For whatever reason I’ve always thought of podcast is being relatively passe. The idea of audio-only didn’t seem super appealing to my students who are driven by YouTube content. Lately, I have been listening to a podcast from places like Stuff You Should Know and I absolutely love it! So I’ve been trying to think about how this might be relevant for my classroom.
In my social studies classes, we spend a great deal of time working on presentation techniques that are visual. I talk to my students about message design principles to help the viewer engage in the content that the students are trying to present. We look at template-driven applications like Google Slides templates, Slides Carnival, etc… and we also look at video templates like Adobe spark video (which I absolutely love). But all of these examples are really designed to improve visual design skills… designing for audio is equally important.
In an effort to help my students craft a clear dialogue, or writing a message, I decided to try podcasting. Since we were studying FDR and his Fireside Chats it seems like the perfect opportunity to focus on audio message design. I was inspired by the work of my friend Alicia Johal (www.aliciajohal.com) who uses podcasting with her students. Alicia shared her template with me for Designing and planning effective podcast.
Alicia’s Slide Resources which includes the Podcast Planning Guide
Alicia pointed me to Anchor.FM which is a great place for students to create an actual working podcast that they can publish. It even has a monetizing feature which is very effective for our Youtube-Follower generation.
One of the principles I share with students when podcasting was that it’s about 125 words per minute, a 3-5 minute podcast need to have 400 to 500 words in order to fulfill the time requirement. The idea of scriptwriting was not well received, the students appeared very intimidated, in response, I created a very simple video* example of how to get started.
*Please note, this example should be paired with a discussion about correctly citing sources.
To help my students record podcast in a crowded room I found for them what I called recording studios. Our recording studios were actually cardboard boxes used for photocopying. We’ll use these boxes to put are Chromebooks and so that when we recorded we wouldn’t pick up the audio other around the room. Overall are recording studios worked out really well and soothing podcasts were relatively clear concise.
I’m very happy with the way this project came out. Here’s an example of some of the student recordings.
I look forward to doing more podcasting with my students in the future.