Sound Bytes: Not Just for Teaching English and Music

This week, it took me a while to read the module on audio resources.  We have just finished working on a major homework (submitted on June 12th) and I found myself busy preparing decorations for my classroom, in time for the opening of classes on the 18th.  Coming in from the summer holidays, the full days spent at school left me tired when I got home.  I was chiding myself for my excuses but for my part, I was trying to squeeze in reading the required resources while I was in school, setting up my classroom and finishing my lesson plans.

Anyway, the module for this week was about audio files.  I have forgotten how audio can be effectively utilized in the classroom.  As a kid, we had Oral Language books where sentences had rising and falling lines.  I remember getting excited whenever my Language teacher would enter the classroom with a cassette player in tow.  That was a signal that for the next period, we would be moving our heads up and down to follow the intonations indicated in our workbooks while we repeated after the person in the audio cassette speaking.

As I grew up, audio use in the classroom was mostly limited to English and Music.  In college, when I enrolled in a class on Radio Broadcasting, our professor used audio files to demonstrate sibilance.  As a teacher, some colleagues (who all taught English) made use of audio files in the classroom.

I guess I was just so used to using video clips in the classroom when teaching Science that I have come to overlook the usefulness of pure audio in lectures, thinking that they are more of an “English thing” than others (remember how I admired Tony Stark’s holograms?).  Reading about digital media (JISC Digital Media, 2013) and audio cassette tapes (Smaldino, Russell, Heinich, and Molenda, 2004), as well as how audio resources can be used in the classroom (Centre for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA), 2015) has made me rethink the media.

It may be a challenge to use audio in my Science lectures but I have thought of a few ways to incorporate them in my classroom activities this year when we try to simulate earthquakes in the classroom. I hope that by using the sound of rumbling earth will help my students perform in the drills better.  Much like the thundering music in a film’s action sequence, I hope that using audio in my classes will also motivate them better and make the class encounters more interesting this year!


Centre for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA). (2015). Using audio (Parts A, B, & C). Available at

JISC Digital Media. (2013). Using audio in teaching and learning. Available at

Smaldino, S. E., Russell, J.D., Heinich, R., and Molenda, M. (2004). Audio (Chap 11). In Instructional technology and media for learning (8th ed), 264-280. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Available at


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