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SXSWedu Preview: Listenwise Helps Students Stop Hearing and Start Listening

listenwise-sxswedu-top SXSWedu Preview: Listenwise Helps Students Stop Hearing and Start ListeningListenwise Is A Listening Comprehension Platform That Advances Literacy and Learning For All Students

This may seem like a fairly easy concept for teachers and educators; comprehension begins with listening not hearing. Teachers and administrators know there’s a huge difference in hearing and listening and it’s listening that leads to better comprehension, more collaboration and participation, and better test scores.

For classroom teachers listening and comprehension starts with engagement. If students aren’t engaged in the material they probably aren’t paying attention, and they most definitely aren’t listening. How many times have you gone to call on a student you didn’t think was paying attention, just to have him or her recite the last line of whatever it is that they heard? Prod a little deeper and you might feel defeated, realizing that student had know idea what was actually going on. That’s why there’s Listenwise.

There’s a reason that elementary school teachers gather their students in circles to sit criss cross apple sauce and listen to a story. It’s not just because younger children are used to being read to. Listening is a very critical skill to learning. Listening to stories at a young age, and then following along with the book, helps children learn to read. But we all know that after you learn to  read, listening is still a very important skill. However, for most, listening to stories aloud ends before the fifth grade.

“Listenwise harnesses the power of listening to help students learn more complex content and language” the company says.

There are countless benefits to improving listening skills as students go through both middle school and high school. With improved listening comes improved literacy and improved comprehension. Many high school students will become college students. We all know too well how important listening is during a college lecture. Later on in life a lawyer may miss a key point in testimony. A doctor could miss-hear an important diagnosis. Listening is very important. But for some reason, curriculum that focuses on listening skills is practically non-existent.

Listenwise has developed a platform with over 1000 curated podcasts and news stories from National Public Radio (NPR). These well thought out, planned and investigated pieces cover a wide variety of topics. Some of the podcasts provide a narrative for real world current events while others deep dive into history.  Listenwise has curated the content and paired it with learning tools to hit four key areas; listen, comprehend, discuss and assess.

The Listenwise platform allows students to read along while they’re listening to the content. Students can also slow the content down to get a better understanding.  Teachers can have students listen to different podcasts or everyone can listen to the same one. After the content is finished playing teachers can create quizzes to help asses the students comprehension of the content, and to figure out which comprehension skills need the most focus.

“Research shows that if you are not a good listener, you won’t be a good reader. And since students can generally listen 2-3 grade levels above what they can read, we can use the power of listening to introduce more complex language, vocabulary and topics.” the company says on their website.

Find out how to get your students better engaged in listening, visit with Listenwise at SXSWedu in the Innovation Hub, booth #35 and online at listenwise.com 

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