Educationally Purposeful Playlists

By Gwen Smith on Mon, 9/26/2016
Picture of member, Gwen Smith

Gwen Smith
Educational Technology & Learning Specialist, SAFARI Montage

With the advent of radio, the term playlist began to work its way into our vernacular. While the first playlists were created for us by radio stations, as technology has continued to evolve playlists are no longer so limited. Individuals can now create their own custom playlists of music, video or other media through a variety of applications. In SAFARI Montage, playlists can be created by both teachers as a way to intentionally gather and develop collections of digital learning objects for a specific purpose in an educational setting.

There are many types of playlists which you can create, this is a lesson playlist for a high school ELA classroom analyzing the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe.

For teachers, SAFARI Montage playlists provide a way to gather and organize content resources on a particular topic for a specific instructional purpose. While it can be easy to locate relevant digital content, intentionality in using content is key to cultivating student understanding. SAFARI Montage playlists offer several features to help teachers consider their use of content and develop playlists in a more intentional and meaningful way. 

  • Teachers can target various learning styles and differentiate instruction by utilizing various media types in their playlists. A wide variety of learning objects can be added to playlists including: video, images, audio, whiteboards, interactives, e-Books, documents, and web links. Plus, any file type which can be uploaded to the SAFARI Montage LOR can be added to a SAFARI Montage playlist.
  • When adding video to a playlist, the bookmarking tool allows teachers to target specific content by creating a tailored video segment.  You can also use any of the pre-created segments (videos are divided into chapter and key concepts) so as to follow best practice and show short clips of video content followed by an activity where students will process the information. 
  • Each learning object can be ordered intentionally in a playlist to scaffold learning. Simply drag and drop to order items. 
  • The title of each playlist item can be editing and specific notes can be added to each object on the playlist by using the comments tool.  In the example playlist above, the teacher posed questions in the title of each learning object and provided instructions using the comments feature. 

The SAFARI Montage playlist development tools allow teachers to move beyond merely gathering resources and towards creating intentional playlists to enhance their use of digital content in the classroom.

The term playlist in SAFARI Montage certainly means much more than the term did when it first emerged with Top 40 radio. In SAFARI Montage, playlists offer teachers and students the ability to create custom collections of intentionally developed digital resources with educational value.  As you build SAFARI Montage playlists within your school community, be sure to share your playlists with our SAFARI Montage user community Playlist Exchange and peruse those posted by others. To support your work, we have created a reference sheet on building playlists. Also, don’t forget to use the Rubric for Creating an Effective Playlist to refine and improve your playlists! 

How are you using SAFARI Montage Playlists in the classroom? We’d love to hear from you!