I had the opportunity today to work with seven wonderful 4th graders as they created podcasts, via Photo Story, about animals they had researched.  This was the culminating part of a project based activity as they had already done their research, gathered pictures, and written their narratives.  What we accomplished today was to create the final presentation of what they had learned.

In the process, there are many things that these students will take away from what they have done, not just the content, but also the ability to utilize technology to share what they know.  The podcasts are quite simple, nothing fancy.  They are straight forward pictures, text, and best of all, narrative.  The students didn’t need much “training” as far as using the computer or the software, they pretty much went right to work.  In the end, they had a product that encapsulates their knowledge.

I was a facilitator in this process, and I cannot take any credit for what they have produced:  I shouldn’t.  The activity was embedded into the learning process, there was no need to wonder about the details of the computer hardware or software.  The students simply shared their ideas and content, it was posted, and now the world can see and hear what they know.

The technology tools didn’t get in the way because the students weren’t afraid to use them, and I wasn’t afraid to let them use the technology.  Could the final products be better?  Probably.  Will there be time to re-edit and fix?  Maybe.  Should students be doing things like this each day in their pursuit for knowledge?  Yes.  Do they?  Probably not.  Why?

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