I was curious about what new types of technology I could find that could be utilized in the classroom as a way to enhance learning. When looking over different blogs to see what other librarians were doing, I found the blog EdTech Vision by Colette Cassinelli. Cassinelli works as a Library and Instructional Technology Teacher at Sunset High School in the Beaverton School District in Oregon. Her blog promotes information literacy and information technology and resources for educators. It is full of information on literacy, new technology, and resources that could be helpful for school librarians and teachers.
During my undergraduate studies, I had the great opportunity to visit several different schools to speak with their librarian about what tools they were encouraging students to use. One that stuck out to me then was WeVideo. It functions as a fairly simple way to edit videos, add pictures and music, and create professional looking presentations as videos. One of the librarians I spoke to told me that his middle school students even used it to create their own news show that was broadcast for the rest of the school each week. They were able to use the school’s iPads to record and edit the footage, and I was impressed with the final product. I downloaded the app on my phone then, but until now have not had much opportunity to utilize it or consider ways it could be used in the classroom.
When I saw WeVideo come up when I was looking through blog posts, I looked into it because I was curious on how other librarians were utilizing this program. I was amazed that this high school librarian was suggesting creating podcasts to test student understanding of materials, and using a program like WeVideo to edit the audio recordings. I really liked this suggestion, as it reminded me of similar projects I did in high school. I remember doing a project my senior year of high school where we created a short slide show presentation with narration talking about a Supreme Court case. I have never been good at public speaking but being able to record the audio ahead of time and turn in what was essentially a video presentation made me feel much more relaxed while recording, and that was probably one of the best reports I did in high school. I love the idea of allowing students a different way to interact with the information they are learning about, and having them present the information using a podcast seems like a great way to involve students who may be more willing to speak up when they can record their responses by themselves. The blog EdTech Vision suggests using snowball microphones for small group recordings, and provides numerous guides on how to get started with podcasting in the classroom.
From our readings this week, Wine (2016) states that “technology is prevalent throughout today’s schools and is a crucial tool in 21st century learning that is infused with multiple literacy requirements” (p. 209). Utilizing technology in the classroom is a way to encourage and explore new avenues for teaching and reviewing materials. Having students create a podcast to create a study guide for a book they read for class is one way this technology can be used, as it requires students to use their own notes and understanding of the material to creating a study guide that best helps them remember the material. A video editing program such as WeVideo is one way to encourage students to work independently or in groups to create their own study materials. This blog post also suggests using other audio recording tools such as https://online-voice-recorder.com/ to get students accustomed to recording audio. This makes it possible to use technology already at your disposal such as Chromebooks or iPads. Using audio recordings and video editing programs such as WeVideo is a way to shake up the way students engage with the material, and may help some students review the material.
Cassinelli, C. (2020, February 12). Podcasting in the classroom. EdTech Vision. http://edtechvision.org/?p=1926
Wine, L. (2016). School librarians as technology leaders: An evolution in practice. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science. 57(2), 207-220