The OIPP efficiently integrated technology into the schools by utilizing podcasts. The student-developed podcasts gave students the opportunity to develop mentoring qualities by learning how to collect data, organize information and turn the information into an instructional presentation via podcasting. By encouraging inquiry-based thinking and creativity as students develop these podcasts, a sense of ownership arose. Knowing their work will be downloaded and used by their peers and others around the world helped develop leadership qualities within the students.
Professional development was a crucial component in the program. Teachers learned what podcasting is, how it can benefit them and their students, and how to create podcasts on their own.
The Ocean Institute is currently collaborating with the Orange County Department of Education and the Orange County Stellar Technology High Schools to give 100 middle and high school students from Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Foothill Ranch, and Mission Viejo the opportunity to study the topic of watersheds at the Ocean Institute. The students participated in the field trip; then returned to their classrooms to develop audio or video podcasts to demonstrate their conceptual understanding of watersheds. By creating podcasts, students developed fluency in Photoshop, PowerPoint, Excel, and various music and movie editing software. These students developed the skills to collect data, organize information, and communicate complex scientific information to educate visitors at the Ocean Institute. These podcasts are showcased at the Ocean Institute and available for downloading to visitors in Ocean Institute public programs.