I have just watched three wonderful educational podcasts for the K-5 grade levels. They were "Observing Clouds", "Observing Precipitation", and "A Night in the Coral Reef". The former two relied mostly on visuals, while the latter had an audio commentary.
In "Observing Clouds", no audio was utilized. It was simply video of moving clouds in the sky, accompanied by written instruction. It included a time lapse in which it is easy to note the movement and changing of the clouds.
While "Observing Precipitation" was similar to "Observing Clouds", it did include an audio that provided the sounds of the falling precipitation. It included the different kinds of precipitation, and gave a word to describe what each type of precipitation is called.
"A Night in the Coral Reef" was much like a documentary on television. (I do believe that it came from the show "Nova".) There was beautiful color video accompanied by a narration describing the habits of the sea creatures of the reef during the night.
All of these podcasts have the potential to be fantastic teaching tools for young school children. The first two would be wonderful for teaching observation skills, teaching children how to pose questions about what they have observed, and helping them to try to come up with their own ideas about what those answers are. The more documentary style podcast can give valuable information, inspire creativity, and make the students more curious about the material. The teacher can use what they have seen to come up with engaging activities for the students.
These podcasts were wonderful, and I look forward to the new podcasts that I can download. What a wonderful site for teaching tools!