How can I get students creating podcasts?

It is one thing to create podcasts as a teacher, but yet another level to have students creating them. While students may be familiar with mp3 players, they tend to have a narrow range of skills associated with them. You may have some students who are extremely proficient, but most students are likely to just know how to navigate around different tracks on their mp3 player. Creating content is likely to be more difficult.

First, get to know the required technology and software yourself. You don’t have to know everything, but you do need to know the basics of recording your voice and adding other audio to the podcast. See this page for a start.

Second, get students to create a simple podcast about any topic they like: bands, hobbies, leisure activities etc. Really, it needs to be any topic because, to begin with, the only barrier to making a podcast should be familiarity with the technology. A script is helpful. Probably one minute or so is a good length.
Third, have students create a podcast that concerns the curriculum content of your subject. This will mean they need to research a topic and think about audience, oracy and backing music. They can also introduce extra material such as pre-recorded interviews with experts on their topics.

Problems tend to revolve around the availability of technology and a quiet space to record podcasts, as any extra noise is likely to really damage quality, unless extra noise is part of the concept. A music room is a good space to record.

Hints: I think that having a real audience is crucial, not just so that students have to think about audience, but because we all like to think that our creation is going to be enjoyed by lots of people! You may be able to hook up with another school (locally or internationally) or at least another class.


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