Tim Kitson

How do I design learning experiences to meet the needs of my students?

Teachers must answer that question both in and out of the classroom, sometimes on an hourly basis. The task is daunting.

Thankfully, the adoption of technology in education provides teachers with lots of valuable resources to help them in their quest. This mini-series attempts to be one helpful tool in teachers’ kits.
Each episode focuses on specifics of standard four of the ISTE standards for coaches — learning designer.

a. Collaborate with educators to develop authentic, active learning experiences that foster student agency, deepen content mastery and allow students to demonstrate their competency.
b. Help educators use digital tools to create effective assessments that provide timely feedback and support personalized learning.
c. Collaborate with educators to design accessible and active digital learning environments that accommodate learner variability.
d. Model the use of instructional design principles with educators to create effective digital learning environments.

These episodes are my first attempt into episodic podcasting and audio coaching.  Here are some points of reflection for educators considering starting podcasts of their own:

  1.  The learning curve for producing audio is steeper than you think.  Producing crisp, clear audio quality is more complicated than hitting a record button on your cell phone.  I recommend that teachers do some simple Googling of editing software like Audacity and Garageband to see which programs might best fit their abilities.
  2. Students like audio coaching.  Much like their adult counterparts, students like consuming audio in “found time,” like when they wash dishes, ride the bus, or get ready to sleep.  Audio-based teaching provides freedom that video and traditional instructional venues cannot.
  3. Choose your hosting platform carefully.  A simple and free way to host episodic podcasts you want to share widely is posting episodes to Youtube.  Other services like Ask.Fm provide free hosting and can push to services like Spotify and Apple Music, but teachers should read the terms and conditions of the service carefully before using.

The experience of recording and editing these episodes has definitely left me more interested in exploring audio-based coaching and instruction in the future.  Enjoy!

Tim Kitson
Tim Kitson

Tim Kitson is an educator with an entrepreneurial spirit. Over the last ten years, Tim has worked with thousands of students to develop their reading, writing, critical thinking, and character. As a native of Flint, Michigan, Tim cares deeply about social justice and the role of the individual in its pursuit. He lives in Ohio with his amazing wife and son.