Podcasts offer new way for students to use digital media content in the classroom
StudySync, powered by BookheadEd Learning, LLC, and McGraw-Hill Education, a learning science company, today announced the addition of a new audio podcast feature to StudySync, a comprehensive blended ELA (English Language Arts)/ELD (English Language Development) program for grades 6-12. The first podcast series, titled “School of Thought,” explores students’ views on 21st century learning, while helping students improve important listening and critical thinking skills.
“Most ideas on improving education come from administrators, parents and politicians, rather than from students themselves,” said Robert Romano, Co-Founder and CEO of StudySync. “Our new ‘School of Thought’ podcast series brings the voice and opinions of students directly into the classroom—their own ideas on the educational environment that directly impacts them. As in our popular ‘Blast’ feature, StudySync’s podcast provides students the opportunity to voice their opinion, in this case to offer thoughtful insights into what school should look and feel like in the 21st century.”
The “School of Thought” podcast series will feature six episodes, each four- to six-minutes in length, covering the following topics:
- How schools should be designed
- The importance of homework
- What subjects should be taught in schools
- How to improve school lunch
- How school schedules should be structured
- The importance of extracurricular activities
Each episode features interviews with students from across the United States and also includes opinions from teachers, experts and innovators in education. The podcasts will be weekly additions to StudySync’s daily “Blasts,” which are short reading and writing assignments that allow students to express their opinions on high-interest topics, sparking debate via a mediated, online social network. Students will be able to draw upon the additional podcast audio content as they craft written responses to the “Blasts,” as well as engage in thoughtful discussions on the various topics covered.
Christine Willig, President of McGraw-Hill Education’s School Group, added, “StudySync’s new podcast feature provides yet another relevant and meaningful way students can engage in digital content and practice 21st century skills. By placing student needs at the center of its learning solution and incorporating a mediated online social network, StudySync helps students explore current events and issues that are important to them, while also allowing them to connect with other students via an engaging and interactive online classroom community.”
In the months to come, additional podcast topics will be added to the “School of Thought” series and will be rolled out in the future to schools with the StudySync platform.