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I can’t live without Podcasting. Here’s why:

16 Sep

Attention:

I can’t live without Podcasting or Vodcasting (Video Podcasting) and this article explains why.  First have a look at this video to understand the implications this can have for the education system .  The idea is a reverse-homework approach, which allows for a differentiated classroom with hands on teacher instruction.

Proof:

Of all places to start, I was initiated into the world of podcasting by listening to my banks podcasts found here: www.bmo.com/podcast  They were actually interesting and informative.  They made me want to explore more.

I realized that podcasts were not just books read aloud, but could also be lessons in digital form. I found lesson upon lesson at Apple iTunes and at BBC Radio.  Beyond teaching and learning, I found “the ultimate podcast collection” at Podcast.com.

Moving away from the consumption idea I thought about the other end of it: Production.  Podcasting meant that students were able to create, which meant facilitation of higher-level learning in Bloom Digital Taxonomy.  It meant the digital natives in our classrooms had another facet to express themselves.  But how do they do it?

Strategy:

Let’s look first at how to Podcast and then how to Vodcast, Mr. Bennett style.

Podcasting –

  • Plan your topic and what you are going to say.
    • Make sure you have sound accessories (tambourines, noise makers, etc.) and you know where you are going to record.
    • Think about background and ambient noise.
  • The Equipment you will need:
    • A computer
    • A sound card
    • Working headphones and mic
    • Some hard disk space (approx 2-3 gigs should be lots in the beginning)
    • Pop filters are nice, but not necessary.  They take away the loud crackly ‘p’ sounds when you talk
    • Software to record and edit: Audacity is good for a PC / Garageband is excellent for a Mac
    • MP3 Encoder: LAME or iTunes
    • To learn more about how to Podcast using Audacity, follow this link to Jason Wan Orden’s site.
    • To learn more about how to Podcast using Garageband, follow this link to Indiana University’s site.
  • Publish and post your Podcast at Ourmedia: mp3 file storage | WordPress: blog service and host | Feedburner: to create a podcast-ready RSS feed

Vodcasting – This is with the idea teachers will create a video podcast for their students to watch as homework

  • Plan your topic and what you are going to say.
    • Make sure you know where you are going to record.
    • Think about background and ambient noise.
    • Think about the background that people will be seeing.  Less is more.  Sit in front of a blank wall.
    • Make sure the lighting on your face is not harsh or one-sided.
    • Keep videos to 10 minutes or less (for student attention and to make sure it will upload to Youtube).
    • Keep yourself Animated and interesting.
    • Have only one idea per video.
  • The Equipment you will need:
    • A computer
    • A sound and video card
    • Working video camera – if it is built-in to the computer it might be best
    • Working mic – again, built-in could be the way to go
    • Camtasia or Camstudio to video and capture screens
    • Keynote, PowerPoint, Prezi or something else to display notes
    • Digital writing toolWacom tablets are great and well-priced
    • Software like iMovie (Mac) or Freemake (PC)  to edit the video
    • A Youtube, TeacherTube or iTunes subscription to upload your videos
  • Students need:
    • A computer to view Youtube, TeacherTube or iTunes OR
    • Cell phones to watch MP4s OR
    • PSPs – This method requires a video format converter like Media Coder OR
    • Flash Drives
  • You might also attach using a blog or site:
    • Pre-written and uploaded notes
    • Guided practice with questions students will answer
    • Extra reading if they would like
    • Diagrams to follow

Be diligent, but only bite off as much as you and your students can chew.  For example:

  • If you start creating podcasts, try one a night or two a week.
  • Work only on one subject at a time per year.  Don’t overdo it.

This will eventually mean that you have flipped your classroom.  For more information about this, check out University of North Colorado’s website and visit http://www.brianbennett.org/.  Join the discussion at Vodcasting Ning found here.

Good luck.

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