Friday, 17 July 2015

Our Journey with Podcasts

Last year, the fabulous Mrs. Ciarloni and her husband, long time fans of The Vinyl Cafe stories with Stuart McLean,  thought it may be fun for the intermediates to analyze podcasts and write their own. Between the three rotary teachers, each one of us picked two shows and we wrote questions for students to answer while they listened to the podcast and then discuss after in groups or as a class. Some of the stories are not K-12 appropriate, but this one I did we could probably use with 5 and 6s as well. Pet's Podcast with Questions and Answers (Google Doc)

As an extension, I thought kids could find their own podcast, write their own questions and I could put it in our D2L discussion forums for my early finishers. But after six weeks, we were ready to move on.

We also had an opportunity to see Stuart McLean live and attend a podcast in December. Yes, we took a busload of intermediate kids to downtown Hamilton and it was a blast! Several of the parents were jealous of our adventure.

After the listening unit, we then wrote narrative stories. Here's a blog post about that process. I had encouraged students to submit their stories to the show, but I left it up to them. Lastly, we created our own podcasts. I didn't keep any samples of the students' podcasts, but we did play them for family who came to be our "audience," and if they couldn't attend, they had a digital version they were able to share with them. I received positive feedback from parents.

Here's my podcast created on Garageband. The podcast is written by me and the songs I have purchased and are stored in my iTunes library. It's not perfect and as a class we had a bit of a competition to see who could give the most feedback for me to improve. It only took me about an hour to do, but when they created their's at school, we used Audacity, iMovie and a combination of several devices as well. Some recorded their parts at home and brought them to school to compile while others took their group's recordings home to compile. It took my students about a week to create the podcast, but the writing of the podcast really did take several months. Here's a link to the assignment and rubric.

This ended up being a yearlong project that took us until close to the end of June to finish and I'm glad I stuck it out with my class, as the other intermediate classes finished their podcasts shortly after Christmas break, I didn't want to rush ours.

Thank you to Stuart McLean and CBC for the inspiration!

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