Students Creating Podcasts

I’m using my current Australian History students as guinea-pigs. I want to find out about the difficulties students might have creating podcasts. These students won’t actually be doing the iHistory project next semester, a fact that they’re most upset about! They reckon using mobile phones and mp3s at school is pretty attractive, so there goes my worry of students being resentful about authority figures co-opting their expressions of independence.

This is the basic process students have gone through to create their podcast:
1. Think of an idea: I’ve let them choose anything…because it’s the end of term!
2. Write a script: they found this difficult, because they didn’t understand the concept of a podcast. I found that describing it as a “radio show” was pretty helpful. Radio shows include music, monologues and interviews, and so that’s what students are including in their scripts. The genre of script-writing is new to some, and an aspect I need to work on.
3. Choose music: I rip their music onto my computer so we can use it in Audacity.
4. Record script: 3 groups have recorded so far and the results are pretty good!

Students have a tendency to talk too fast and sometimes overlap each other, and that’s reflective of the “radio show” genre, which often has commentators “butting in” on each other. But that’s really the main problem. One group came to a point in the recording where they wanted to insert a song, but they didn’t have the song, so they abandoned the whole process! They didn’t realise that we could split up their commentary and insert music at the appropriate moments. Obviously I didn’t explain that enough…

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