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Drumroll, please…Here is my newest experiment…podcasting.

I know, I know, lots of people have already done this and published that, but podcasting has real potential for classroom communication. One of the hardest things to do as a teacher is keeping that open line of communication with parents, not because teachers don’t want to, but because the real focus, the real consumer, is the child. Ninety-nine percent of my energy (and I would hazard to say that most teachers are quite similar) is spent planning, creating, facilitating, and reflecting on instructional delivery. This leaves 1 percent, give or take, to apply towards report writing, cadre work, faculty meetings, and the numerous other duties teachers fulfill, of which one is parent education and communication.

Weekly or monthly newsletters typically fill the communication void. In fact, many creative teachers have been able to relinquish newsletter duties to their students, thereby merging their duties and making efficient use of their energies. Unfortunately, as an upper elementary teacher, I’ve found that many times, these newsletters end up in the black hole of the child’s backpack, emerging only once a trimester when the backpack is cleaned. Podcasting is taking the classroom newsletter to the next level, where students are responsible, engaged, and creating content that is not only necessary, but readily accessible (assuming parents have an internet connection or are willing to access one elsewhere, perhaps at a public library).

So in an effort to prepare myself for the upcoming school year, here is my first attempt at an enhanced podcast. Many thanks to my six year old, who acted as a willing guinea pig, and narrated a “micro-mimi” slideshow of shots from his last teeball game. I understand that it is best viewed in iTunes, otherwise you will hear the narration, but not see the pictures. Here is the link for the free download for Windows (I believe most Macs already have it installed, if not, the Mac version is also available for free on the Apple website).

iTunes Download

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Since the inception of this blog, I have been doing lots of reading and listening, thinking and reflecting. Through it all, I feel a sense of discord and unease, but take comfort in the fact that it is a sign of new learning; my newest mentors being the words of Marc Prensky, David Warlick, Will Richardson, and Thomas Friedman, just to name a few. Of course, great teachers such as Dewey, Freire, Gardner, and Montessori are not supplanted, but rather juxtaposed, and their ideas carried forward into the 21st century. I am continually amazed by the connectedness of it all.

And so, you may ask, what does this have to do with the “bibliophile” referenced in the title of this post? Despite the lack of speed with which I post, I have created yet another blog, one specifically for the reading classes, and thus the bibliophiles, I teach, at edublogs.com. Again, an experiment in motivation, in the need for people to have conversation, good conversation, about inspiring words and ideas found within the pages of a book, be they physical or virtual. Perhaps this will allow the student who reads voraciously, to comment as much as he wishes. Perhaps the student who sits quietly, yet thoughtfully, and needs more time to formulate her opinion, will be given that time. Perhaps the relative anonymity (despite an online name that classmates will be able to identify) will create a comfort zone for a student who is afraid to share his ideas in class, face to face. If education is the great equalizer, then technology is surely his tool.

June 2017
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