What are Podcasts?

from Wikipedia

"Podcasting is the distribution of audio or video files, such as radio programs or music videos, over the Internet using either RSS or Atom syndication for listening on mobile devices and personal computers."

Podcasts are readily available to download on web sites and from music stores such as iTunes. Podcast are similar to radio shows that can be downloaded and listen to on you MP3 Player or computer at your convenience. You can find podcasts on any imaginable subject: Entertainment, education, news, business, in the target language, etc.


How about creating your own podcast for you Foreign Language or ESL classroom? This can be done in different ways:

  1. Teacher recorded
  2. Students recorded

The first podcast I tried out was for my 5th graders. We had studied all South American Spanish speaking countries and they were getting ready to take their comprehensive test at the end of the year. I already had set up a study guide on our classroom website and wanted to take advantage of the popularity of MP3 players among my students, so I creaded episodes for each Spanish speaking countries for them to download and listen to.

6th graders are studying Central American and Carribean countries.I decided to involve my 6th graders more into the creation process of the podcast by making them responsable for writing and recording a script for a country (which I assigned to them). They were divided into groups of two or three students and given the homework of writing and practicing the script. The criteria that I gave them was, that their script needed to inlcude the following:

    • Country's name
    • Geographic location
    • Currency
    • Flag
    • Interesting fact about the country
    • Be creative
In the following week we recorded them in class with Audacity. Listen to the final product.

I highly recommend Dan Schmit's book " Kidcast: Podcasting in the classroom " if you are planning on creating your own podcast. He discusses everything from how to get started, tutorials of recording software and RSS feed and project ideas for the classroom.


Teachers demonstrate a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts.

  • Teachers demonstrate continual growth in technology knowledge and skills to stay abreast of current and emerging technologies
Teachers plan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology. Teachers:
  • design developmentally appropriate learning opportunities that apply technology-enhanced instructional strategies to support the diverse needs of learners.
  • apply current research on teaching and learning with technology when planning learning environments and experiences.
  • plan for the management of technology resources within the context of learning activities.
  • plan strategies to manage student learning in a technology-enhanced environment.
Teachers implement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning. Teachers:
  • facilitate technology-enhanced experiences that address content standards and student technology standards.
  • use technology to support learner-centered strategies that address the diverse needs of students.
  • apply technology to develop students' higher order skills and creativity.
  • manage student learning activities in a technology-enhanced environment.
Teachers apply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies. Teachers:
  • apply technology in assessing student learning of subject matter using a variety of assessment techniques.
  • use technology resources to collect and analyze data, interpret results, and communicate findings to improve instructional practice and maximize student learning.
  • apply multiple methods of evaluation to determine students' appropriate use of technology resources for learning, communication, and productivity.
Teachers use technology to enhance their productivity and professional practice. Teachers:
  • use technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, parents, and the larger community in order to nurture student learning.
Teachers understand the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-12 schools and apply those principles in practice. Teachers:
  • model and teach legal and ethical practice related to technology use.
  • apply technology resources to enable and empower learners with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and abilities.


Social, ethical, and human issues

  • Students develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.

Technology productivity tools

  • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
  • Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.

Technology communications tools

  • Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.
  • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.

Technology research tools

  • Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
  • Students use technology tools to process data and report results.
  • Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.



  • Standard 1: Students will use English to participate in social interaction.
  • Standard 2: Students will interact in, through, and with spoken and written English for personal expression and enjoyment.
  • Standard 3: Students will use learning strategies to extend their communicative competence.


  • Standard 2: Students will use English to obtain, process, construct, and provide subject matter information in spoken and written form.
  • Standard 3: Students will use appropriate learning strategies to construct and apply academic knowledge.

  • Standard 1.2:  Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics
  • Standard 1.3:  Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics
  • Standard 3.1:  Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language
  • Standard 3.2:  Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures
  • Standard 5.1:  Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting
  • Standard 5.2:  Students show evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.

  • Microphone
  • Sound Editing Software such as Audacity
  • Server space or account with free Podcasting, such as Podomatic

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