The Audio Dimension: Using Digital Sound in the Classroom

Thursday 10th June 2021

  • #UKEdChat session 556
  • Audiobooks and other audio resources can allow access to learning for those who struggle with reading.
  • Audio should be a key component of any flipped learning model.
  • Click here to view the tweet archive.

There are many sounds that are quintessential of the classroom: the TWANG of the ruler on the table, the prolonged, drawn-out choral ‘Thank you’ that children do go any teacher asks ‘What do you say…?’, and that particular type of nervous laughter than the only bee in the classroom can generate.

In most situations, the aural medium is essential to teaching. The to and fro between teacher and learner, and between peers has remained largest unchanged for millennia. However, the development of digital educational technology over the past 30 years has meant that teachers now can have any audio resource in their lessons.

Yet, except for a few subject areas, such as languages and music, audio resources seem notably absent from the learning experience when compared to other media, such as video and photos. Why is this the case? Is the lost art of listening truly lost?

It seems that everyone has a podcast these days (we included: Yet, these do not seem to have made the leap into the classroom. Even resources which one would think would be perfect for the classroom, audiobooks, are only now taking off in a big way. Audiobooks can be particularly useful for struggling readers who often are faced with texts that reflect their current level, yet the content is the pitch at a much younger age group. Audiobooks can also be used the prime readers if they first listen to the text, and then read the page, making flow and comprehension much better.

In this #UKEdChat session, which took place on Thursday 10th June 2021 at 8pm(UK) we discussed how audio resources can be used in the classroom for a range of subject areas, how they can be used to augment flipped learning, and how they can be used to level the playing field for struggling readers. At 9pm, we specifically focus on audiobooks and how they can be used with learners with SEN in our webinar, which is supported by the Sora Reading App.


  1. Describe the soundscape in your classroom.
  2. How do you deploy digital sound in your classroom?
  3. How can making audio recordings be used to improve teaching and learning in your subject area or age group?
  4. How can podcasts and audiobooks be used in your subject area or age group?
  5. How can podcasts, audiobooks and digital recordings be used in a flipped classroom?
  6. How can audiobooks be used to support readers?
  7. How can digital audio be used to support CPD?
  8. Anyone has a podcast these days! If you had a podcast, was would it be about?

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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