School Name: Dorothy Peacock Elementary
School District: SD#35 Langley
Inquiry Team Members: Shawn Davids – principal
Dawn Driver – vice principal
Inquiry Team Contact Email: email@example.com
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Applied Design, skills & Technology, Arts Education, Language Arts – Literacy, Language Arts – Oral Language, Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing, Physical & Health Education, Social Studies
Focus Addressed: Community-based learning, Experiential learning, First Peoples Principles of Learning, Flexible learning, Growth mindset, Self-regulation, Social and emotional learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Creation of podcast episodes centred around critical thinking and communication, to build social awareness and responsibility.
Scanning: The four questions were an important part in reflecting on my first steps in this project. Podcasting is challenging, and this type of communication is one that many educators have not explored because of its complexities. I had an Empathy Tales podcast for the last year, and was using this podcast in my classroom with my students. When the pandemic hit, I took the stories from that podcast and put them into a new podcast called the Covid19Ed podcast, which included activities and assignments. So, my students used the Covid19Ed podcast – that I created – to learn remotely. There were episodes launched Monday thru to Saturday, from the middle of March until July 1st. I had to create the podcast episodes, and then I received some feedback during the beginning, middle and end, of the remote learning. My learners had a wonderful experience with listening to my homemade fairytales and doing the literacy activities. I used the OECD principles of learning and the First Peoples Principles of Learning, by allowing the students to connect with their feelings and be self aware. Every episode Tuesday thru to Friday had a mindful moment for the student to reflect on a virtue.
Focus: I selected this platform because this was a new way to teach. Podcasting is challenging, yet it allows students to listen in different locations and at different times. I have received good feedback. I was hoping that students would develop more empathy and focus on positive virtues. Each episode had a Listen, Create and Innovate part. The students would: 1) listen to a mindful moment, 2) be given a fairytale story where they would have to do an activity focused on creating, and 3) do an innovate part where there was an extension lesson.
Hunch: In the fall my hope was to have the students actually create some episodes, yet due to district app and platform approval issues, as well as our pandemic, I found that I was the only one that could create the episodes. My hunches along the way were that the podcast episodes were meaningful, and that podcasting was a platform that embraced a diverse amount of needs in my classroom; however, one piece of feedback was that it may have been too repetitive. By adding others into my podcast to do an episode, there was such a benefit for everyone. We included a counsellor, an author, a science teacher and round table discussion episodes, as well as Happy Parents of BC contributed a weekend family activity. It was very cool to take the hunches and change the direction of the podcast.
New Professional Learning: I learned about feedback from listeners and also about the importance of collaboration, because it was good to bring others into the process. I am part of a North American Edupodcaster group on Voxer, and this group helped me the most. My job share partner, my own kids, and some of my colleagues, used my Covid19Ed podcast; they gave me some ideas and samples that helped me mould my podcast to be better. I had a colleague in Saskatoon use my Covid19Ed podcast, and she gave good feedback to use the stories separately, rather than with lessons attached to them.
Taking Action: It was challenging to work as a team due to our pandemic, yet Dawn and Shawn were aware of my daily plans that had the Covid19Ed podcast in them. The podcast was targeted around critical thinking and communication to build social awareness and responsibility. This did happen. When I returned back to school in June with 8 students from my class, I could tell that there was definitely students who grew in their understanding of social awareness and responsibility. By having episodes Monday thru to Saturday, my students were exposed to many different aspects of social awareness.
Checking: I think I made a difference with my students. I had hoped to have them create episodes, yet I was unable to do that, so I created the episodes. I was satisfied with the product of the Covid19Ed podcast that can now be found on any major podcast platform. My students have grown to learn more about themselves and explore their creativity. It has been a good experience. One of my students said she liked listening to the podcast episodes at night when she couldn’t get to sleep.
Reflections/Advice: The podcast creating experience was valuable. This has made me realize the importance of how we need to provide alternate opportunities for kids, for their learning. Learning does not need to be done in front of a screen, yet can be done by listening. I have learned about feedback and the importance of learning on this journey. The process of moving from in school learning to remote learning has been challenging for me emotionally and professionally. I think the podcast grounded me in my content creator abilities. I think it allowed my students to experience something different than what they had ever encountered before. I plan to create new episodes, yet have them focused on virtual field trips. I do virtual field trips through Skype in the Classroom, and I want to build on those speakers for my remote learning schedule for the next school year. My advice is that you should tap into a group of people who have like-minded aspirations. The Edupodcaster Voxer group has really helped me feel connected during this remote learning experience. Their advice, input and thoughts have been really powerful for me to keep creating and pursuing my passions on content creation.