Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to...Podcasts

The thought of recording, editing, and sharing audio or video recordings has always been the domain of TV studios and Hollywood…not anymore! 

Podcasts (and Vodcasts) are probably my most favorite webtool. A Podcast is a video or audio recording which you create, upload online and allow people to subscribe to (almost like a magazine subscription but more engaging!). Whenever you upload a new recording or “episode” online, the subscriber automatically receives the new episode on his computer or mobile device. 

Now at this point I’m sure your head is just reeling at all the unbelievable possibilities that have just been realized. If that’s not the case, its ok, that’s what Rabbi Mike is here for!

Lets start from the top:

For creating, editing and uploading you can find extensive sources online or click on the link here

The process is pretty simple:

        1) Create a script (content, goals, etc.) and rehearse. It comes easy once you do it a few times.
        2) Record yourself (video or audio) on your computer using one of the recording tools from the aforementioned link
        3) Edit your recording. In the beginning, focus on the intro and conclusion, once you get better at it, you can play around with the middle too.
        4) Find a website to “Host” your Podcast.
        5) Let everyone know that your an awesome teacher!

My first podcast took me over 2 hours for a measly 8 minute video; But after a while, I got used to it, and it now takes me less than 20 minutes!

The next part is how to integrate this tool into your classroom.

Well think about it: “What do you gain by creating a podcast for your student, and what can a student gain from creating his own podcast?”

As a teacher I am able to:

 - Back up my lectures (no “I was sick” excuses!)

 - Create summaries of what we learnt in class that day.
 - Introduce supplemental sources for  discussion
 - Use as an intro to the next class (i.e. introduce new concepts and ideas you plan on teaching the next day …”Flipped classroom” anyone?)
 - “Different” way of introducing a homework assignment

As a student they are able to:

 - Summarize what they learnt in class.

 - Investigate and introduce supplemental sources for next day discussions
 - Recreate historical scenes or chapters from a book
 - Create a weekly newscast
 - Summarizing a plot to a story

Most of the examples mentioned I have used in my own classes; I am sure that you can think of many more examples. (Psst: feel free to share in the comments section below!)

Students, through podcasts, are forced to plan, organize, rehearse, and produce their own content. The mere fact that someone other than the teacher is watching, virtually forces a superior product. The famous quote by Confucius says it all: “Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand”…you can’t get our students more involved than this.   

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