Saturday, July 7, 2012

Teaching in the Digital Age, Chapter 4

I'm learning more and more from our book study blog party. Chapter 4 focuses on using audio recordings in the classroom. Deborah at Teach Preschool did a great job reviewing this chapter. Deborah focused on creating a listening center, a great way to implement using audio recordings.

Brian Puerling (author of the book) makes a statement in this chapter that I think sums up his approach and viewpoint on technology in the classroom: "The use of technology was a single experience among many ways to contribute to the understanding of a particular concept."

As I've been reading more and more about technology in the classroom (both in this book and in other sources), my own viewpoint is taking on the same tone. Technology can be a tool in the classroom, but it should be only a tool - one of many ways to explore and discover a concept. Like with other tools, the child should explore and discover in his own way and the teacher should use technology when it makes sense and in conjunction with other tools. I'm continuing to think about how to do this in my classroom and in my context.

Right now, I haven't been using audio recording as a tool. But Puerling has made me want to explore this. Here are a few ideas that resonated with me.

  • Record kids as they are doing activities. Then you can use the recording as a "time machine" to go back and experience that again. Kids can talk about what they did and extend the learning by building on what they did before.
  • Listening to kids and their explorations can give insights to the teacher. Just like I review photos and see things I missed before, I could review recordings and catch things I had not heard before.  I hear some great things each week from my kids. But I'm also missing some great things (either by forgetting them or not hearing them in the first place).
  • Record guests in the classroom so kids can revisit the experience...or learn what they missed the first time. You can get more mileage from a classroom visitor than just the "in person" visit.
  • Recordings can be used to "publish" learning. Just like creating books publishes learning in picture or written form, recordings can publish songs and stories in audio form. I'm thinking of ways to record kids telling stories, singing songs, and using instruments.
I'm learning a lot and seeing technology in a different light through this book. Here are some links to bloggers' comments on other chapters.


  1. When I went back to graduate school, each course had a technology component. For a course in teaching math, I had to make a Power Point for students to watch about a math concept (half/not half) with my own voice narrating. Of course I hated how I sounded (the answering machine phenomenon), but I used it in my classroom and the kids were SO excited that my voice was "in the computer." I haven't done anything like that since. They would love Power Points of class field trips, books we make in class, etc. You've inspired me.

  2. Hi Scott,
    The problem I have in using technology is taking the time to use technology. We are always so busy with other types of activities that I tend to not prepare the use of technology to integrate it into the classroom in the first place.