PowerUp WHAT WORKS: Tech Tip

Use Podcasts to Enhance Literacy Lessons

Student-created podcasts can be a great way to encourage writing and speaking for a variety of audiences and purposes.

Writing for the web - for example, blogging, or developing wikis - is a great way to motivate student writing and help them think about how their tone and content changes when writing for different audiences or purposes. Podcasting (essentially audio blogging) has similar benefits.

Your students can record themselves reciting poetry, hosting a talk show, telling stories, or performing a skit. This audio can then be embedded in your class website or blog, or shared in a number of ways.

Student podcasts can encourage purposeful speaking and engaged listening. When students give a presentation, they not only demonstrate content knowledge but also exercise skills in writing with purpose and for an audience - skills that are useful across content areas.

Where to Start

There are a number of tutorials and tools across the web for creating podcasts. Here are a few key resources to help get you started:

Before turning your students loose with recording equipment and an idea, it's important to address the skills necessary for developing effective presentations - skills that involve reading, writing, speaking and conducting research. Check out our slide show intro to Presenting for strategies to help your students develop these critical skills.

What are the benefits?

Podcasting has many benefits, especially for struggling or reluctant students.

  • Using technology tools can be extremely motivating for students
  • Students gain experience in speaking and presenting for a variety of purposes
  • Students have the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge in a variety of formats
  • Podcasting can help "put it all together" (reading, writing, editing, researching) for a purpose that is fun and engaging
  • The process of developing a high quality podcast addresses multiple ELA Common Core State Standards (Writing, Speaking & Listening, Language)

See it in action!

Learn more!

Check out our Instructional Strategy Guide on Presenting to learn more about evidence-based practices for teaching students to make effective presentations.

Suggested Resources