First, taking time for selfish personal professional learning–
Then an Elluminate session with Sheryl exhorting teachers to 21st centuryize learning in their classrooms–
Add to that an “experienced” voice in the virtual community sharing a new podcasting tool–
And we can follow an Archidocese of Philadelphia Powerful Learning Practice member on her learning journey with her students–

Alissa DeVito, St. Joseph, St. Robert School , describes how her lesson evolved. This was a unit on

“Human Interest Feature Stories, involving interviews within a basic news story. The major focus is the composition of the news story, and the speaking component …This is the 3rd time around for me with this unit. Each time, I have built upon it from the year before. Year one, we simply filmed news “segments” for each story. Last year, we filmed segments and put together a special edition newspaper. Then this year, it morphed into the full newscast, podcast, and now onto a blogging schedule for the rest of the year. When I saw Chris’s podcast post, it was about the time I was beginning to revise the unit for this year. I had planned on going with the newspaper, but I had a eureka moment when trying out AudioBoo. It made perfect sense. The idea just snowballed from there!”

In an AudioBoo also on her webpage she explains the project to her school community.


Here is one of the student newscasts uploaded to YouTube:

As Alissa describes:

“After filming a video newscast (which are posted to the PLP YouTube), students needed to adapt their stories to a podcast. This required them to add/delete information, create an introduction, and also gave them a chance to inject their point of view. All the stories dealt with our school community. I even told them this was the first time I was trying the podcast and that we all needed to “figure it out” together. It created a good atmosphere.”

You can listen to the student podcasts here
and here
and read student reflections here

“We now, to wrap up the “feature stories” unit, started class blogs and are discussing Freedom of Speech issues. (Especially in the light of the Central Bucks teacher who is suspended due to her blog – that’s the school district we reside in!”) — Alissa

And Alissa reflecting:

“My students worked so hard on this! Everyone gave tremendous effort. Some students commented that they are leaving audio messages for each other with AudioBoo, so there was definitely a technology skill gained. Many have also been watching the news more and critiquing what they hear and read. That to me, is pretty satisfying.”

One of the many gifts arising from membership in a Powerful Learning Practice community-
Sharing the joy and excitement of professional learning that has translated into 21st century learning for students–

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Lani Ritter Hall

Lani is Community Leader for Powerful Learning Practice. She also serves as the “Newbie Maven”, helping along and nurturing newbies to the PLP experience, as well as facilitator for the Connected Coaches. Lani brings more than 35 years of teaching experiences in urban, sub urban, and independent schools at the middle/secondary level in the U.S and Canada to this work. A national board certified teacher, she and her students began collaborating globally in the late 1980’s. Lani has created and facilitated professional development around technology infusion into learning for over twenty years and served in a leadership role for the K12Online Conference for 2 years. She is co-author of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age.
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