In an age when kids regularly use personal multimedia technology, the importance of developing good active listening skills (a.k.a.“listening to learn”) is paramount. Being able to listen effectively is also a vital component of leadership. With summer break in full swing, students can take advantage of this time to strengthen their listening and build a foundation for leadership skills via listening to podcasts.
There are many podcasts available for free on iTunes covering a broad range of topics. For students who learn most effectively by listening (auditory learners), this can be advantageous. However it is not limited to struggling readers. It can help all students become better in the following areas:
1. Paying Attention- Focus on what you are listening to, and give it your full attention.
2. Reserve Judgement- Have an open mind and be willing to listen to new ideas and different perspectives. The best active listeners are able to do this very well.
3. Reflecting- This is a great way to know that you understand correctly.
4. Clarification- This is accomplished by asking questions. If something is ambiguous, raise questions so you can establish clarification
5. Summarize- Restating key concepts confirms your grasp of the subject matter.
6. Sharing- The primary goal of active listening is to clearly understand. Once you understand, then you can share your ideas, suggestions and thoughts about the topic.
Being an active listener takes a lot of concentration and determination. Be thoughtful with your listening. Remind yourself that the objective is to undoubtedly understand what is being said.
Parents can help their child select podcasts of interest and maybe even some that don't pique their interest (two podcasts I enjoy are TED Talks and Stuff You Should Know). Once decisions are made, set up a schedule for listening and applying each of the above skills.There are no limits with respect to how you can use podcasts. Be creative, have fun, and think outside the box!
Have you tried this idea with your child/children?