Using audio in a classroom was definitely an unfamiliar concept for me before today. I have always thought of audio as referring only to background music in a movie or listening to a song. Tools like Jing and Voice Thread give us the capabilities of creating our own audio, not just passively listening to someone else’s creation. Students could use these tools to comment on a poem or short story, just as we did with Whitman’s poem. This could be especially useful for auditory learners and verbal processors who need to speak and listen in order to fully grasp and remember information. These tools also allow for collaboration as multiple users can offer input into the discussion. Teachers could use audio tools to record literature for students to listen to even when they aren’t in the classroom. This would especially help struggling readers whose comprehension increases when they can listen to the text and follow along as they read. Audio is also useful for ESL students. Using either Jing or Voice Thread, the teacher could record a passage and use the cursor to highlight the words as they’re read or underline them in colored pen. This helps with sound-sight recognition.
Students could use these tools to express confusion or frustration. If they have a digital copy of the text and there is a passage, phrase, or word they don’t understand, they could capture the image using Jing and record their question while focusing on the specific item they’re having trouble with. This could even be used as a way to take notes. Whatever relevant passages we discussed in class could be captured in Jing and then students could record the relevant information we discussed. They could save this and it would be like taking paperless notes, the files for which they could store on a blog or wiki to have instant access to anywhere. Audio would also be helpful for explaining instructions, especially how-tos for using technology. The teacher could record and demonstrate instructions and post the video to a class wiki. Then, if students try to use the technology at home and are confused, they could consult the video to troubleshoot their problems. These are just a few of the many ways students and teachers could use audio in the classroom to enhance learning and engage with the material.