Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eric Langhorst: Podcasting American History from Liberty

Eric Langhorst teaches 8th grade American history at South Valley Junior High School in Liberty, Missouri. For years, he has used digital content to enhance the learning experiences of his students. In Cara Bafile's profile in Education World, Langhorst discusses the creation of his very successful and popular StudyCasts:
"I began recording an audio review to help my students prepare for upcoming unit tests. With my portable MP3 player, I record an overview of the important material. I then transfer the audio, which lasts about 20 minutes, to my computer, and then upload the MP3 file to our classroom Web site. Students then are able to listen to the study review at home on their computers or download it to their personal MP3 players; they can review for the test anywhere."
Langhorst says he knew it was successful the night an error appeared in the link for the podcasts and he received multiple emails from parents and students asking for it to be fixed so students could review for the unit test. Students without access to the Internet, iTunes or an mp3 player can check out CDs of StudyCasts so no one is left behind.

In addition to StudyCasts, Langhorst produces "Speaking of History," a regular podcast that allows him to bring in varied sources to discuss history: interviews with experts and museum personnel, dramatic readings, and other audio enhancements. Langhorst's podcasts are heard around the world and are available at iTunes or at Langhorst's blog, Speaking of History.

Check out the blog for details on his latest pilot project: Microsoft has donated enough Zune mp3 players for each student in Langhurst's third period 8th grade American History class. Langhorst, in the post "Podcast #132: The Student Zune Pilot Project at South Valley Jr. High," expresses great excitement about this pilot which will allow him to "'beam' content -- in the form of audio or pictures -- to their players before they leave for the day." On their own time, students can listen to or view audio content, videos and even slide shows of relevant images to make lessons more palpable and interactive. Listen to the podcast for details on the specifics of the pilot program and details on how Langhorst will incorporate the Zune into the classroom. He will also explain how he will measure outcomes of the pilot.

Is it any surprise that Langhorst also teaches a graduate course called "Technology for the Classroom"? Or that he serves as the current 2007/2008 Missouri Teacher of the Year?

SOURCE: ""Speaking of History" Through Podcasts, Starring: Eric Langhorst" 09/08/06

photo courtesy of Wesley Fryer, used under this Creative Commons license


Wesley Fryer said...

Eric is a fantastic teacher-leader and I have learned a great deal from him not only about using technology effectively for learning with students, but also about U.S. history! He is very approachable person, very down to earth, and one of the best keynote speakers I've heard to date at educational conferences. We need more teachers following the innovative lead of Eric. It's great to see he's been recognized in his home state as the teacher of the year.

Dedra Johnson said...

It was a joy to profile him! He seems like a very gifted teacher and fantastic person. I plan to keep up with his projects and new ventures.