Thursday, May 03, 2007

Let Them Be Heard - ONLINE!

Any primary teacher can tell you that students' reading improves if they can hear themselves read. Remember using that old Califone cassette recorder in the back of your classroom? Here's a new twist to that activity - Student Audiobooks.

Many of you have students write their own stories. First Grade teachers at Grandview Elementary School have taken things a step further. Their first grade student write stories. Then they read those stories into a digital recorder. Their teacher then adds a little music to the beginning and posts them on their class blog.
"The stories were recorded using an iRiver mp3 recorder, the music was added and the stories were edited using Audacity, the music clips come from FreePlay Music, the stories are being stored at the website and this blog is hosted by Edublogs in Australia."
Visitors to their class blog can click on the links to hear the students' "Audiobooks". What's pretty cool is the audio files are in MP3 format so they can be imported to iTunes and copied on to an iPod.

Even if you don't have a fancy digital voice recorder, you can still hook up a microphone to your classroom computer and record with Audacity or Garageband.

NOTE FOR GARAGEBAND USERS: If students illustrated their own stories, you can scan or take digital pictures of their pages. Then using Garageband, you can insert those pictures above the audio track to create an "enhanced" podcast. Listeners would not only hear the students read, they could also see their artwork.

Now students can go online and listen to their stories and those from other kids in their class. Parents can go online and listen to their children read, or download it to their iPods to share with family and friends.