The Ocean Institute seeked to develop a model for integrating technology effectively into the classroom. Teachers desperately need assistance in how to integrate technology into the classroom, while students need to be continuously challenged and motivated in the classroom. Podcasts speak the language of the students, and with structure and direction, this popular technology can be a huge asset to both students and teachers. Technology fluency, mentoring skills and leadership qualities are traits that will help students succeed in high school, college, and the workplace. These traits were developed with the podcast program. The five-year vision would showcase a large digital library of archived podcasts created by students that can be used as a valuable resource for students in the future.
The Ocean Institute hosts 90,000 students and 40,000 public visitors per year with certain expected outcomes:
1) Best Buy, Ocean Institute, and Orange County high schools will establish a successful and ongoing working partnership.
2) 1,200 middle and high school students will produce educational podcasts for the general public.
3) 90,000 students’ experience at the Ocean Institute will be enhanced with use of podcasts on field trips.
4) 40,000 public visitors will be educated by student-produced podcasts at the Ocean Institute.
5) Teachers will be more comfortable with using new technology in their classrooms.
6) Teachers and students will have access to Ocean Institute podcasts to enhance classroom curriculum.
Ultimately, some of the biggest roadblocks teachers face in today’s classroom includes budget constraints, motivating students, and integrating students. The hope is that the Ocean Institute Podcast Program has been developed in a manner that would eliminate these roadblocks and provide both students and teachers with a program that they could build on.