The Walking Classroom is a self-contained unit of science, math, and language arts-related educational podcasts. Each is in the form of a conversation between a teacher and two youth out on a walk. The podcasts, about fifteen minutes long, are composed by teachers and professional writers who have experience working with youth.
Teachers or group leaders take students on a walk while everyone listens to the same podcast through their Walking Classroom device and headphones. Support materials, with lesson plans and assessments, are included with sets of thirty listening devices.
While podcast content is aligned to forth- and fifth-grade Common Core State Standards, co-founder and executive director Laura Fenn, a former teacher, notes the podcasts are beneficial for a range of ages. For afterschool programs, they can provide educational enrichment and an opportunity for physical activity.
Ease of use is a major draw: Educators have nothing to download or upload. "I wanted to offer something to teachers that didn't add to the burden, but allowed them to accomplish several things at once," Fenn said.
For classrooms or programs that might struggle with funding, a sponsorship program is available (and has a waiting list). The Walking Classroom, a nonprofit organization, solicits corporate donations to help provide podcasts to as many students as possible.
For more information, visit www.thewalkingclassroom.org