When searching on the web I found that a lot of links took me onto product pages of where I could purchase a “capture tool”. I found it strange because I had assumed the search would have been easier than anticipated. I had to refine my search a few times in order to find something that had sparked an interest to me. I can across a blog titled “Preschool Spot: resources for busy teachers” (http://preschoolspot.com/teaching-in-the-digital-age-book-study/), and the blog post discussed a summer book study blog party that would be taking place and the book of choice was ‘Teaching in the Digital Age’ by Brian Puerling. So I further researched the book and blogs that based studies upon this book, and it was very popular. The book seemed very interesting and informative based upon what I was reading from the blogs. I googled the book itself and unfortunately it was not available online. So, I gathered information from the blogs on what the chapters were about and chose to focus on chapter 4 – Use Audio Recordings to Capture Powerful Moments. I went into the nearest Chapters and skimmed through the book, but also focusing on chapter 4.
In this book, Brian Puerling, the author of “Teaching in the Digital Age,” identifies seven specific ways audio recordings can be used to enhance learning…
1. Create messages for others
2. Capture conversations with classroom guests
3. Organize a listening center
4. Enhance a listening centre
5. Develop classroom community
6. Facilitate skill development in music, and
7. Support development of reading fluency.
(Puerling, 2012, pp. 96).
Puerling goes on to elaborate on each of the points listed above in this chapter as well as a few more points. There were so many terrific ideas for using audio devices in the classroom that I can’t possibly cover them all in this post so I chose to share with you a few tips Puerling shares on organizing a listening centre.
All last school year, I kept thinking that I wanted to set up a listening centre. I remember the type of listening centre from my school years where you hook up a set of headphones to one recorder that is attached to a table. The children all sit at the table and all listen to the same recording. You had to have a cassette recorder and a books on tape and the book to put all of this together. Well not any more. It wasn’t until I read this chapter that I realized that this process was much harder than it had to be. All I need is my IPod and a headphone and I would be all ready to go.
After reading this chapter, I now realize that a listening centre doesn’t have to be so complicated or stationary. Puerling recommends using an IPod touch so that the listening centre can be set up anywhere in the classroom. I love that idea. I love the idea of being able to bring the listening centre outside or set it over by my bookshelf or even use it at the easel. Just by making the listening centre mobile, the possibilities are endless!
Ways a listening centre can be used in the classroom:
Puerling identifies a few ways the listening centre can be used to foster learning in the classroom such as listening and reading along to children’s books. In addition, the listening centre can be used to listen and sing along with favourite children’s songs. But finally, if you have the ability to record and save your own digital recordings, the listening centre can be transformed into a way to invite children to tell and listen to their own stories and songs, record and listen to their own name or for the teacher to record her own voice and make listening games or other types of listening activities.
In addition, Peurling suggests the idea of creating a parent/visitor listening centre as well. Set out a table with photos of different centres you use throughout the classroom then have the children help you record information about each centre and the way it is used to promote learning in your classroom.
Puerling also recommends making a digital recording of any guest that comes to read or share with your class. Puerling makes the observation that children tend to be very excited when a guest comes to visit and will more than likely not hear everything a guest has to say. By recording the guest, students can listen to what the guest had to say at a later time when they are ready to concentrate and use the information for extended activities.
Puerling, B. (2012). Teaching in the Digital Age. Redleaf Press.