Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Podcasts enhance math learning at Georgia school

Teachers at Georgia's LaFayette High School are enhancing math lessons with technology and helping students take ownership of their learning by asking them to prepare and record podcast lessons to be posted to a Web site and shared with the class. "We used it for an entire unit review," one teacher said. "I gave them a topic -- probability -- and they had to develop a lesson on that particular concept. The next day, we listened to everyone's lesson and critiqued each one." 

The Walker County system's other high school, Ridgeland, has received a grant that will focus on its Honors Academy. With $64,580 from the Georgia Department of Education, the school will buy 120 iPods for advanced placement classes and training for teachers to teach students how to make podcasts.   Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tenn.) (1/26)


  1. I am a middle school math student teacher and am intrigued by the idea of using a podcast for a unit review. iPods are not new at our school...I can hear their playlists through the walls into our classroom before school starts. Most of our students either have access to some type of mp3 player or computer whether it is their own or a friend's. Reviewing using a podcast makes sense for students who wouldn't do well reading a review sheet over and over. It also makes sense for the student who is on the go after sports practices, music lessons, etc. Most teachers at our school use Macs. The students have access to Macs and Acers at school. I know that Garageband can be used to create a podcast. Any simple ideas on how to create a podcast if you don't have access to Garageband? I'd like to try out a podcast unit review in the next month or so.

  2. I recommend starting with Audacity. It's free. It works for Windows, Mac and Linux users. Audacity offers user-friendly editing features, and it outputs MP3 format audio for distributing your podcast. Download and install Audacity before you get started. To save recordings in MP3 format, you also need a copy of the LAME MP3 encoder which is available through a variety of download sources. There are oodles of tutorials both text and YouTube versions on how to record a podcast using Audacity.

    You will also need a microphone--either the internal one on your computer or an external headset. I strongly recommend a USB external headset.

    Another option is to record your class sessions using a digital voice recorder. You can then go back and edit the sessions and take out extraneous material and combine them for the review session.

    Good luck! The possibilities are endless. You might even have your students create their own podcast reviews.


Thanks for your comments.