When listening to the “Medieval Crime & Punishment” podcast, most of the kids couldn’t hear a thing! This was not helped by the noise of their classmates (no, I do not run a perfectly ordered class). Perhaps if I had enough mp3 players so they could all listen at once this problem would be solved.
I think the main cause was that when creating the podcast, I used my super-dooper USB headset, which gives great sound, but does not imitate the $2 earphones the students were using, often sharing them with a classmate.
The positive out of all of this was that the students were really keen to get onto the mp3 players, and so worked really hard on all the other work.