Feeling Alone on Audio- Island

This week, we were asked to reflect on Tony Bate’s chapter on the different types of media that can be used in the classroom. Initially, I thought I was right on board with many others such as Kelsie, Ashley, and Liz and that I prefer and learn best from text but as I was reading through the various other posts by our eci834 classmates, I realized that maybe I learn better through audio than I had thought.

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A Song of Ice and Fire via Flickr user Jemimus

I would like to address what Bates calls the unappreciated medium of audio. I love audio, and not just of the musical sort. About 2 years ago, I was encouraged by my sister-in-law to listen to the podcast Serial (Season 1) and I was very tentative to jump on board, I didn’t think that I would like just the audio. I had always had text in front of me before, I was sure I wouldn’t want to just listen to someone talk. The long, and uneventful drive from my home in Kipling to Regina that I was making at least once a week for classes was the reason I decided to try it out…and I LOVED IT! Now, it is a very interesting, even addicting, story (you seriously need to listen) which probably helped keep me interested but it made me think that this might be a good way to stay more up-to-date on my growing “to read” list. So, I downloaded Audible and decided to tackle a massive series, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, all 201 hours, 41 minutes of it, and my love of audio was fully confirmed. Since finishing what has been published of that series, I have started to listen to some of the more classic works on my list, The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and I am just about finished The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.

My love of audio goes further than just listening to content. I find I focus better when I am listening to something, even if I am trying to read. While reading Bates’ Chapter 9 for this week’s class, I was listening to Spotify’s Intense Studying playlist., it helps keep me focused and minimizes the distractions around me.

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Academic reading process Photo Credit: Nina A.J. Flickr via Compfight cc

Even though I enjoy audio, when I comes to what may be considered more academic reading, I still think I prefer text. Andrew‘s approach of which medium is the best for him is probably closest to my overall views of media. It depends on mood, topic, and the quality of the resource. Liz mentioned that she often writes and highlights all over text that she reads and I do the same. Last semester I took EADM 814 and found that I had notes, questions, and definitions jotted everywhere to ensure that I understood the cases we were studying. In this course, I struggle not to print the textbook readings so that I can make my notes in the sidelines. Luckily, I have found that Evernote is helping me break free of my not so eco-friendly habits.

Video is, of course, an amazing media to use when teaching as it can incorporate the audio and the text features along with visuals. Angela and Chalyn describe the way that video integrates all of these mediums.

What do I use when I teach? I use a blend of all three. I agree with Jannae that in teaching math, especially at the high school level, there is a need for text in the form of mathematical symbols. But I also describe what I am doing in each step of my work as we go through examples and I encourage my students to do the same. Bates references this stating that “explaining or ‘talking through’ materials presented through text, such as mathematical equations, reproductions of paintings, graphs, statistical tables, and even physical rock samples” can be “particularly ‘potent'” (Bates, 2015, 7.3.2). At the end of a concept, I try to incorporate a video that is well done and applicable. Much like Logan, I think I integrate both the text digitally on my SMART Board and the audio in the form of lecture and video.

It seems I am a part of a very small group of audio-lovers. Are you tentative like me to jump in or have you had a bad experience? Would you consider it for the “right” topics?

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4 thoughts on “Feeling Alone on Audio- Island

  1. Good for you Kara! I have always struggled with audio books. I love to walk and always thought that it would be a better use of my time to “read” a book while walking but I keep loosing my focus and then have a hard time going back to find where I left off. I will try again though as you have inspired me:)

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    1. Kara

      Try something that is very exciting and lots of action that hooks you. Or something that makes you think. I started with podcasts as many of them are free so it wasn’t costing me anything to try them out, Serial is about a student in who is accused of murdering his former girlfriend even though the evidence is questionable. I spent the entire podcast changing my mind back and forth as to whether or not I thought he was guilty!

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  2. Great blog Kara! It actually makes me happy to read that you thought you liked reading the most and then actually realized audio is a wonderful method of learning – there is still hope for me yet! I had a friend that had an 1h30 commute every day and she said that audio books were her saving grace. Perhaps it is all about finding the right one. I may have to check out the ones you suggest in this blog! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Pingback: My Learning Style Is…. – Jennifer Huber's Blog

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