I started this assignment by searching a variety of prepared video sites for “nouns.” We teach nouns in our first week of first grade and I thought it could be a starting point. I looked at all three Utube sites: Teachertube, Schooltube and Utube for Schools. I also looked at MI Streamnet and PBS Learning Media. I found something on almost all of them but I will talk about my favorite and least favorite sites for this comparison.
PBS Learning Media was my favorite. This site allowed a more specific search and that is valuable when time is limited. It allowed me to search by grade level and subject in addition to media type. There were also other choices for searching that I didn’t use. The site was easy to use and I found several resources that I am interested in. I didn’t find a noun video but I found several phonics and reading strategy videos that were short (under 2 minutes.) Lots of the phonics and conventions resorces I found on the uTube sites were between 3 and 5 minutes. My preference for 6 and 7 year olds is short videos for single concepts like these.
I especially liked a video on “chunking” made by “The Electric Company.” I would definitely use this site and recommend it to a colleague. You need to create an account to use this site.
PBS Learning Media: http://wgvu.pbslearningmedia.org/
The site that I found least useful was MI Streamnet. I found no way to sort when searching. The entry of nouns had no resources. Many of the resources that did come up were for teacher use, not to use with students. I found that a majority of resources had to do with assessment and data. I did find a video called: Science is Elementary: Magnets. We teach magnets in first grade so I clicked on it and got a message that a password was required for that video.
The uTube sites were not as search friendly as PBS but I did find some resources on them and expect to return to them in the future.
A podcast is different from an audio recording because it is a part of series of audio recordings and it can be subscribed to.
I listened to a podcast from Brains On! from Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media called “How do you Catch a Cold?.” It was written by Molly Bloom. I was thinking that it might be a good one for the beginning of the year to help kids with preventative measures. This audio had two speakers and part of the audio was in play format. This seemed like a fun way to present infromation to children. It was over 20 minutes which is a little long for 6 and 7 year olds. The sound and quality were both good on these podcasts.
I also listened to a podcast from Storynory. It is called “Three short fables from the Philippines.” The stories are about animals and why things are the way they are. The first one was “Why Dogs Wag Their Tails.” This site uses professional actors as readers and the sound and quality is very good. They have been publishing audio stories every week since November of 2005. I could only figure out how to get to their 41 lastest podcasts on iTunes but they also have a website where you can access all of their files. They had such variety there. There were their original stories and also fairy tales, nursery rhymes, stories about holidays and saints and much more! They even have something called “catch phrase” that talks about phrases kids might not understand such as “at my wit’s end.” These are really good additions. Many have British accents but heavy enough to interfere with comprehension. Length of selections varied with the length of the story. There were introductions to the ones I listened to.
First grade classrooms often use listening centers but are usually paired with a book. I’m not sure how well pure audio would work for 6 and 7 year olds but I think some of the shorter ones might keep their attention, especially where they had background knowledge to support them. I was attracted to the Fairy Tales because we have studied fairy tales in first grade, reading several versions of the same tale. After reading and working on a fairy tale in class, a recording of one to listen to would give children another way to experience it.
I also thought that listening to short podcasts with a pencil and pad in hand might be a way to begin to learn notetaking with pictures or words.
Since we are not in school yet, I shared this idea with one of my teaching partners. She regularly uses listening centers in her classroom and thought both of my ideas were do-able. I tweeted the Brains On! podcast info.
I recorded my reflections about video and audio resources on Audacity and sent the file by e-mail to Melissa.
The recording went smoothly. I tried to add music to the beginning like Jennifer did in our recorded session. I got music downloaded from Freeplay and tried to import it to Audacity but the file would not open. I decided to save that for another day! I was able to export my Audacity file to my computer and to put it on Dropbox but I was unable to import it to this site.
This has been a good experience though it is always frustrating to hit a brick wall. I was able to get the file to Melissa but was not able to really understand how to export and use it. I will work on using this site more and hopefully figure out how to export it!