsey] says. “They’re not overstimulated by it,” he says, noting that contemporary podcasts resemble radio shows from the past.

Learning through listening has surprising educational advantages as well. Students can listen to content two-to-three grade levels higher than they can read, according to [educational Journalist] Monica Brady-Myerov.[/quote]

The emphasis is mine, and both quotes hit on something we’re trying to do here at Tales Untold. Hopefully your kids are equally able to surprise you with how much they comprehend in one of our tales. And if they’re able to enjoy it without having to stare at a screen, then we’ve done our job.

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