I've written up a wee report into what I'm planning to do with a school podcast. I'd be interested in any feedback from those who are more experienced - have I missed any obvious points? Or got anything wrong?
Every pupil in a school has something to say. Not all pupils have the self-confidence to say it without encouragement. The podcast project is an attempt to give a focus and medium for the voice of pupils, in an attempt to foster a community in school, and exhibit the strengths of our pupils outwith the school.What is podcasting and why would it be good for schools?
Social software - tools that allow users to easily share multimedia with the world and receive feedback on their work - is a growing phenomenon, especially in education. Many pupils are experienced with this form of communication, but little of their online community participation reflects their school community. Internet podcasting allows pupils to focus on a 15 minute production, and display this within the context of an easy to access web site, which offers others the chance to comment on their work.
The main difference between new technology such as podcasting and traditional community projects such as school newspapers is that the content can be downloaded by over 100 million users, all of which have the ability to comment on the success of the project.Where does this fit into the school's mission?
Podcasting addresses all four areas of the Curriculum for Excellence:
1. Successful learners
Opportunities for pupils to problem solve, think of new ideas
Use of technology for learning
Creative and independent thinking
Linking and applying different kindsof learning in new situations
2. Confident Individuals
Promotes the development and communication of their beliefs and views to the world
Promotes achieving success in different areas of activity
3. Responsible citizens
Promotes commitment to participate responibly
Evaluate environmental, scientific and technological issues
4. Effective contributors
Open to feedback
Pupils will communicate in different ways
Critical thinking about their own work
Creating and developing
These are some of the matching aims of a school podcast and a Curriculum for Excellence. A school podcast could give a voice and presence on the internet that a school would otherwise not have. It is not a formal school website. It is an expressive, creative and self-promoting tool for pupils and schools, open to feedback from the listeners.
Who will benefit from the podcast?
Anyone who becomes involved in the podcast will benefit, as will any listener. The podcast opens a broadcast channel from pupil to pupil that would previously be unavailable. It benefits parents because it is accessible from any computer - though it can also be distributed on CD or even iPod - and allows them to comment directly on pupil's work.
With effort, the podcast can incorporate many in the school community - it is a participative medium which could be taken to any classroom or lunchtime club to report on anything that is happening in the school. What kind of content will the podcast have?
Pupils can decide the content of the podcast. The material should be reflective of the school's environment and feature the school in some way.
Most music is copyright - the podcast won't be a music station. Pupil's own music, however, could be exhibited this way.Is it safe?
Podcasting has been used by many schools in Scotland, especially to teach Modern and Foreign Languages. A podcast is not live, and can be edited and reviewed. Pupils do not need to identify themselves in the podcast, to be heard. Feedback from the internet can be monitored for safety. Content control remains in the hands of the school, through these processes.What are the costs?
All the software needed to podcast is available free through the internet. Web sites can be set up in-school or using free podcasting hosts.
There are various ways of recording a podcast. A minimum requirement is 1 microphone. Podcasting could be improved through the use of portable recording MP3 players (under £20), and microphone adapters for pupil iPods. For higher-level editing and studio recording, microphones and small mixers could provide pupils with an excellent setup.
Who else is podcasting?
http://radiohigh-djs.blogspot.com/ - radio station podcast from dundee high
http://www.mfle.typepad.com/tgs2/ -MFL podcasts
http://www.woodhillprimaryschool.blogspot.com/ - teacher podcast with pupil participation
http://mfle.typepad.com/highlandpodcast - Highland podcast for modern languages
http://mfle.typepad.com/tgs/ - another MFL podcast
http://pienews.blogs.com/verbcast - podcast of French verbs
http://ghsipods.blogspot.com/ - a school that uses podcasts and iPods in the classroom.
http://www.eastlintonschool.org.uk/ - Primary school podcast that has interviewed Jack McConnell and Franz Ferdinand
http://www.radiowaves.co.uk/public_default.aspx?lngSiteID=158 - Hillside school's podcast