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Mini-course page: Podcast for teaching

Needs Assessment

Part 1: Intent

In today's educational society, there has been a tremendous push to develop interdisciplinary, technology-based curricula. One particular strategy which has become more popular is Podcasting. As a Social Studies teacher in the New York City Department of Education, I have set out to create innovative methods of technology-based assessment catering to each of the New York State Social Studies Standards. Integrating Podcasting activities into the curricula has helped students actively demonstrate content mastery through active learning and participation. For example, as my Ninth Grade Arts and Humanities students finished their unit on the Black Death, I asked them to draft original poetry. Instead of simply reading their poems in order to share with a peer and then evaluate each others work, I had students develop original Podcasts in which they would record their poetry using a laptop computer and an external microphone. Following the editing process, I was able to upload the poems to a website such as[1]and have students log-on to evaluate the work of their peers using an original rubric. Each student seemed to appreciate this task more than traditional read-aloud approaches. They enjoyed being able to listen to one another through the use of headphones and the laptop. Through this mini-course, I seek to help educators understand what podcasting is, how it may be conducted, and why it is an effective learning strategy in the classroom.

Part 2: Gathering Information

In order to gauge the knowledge of potential teacher participants, I conducted a Technology Implementation Survey on[2]. Ten educators participated in the survey and I wish to thank each of them for their assistance.

A link to the survey may be found at[3].

Results of the survey may be retrieved by downloading the following Microsoft World file: File:TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION SURVEY RESULTS.doc.

Part 3: Summary and Revision

As our learning environments become more data driven, teachers have become apprehensive in developing innovative activities in which students may apply content learned through creative means. More effort has been placed on statistics such as Final Exam or Regents scores, to the extent at which both teachers and students have been programmed to "work to the test". In order to generate a deeper student appreciation for content, I seek to develop a learning environment which may dual-faceted; firstly, it may provide room for demonstration of Regents-like skills, and secondly, it may allow for student creativity and originality.

Through this survey, I have learned that many teachers have become more comfortable using technology on a daily basis within their classrooms. They have adapted their lessons to reinforce skills using technology in an effort to bridge the gap among all learners. Much like educators have become comfortable using the DVD player or the LCD projector, they may become more accustomed to conducting podcasts through attending professional development workshops. As is the case with our own students, it is only through learning and understanding the necessary skill that we may be able to apply it. Even though many teachers may at first be apprehensive, when we take the time to conduct step-by-step sessions, they may have a deeper yearning to integrate the strategy on their own.

There has been a tremendous amount of questioning as to whether podcasting may actually be effective in a classroom where students will be responsible to take a Regents exam at the end of the school year. Returning to our original point of "teaching to the test", through this mini-course, I seek to provide data as to how the podcasting strategy may also be viewed as a Regents Review strategy helping each and every learner better prepare for statewide assessment.

Performance Objectives

Objective #1

Participants Will Be Able To: Identify what a Podcast is.

Objective #2

Participants Will Be Able To: Evaluate why Podcasts may serve as valuable project-based learning activities in the Social Studies classroom by reviewing statistical data.

Objective #3

Participants Will Be Able To: Execute Podcast Development Skills learned by developing an original Podcast using an external microphone, laptop computer, the Audacity software program from [4], and [5].

Objective #4

Participants Will Be Able To: Generate an original rubric designed to best evaluate the podcasts created by their peers.

Objective #5

Participants Will Be Able To: Access original Podcasts developed by their peers on [6] and evaluate them using the original rubric created by the class.

Task Analysis


Within this course, Social Studies and English teachers will be acting as the students. Through these units, teachers will be able to understand what a Podcast is and learn how to integrate them into their everyday teaching practices.

Learning Outcomes

1. Teachers will understand what a Podcast is.

2. Teachers will review and assess existing Podcasts.

3. Teachers will develop their own Podcasts.

4. Teachers will generate original rubrics and assess the work of their peers.


Essential Prerequisites

1. Basic understanding of how to set up laptop and external microphone for use.

2. Basic understanding of how to access the Internet.

3. Basic understanding of how to use a rubric.

Supporting Prerequisites

1. Basic understanding of how to speak into, and use, an external microphone.

2. Access to developed Podcasts.

3. Willingness to try to develop and assess original Podcasts.

4. Willingness to work and learn from peers.


Please see my Podcasting ICM attached. File:Podcasting-icm.doc

Unit 1: Importance of Technology Usage


1. Participants Will Be Able To: Explore the significance of technology usage among the American population by taking an interactive quiz.

2. Participants Will Be Able To: Discuss the signficance of technology usage and how it may produce greater results when implemented in the classroom.

Unit 1: Importance of Technology Usage

Unit 2: Exploring Podcasting


1. Participants Will Be Able To: Assess how they use technology in their daily classroom practices.

2. Participants Will Be Able To: Watch an original video tutorial to learn how Podcasts may be developed.

3. Participants Will Be Able To: Explain why Podcasting may be a valuable tool for their own classroom approaches.

Unit 2: Exploring Podcasting

Unit 3: Developing Our Own Podcasts


1. Participants Will Be Able To: Develop their own Podcasts.

2. Participants Will Be Able To: Evaluate the work of their peers using an original rubric.

Unit 3: Developing Our Own Podcasts


"Podcasting Tools" - Please visit[7].

"Educational Podcasting" - Please visit [8].

"Podcasting: University of Illinois at Springfield" - Please visit [9].

"Podcasting Resources" - Please visit [10].

"Podcasting Resources" - Please visit [11].

A podcast for civic education: Education for Sustainable Democracy (Interviews with leaders, innovators, and researchers in civic and environmental education)

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