There are many excellent resources available on the web for instructors to include in lessons.
I came across a lesson idea using “Prototype Online: Inventive Voices,” a podcast series from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center that reveals the stories behind inventions. These podcasts can help students gain a broader understanding of invention and inventors and can lead to a greater understanding of invention’s important role in American history and culture. While this listening guide was designed to accompany the four podcasts listed below, it can also provide a starting point for using and discussing any podcast in the Prototype Online series.
The podcast feed can be found online here: feed://invention.smithsonian.org/podcasts/prototype.rss
There are many episodes to choose from and one of them was by Liz Lerman. The episode with Liz Lerman “compares the invention process with her own creative process, driven by improvisation, testing, collaboration, and questioning. By utilizing the voices of the people, themselves, you bring a while different dimension to student learning, tapping into multiple learning styles. There is even a free guide provided to teachers with ideas for using the podcasts in lesson plans. What could be better a free resource and a lesson plan! Teachers take note, a great resource with a built in lesson plan – a keeper for sure, IMO!
The lesson plan can be found online here: http://invention.smithsonian.org/downloads/lemelsonpodguide.pdf
Students are given prompts to help guide them in listening to the podcasts before, during and after. Students can then engage in dialogue in wikis, blogs, discussion boards, or journals after listening to the content extending the learning beyond just the podcast, itself. Extending the learning beyond just listening to the podcast is a way to encourage critical thinking and writing skills on the part of students. Both skills are important beyond the classroom and appear as Higher Order Thinking Skills in many different learning models and paradigms.