At teacher training workshops, the question always comes up, "What grade can you begin to teach students how to produce their own digital media?" Of course, this is a loaded question as there are several different types of media, each with its own set of learning curves. But, in general, I default to fourth grade as my response.
This past Spring, my perception shifted.
Monina Salazar, a 3rd Grade teacher at Live Oak Elementary School in San Ramon has raised the stakes and lowered what I thought was the age requirement for students to produce rich audio podcasts.
In this video, Monina describes how she teaches her students to create audio podcasts about biomes that explain a variety of ecosystems, referencing the climatic conditions along with the types of plants and animals that live there.
In her class, her students produced three different audio podcast assignments. They go through the process of researching and reading about specific biomes, writing a script that incorporates relevant sound effects and perhaps music to convey a sense of place and mood, research the internet for these sounds, and then they record their voice and edit and layer all of the sounds using Audacity.
Monina also reflects about the value added for integrating technology and multimedia, specifically media project assignments, into her teaching practice.
Monina's students use other great media formats for their projects like Google Presentation as well as develop individual websites that function as e-portfolios. To view some of this great work, go to her class website.
Last Fall, Monina attended KQED Education's Teacher Tech Training where she learned the basics of how to produce narrated slideshows for elementary school science, led by Nancy Yamamoto. Click on the link above to view some of the teachers' projects from the workshop.
Do you know young students producing great podcasts or other rich media? Please share with us!