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Educated By Design Blog

Filtering by Tag: close reading

What A Little Audio Can Do



There is something powerful about the spoken word. When it's accompanied by a striking visual it can leave the listener thinking, wondering, looking for more. It is this auditory advantage that can bring amazing life and dynamic to your classroom. It is through such a medium that we can take our student learning to a very new and different place. Recording isn't new to education, but it has throughout the 20th-Century been mainly a consuming experience. It really isn't until the mid 2000's that student production was practical or even really possible in an elementary or middle school classroom. For those that tout experiences of multimedia production in the 90's and on, its usually safe to assume that the median age of these producers was around 20. Without name dropping brands and devices, there is something magical about having an all in one filming, editing, and production center all together in your lap. Today, you can do so much more than simply film on site, you can be in post production before you even make it home.

So what are some ways that audio can completely transform your classroom?

Close Reading

Take Book Creator, Explain Everything or any app with recording capability and challenge your students to not just annotate their books but talk about it. Share out those ideas. They can be raw, short, and ready for a response. What if our students could learn not just from a teacher but from their peers deep understanding of content, or even students working towards mastery. Either way, if its constructive both students will benefit.

Audio Book

If you aren't quite ready to retire powerpoint presentations, at least skip one for a truly awesome experience. Book Creator again will serve as a foundation for the publication. Students can use drawings, props, and royalty free images to develop a storyline that informs the viewer of specific content. Lay audio over to give it an audio-visual experience. If its not enough, let the imagery be the audio buttons to bolster interactivity and try to work in some choice for user experience.


Interested in seeing your students math skills? While I am no math whiz, I know that involving multiple senses and learning modalities will not only increase engagement but it will also boost learning outcomes. Empower students to make their own Khan Academy style videos. Don't worry they aren't for you, they are for their peers. Break up your class into levels and challenge the advanced students to teach the students working towards mastery. The best part about it? Students can pause the video, but are still trying to discover how to pause the teacher.

Foreign Languages

What's the secret to learning a foreign language? Practice. Students tend to pick up reading, writing, and listening skills faster than speaking. This is in part due to a lack of confidence and comfort in speaking a new language. Book Creator to the rescue. Let students record either raw conversations, or have them read, translate, and respond to inserted text on the page. This pushes the student while giving others a great experience to learn from as well.

These are just a few ideas to get the imagination running. Audio has huge benefits not just for sharing content but building students communication skills both written (script writing), and oral (recording). These types of experiences can bring out the best in a quiet student, or one who has fine motor challenges preventing them from writing or even typing. The possibilities are almost endless, and it is with this that I say

A little audio can go a long way.