Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thing 19

I've listened and watched some podcasts in the past, but I was excited to learn more about them. One problem I've noticed with v-casts is sometimes they just don't come through smoothly. I have had trouble with the video portion freezing while the audio continues and with the audio and video not being in sync. I had some of these problems with the Wayne RESA podcasts as well. The podcast of part 1 even closed itself on me in the middle.

Exploring podcasts has to be one of the most time-consuming tasks we've had. Some podcasts take what seems like forever to load. Then, they are often quite long, so you have to listen for a long time to see if the podcasts are useful. Some that I tried to access wouldn't load at all by clicking on them. I think I would need to do the right click, "save as" method to open these podcasts.

I like StoryNory ( for a free way to listen to stories. However, the commercial that comes before the story is annoying and could be confusing for students who aren't good readers when they are trying to follow along with the words. I would like the format better if the story's words weren't in one long column. Maybe an enhanced podcast would be nicer, but probably more difficult to produce. Students who like pictures will probably complain about this site. I could see using this with my elementary-age students. I could show the site to students and add a link to it to our website and our computers' destops.

I also love Grammar Girl ( I am sometimes referred to as Grammar Queen, so listening to someone talk about grammar makes me smile all over. I also like how I can read the transcript of the podcasts here rather than listen to the audio. Reading is faster than listening, saving me time. Others may be auditory listeners and prefer to listen. It was difficult to tear myself away from this site. I could see Grammar Girl's podcasts being useful for reinforcing grammar rules for older students. Some of Grammar Girl's podcast also have commercials.

Nancy Keane's booktalks ( are interesting to me as a librarian. They are nice and short, but I wish she had them organized in some way, maybe by interest age. If they were organized, it would be a useful way for students to listen to booktalks when they need an idea of what to read next.

I like FirstBook also ( The author interviews would be a nice way to supplement an author study. There seem to be only a few author podcasts here though, so you'd have to get lucky to find one on the author you needed.

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