Creative waystousepodcastsintheclassroom


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Creative waystousepodcastsintheclassroom

  1. 1. Creative Ways to Use Podcasts in the ClassroomWhen creative ways are used to integrate podcast technology in lessons, both teachers andstudents gain from this tool. Because the curriculum drives podcasting, teachers have anothertool in their toolbox to help their students learn. Students develop a greater understanding ofconcepts and connections between concepts, because they are more engaged and willing tolearn. Teachers are also provided with another alternative means of assessing student learningbeyond traditional methods.What is a podcast?A podcast is like a radio show. However, instead of being broadcast live, a podcast is recordedand then distributed over the internet, so that you can listen to it whenever you please. Thereare thousands of podcasts available, ranging from general interest entertainment shows tothose which focus on specific topics (e.g. computers / music / education).How do I listen?You can usually listen to podcasts directly on the websites of those people who make them (seebelow for some examples). However, you can also "subscribe" to podcasts using software likeiPodder and iTunes. These programs will automatically download the latest shows, and you canthen listen to them on your computer and / or mp3 player. To subscribe to a podcast, you needto know the RSS feed (this information should be on the podcasters website). iTunes has itsown directory, where you can subscribe to a show, simply by clicking the "Subscribe" button.How do children benefit from making a podcast? • It gives them a potential audience of thousands for their work. • Its great for developing literacy skills (writing scripts, setting up interviews etc), allows children to develop and practise their speaking and listening skills, and they also learn some amazing ICT skills. • Podcasts can be interactive, and the audience can be invited to send their comments,
  2. 2. giving valuable feedback to the children about their work. • Making a podcast is also great for developing teamwork skills.Benefits of Podcasts: Advantages for Teaching and Learning • reinforce concepts studied in class for both auditory and visual learners. • reinforce writing and reading skills as students prepare their own podcast scripts. • increase parent communication. • conduct alternative assessments of students, beyond the traditional tests and reports. • provide another teaching and learning strategy for helping students be successful in the subject they are studying.The desired outcome is: • Students learn the technical skills needed to record a high-quality podcast. • Students brainstorm, and design the themes and content of their Podcast with teacher guidance. • Students complete pre-production, production, and post-production of their Podcast. • Students ultimately learn project management skills, Podcasting technical skills, and actively use the Podcast as a medium for positive student expression. •How do I make a podcast?A school podcast can range from a single recorded story which is put onto the school website, toa weekly radio show with music and interviews which visitors can subscribe to using an RSSfeed. How you make up your podcast is up to you.The basic equipment you need is a computer with some kind of recording ability (an internal orexternal microphone) and some recording software. Audacity is free and allows you to recordyour show and then export it as an mp3 file. You can then upload this to your school website.What can I put in a podcast? • School news - a great way of telling children and parents what is going on at your
  3. 3. school.• Childrens work - children love sharing their work. Ask them to record their own stories, or write reports about an activity theyve tried at school.• School songs - performances and rehearsals of music.• Interviews - with members of staff, children, members of the community, and visitors to school.• Music - Please be aware that you will not be allowed to use commercial music in podcasts for copyright reasons. However, some artists allow their music to be played in podcasts. You can find this "podsafe" music in special directories (e.g.• Jokes.• National / International news - be aware of any copyright regulations when finding sources of news.• field trips – students create a podcast of specific aspects of a zoo or museum during a field trip. They then use these podcasts to support completion of assignments or posting on the class website for others to view.• everyday concept applications – for example students use for demonstrating where they observed specific curriculum concepts outside the classroom. This strategy provides a means of alternative assessment for teachers to determine level of student understanding.• class projects – which students embed in multimedia presentations or interactive posters using a web 2.0 tool such as Glogster or WallWisher.• completion of assignments – for example recording data collection techniques, science experiments, and modeling a specific content concept being studied.• debates – student debate regarding a specific topic is recorded as a podcast and posted on a VoiceThread for other students to add their comments and opinions regarding the debate.• how to’s – students create a podcast for how to accomplish specific tasks. Examples are steps for completing algebra problems (math), complete research in the library or online, key elements of an essay (language), recreate historical events (social studies), and determine the characteristics of a biome or habitat (science).• History:”This day in science history.”• Podcast drama: A recorded version of a classroom skit.• Pet podcast: Give kids a chance to talk about biology and nutrition using observations of their pets
  4. 4. • Outdoor observations: Use cell phones or a portable recorder to note observations during urban science walks. • Where in the World: Submit a podcast to this worldwide geography quiz show – an IWB in a whole-class setting to demonstrate and use a podcast is now a viable optionfor teachers and other staff to consider. These are just a few of the many possibilities toconsider: • introducing a subject topic by using the podcast • demonstrating how to find and play podcasts or create a podcast • using a podcast to stimulate discussion about a citizenship or current affairs topic • listening and evaluating podcasts produced by other children and young people from around the world • providing supplementary material for a class assemblyExamples of Podcasts... The Downs FM The Downs FM is my own school podcast. The children always work really hard every week to write their own scripts, create jingles, record news and interviews, and much more. The show has been featured on BBC television, our local BBC Radio station, on the Apple UK website and in many more exciting places. For more information about how the show is made, click here. Radio Sandaig This team of primary children in Scotland produce a fantastic podcast with news, jokes, stories and competitions. The team try to get lots of other children from around the school involved in the show, which makes it a real treat to listen to. To find more education podcasts, try Ipodcast and the Education Podcast Network. For more general podcasts, take a look at Podcast Alley or
  5. 5. Time AllocationPodcasts usually take 3-4 weeks to produce, so teachers should aim to make one Podcast amonth to start. Once students are more familiar with the process, the number of Podcastsproduced can increase as desired. To make the most efficient use of time teachers should followthe below process steps for creating the Podcast: • Review computer skills and software needed for production process. • Define the purpose of the Podcast. • Organize students to participate. • Brainstorm potential topics for the Podcast with students (Weekly classroom news broadcast, document a field trip, share book reviews, etc.) • Divide up topics to pairs of students for content/script production. • Produce rough scripts with students. • Practice recording the content a few times (like a dress rehearsal). • Record the Podcast content • Edit recording in Garageband or Audacity. • Post content to Internet. • Advertise Podcast availability to pees.Technology UseTeachers will need to posses intermediate computer skills and should familiarize themselveswith the technical aspects of the production process before trying to teach the skills to students.Teachers will be using the following computer hardware and software: • Macintosh computer with built-in microphone or external handheld microphone with stand. The computer must meet the system requirements of the software used to record the Podcast. • Audacity or Apple Garageband software (part of the iLife software suite) • Web space on an Internet server for hosting the audio files. • Apple iTunes for subscribing to and downloading the Podcast.
  6. 6. Extension activities:Develop your show by trying some of the following: • Jingles - Use software such as eJay (PC) or Garageband (Mac) to create jingles. These can be used to introduce particular features to the show. • Try an outside broadcast - Use an mp3 player with recording facilities to record a feature "on location" around the school, or on a school field trip. You can then download this to your computer and add it to your show. • Adding podsafe music - Let your DJs introduce some copyright free music into your show. • Promote yourself - Register with the various podcast directories (see below) to get more listeners! • Use more sophisticated software - Mixcast Live (PC) is specifically designed for podcasters, allowing them to set up playlists and record their podcasts directly to MP3. I use a combination of iTunes and Nicecast on the Mac for my school podcasts. • Introduce web feeds and aggregators to your students while creating your podcast: Feed readers are becoming one of the most essential tools for internet users simply because of the almost overwhelming amount of content available online. Unfortunately, many people havent gotten "hooked into" subscribing to a sites content yet. This is a skill that is easy to teach along with a classroom podcast, and it is an essential one to our kids ability to navigate and access information on the web. • Discuss good blogging practices while creating your podcast: Because many podcasters post their work in a blog anyway, blogging practices can be introduced through podcasts as well. Emphasizing the importance of including links and responding to content found in other places are skills that show children how to "connect" the information that they are discovering and to continue conversations with others. The skills necessary for effective participation in threaded conversations can be taught while commenting on blogs/podcasts as well.A few other tips...
  7. 7. • Let your children listen to a few other podcasts before they start. This is a great way of finding out what podcasts are all about, and discovering what it is possible to do. You may discover some great ideas which you could try to yourself. • If your children dont have internet access, copy a few child-friendly podcasts onto a CD and let them listen at home. Get them to think about how they could make their own versions of each show. • John (the man behind Radio Sandaig) occasionally posts podcasting tips here. Take a look! • Have children write stories in groups on a theme (ie: fractured fairy tales). Have them list all sounds that would be occurring in the story if it really happened. Have them think about popular music or other songs that they know that would be funny or appropriate, or use tracks in GarageBand/Audacity. Write a list of cues for each song and / or sound effect. Record story into GarageBand/Audacity (podcasting), adding sound effects and song tracks. Share the podcast into Windows movie maker/ IWB/Keynote or iMovie. Create a Powerpoint presentation or movie with saved pictures and photos. Even better, record movies of the children acting out their story and put the GarageBand/Audacity creation to the movie.Links:Tutoral: free music:www.freeplaymusic.comhttp://www.findsounds.com
  8. 8. http://www.vanbasco.comhttp://freekidsmusic.comTaking a piece of music from a YouTube (link on DL website) (convert video file to mp3)Useful websites: