Dorothy Burt had the opportunity through a Ministry of Education funded eFellowship to research podcasting with KPE, which was the first of the Manaiakalani projects.
This participant case study explored the use of a 21st century technology to raise student achievement outcomes in a traditional literacy. The technology provided the opportunity for students to have their voices heard by an authentic audience, and was used in the context of a strategically constructed teaching and learning cycle. It was not presumed that the technology itself, podcasting, would significantly contribute to reading outcomes. It was expected that the interest and enthusiasm engendered by using it would lure the students to participate in a programme that required; reading and understanding books, reading scripts, and interaction with text-based technologies such as blogs and emails.
There are a number of reading programmes being successfully used in New Zealand schools to raise students’ reading ability. The instructional reading programme at Pt England School in 2007 is based on Dr Gwenneth Phillip’s ‘First Chance’ programme. The KPE (Korero Pt England) podcast was strategically designed to lead students through teaching and learning activities which would require them to use the reading skills they have learned in authentic contexts. The students were motivated to participate by opportunities to use the technology and interact with wider audiences, especially those who were not intrinsically motivated by reading.
This study observed that the sample group of 27 students involved in podcasting with KPE significantly improved their reading habits and their attitude to reading books during the course of the study. They also improved reading ability (accuracy, comprehension and fluency) as measured by standardised testing. Pupils, parents and teachers alike attributed much of this to the podcasting activities.
The research document is attached below....
Findings from this research have been included in the Ministry of Education publication "e-Learning and implications for New Zealand schools: a literature review" authored by Noeline Wright, Waikato University and published in July 2010