Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Violence in Sports X Podcasting

In my lone class that I currently teach at Plymouth South HS I try to expose the students to various types of projects and work that integrate technology, while focusing on my class objectives & over-arching school goals. Our current school focus is on public speaking. My spin on that was to have my students present orally, but asynchronously, in a podcast.

The course unit was "violence in sports." After two weeks of exploring, reading & discussing the issue, students worked in pairs to create a "violence in sports" podcast.

Technical Requirements:

- Students used HP laptops with Audacity to record the audio.

- The LAME encoder had to be downloaded to each laptop. The encoder is needed to export the Audacity file as an MP3 file.

- I settled on uploading the projects to SoundCloud. I wanted to use Podbean in order to then publish the work on iTunes, but the upload process wouldn't work at school.

- I then created a blog through blogger to embed each podcast from SoundCloud. I have recently started creating individual blogs for individual projects. I like the idea of creating a specific, project related URL for each project. The project blog:

My Take-aways:

- It took much longer than I initially planned. This had to do with the technical learning curve with using Audacity & the amount of content that I required each group to include.

- The structure of a podcast is much like a paper.
1. Introduction / Overview of show
2. Specific ideas / stories / supporting evidence
3. Conclusion

- I saw students working very hard, sharing ideas, arguing, working through problems, succeeding, enjoying the process & ultimately they took pride in their final product.

- This experience only reinforced my belief that being able to create, edit and publish audio ( and video ) may be just as important as being able to write a traditional essay on paper. This project required days of writing and preparation before the students even touched the computers to record and edit their audio. Yet, with the scripts written, the hard work had only just begun. It would be days of work to follow to record, edit, re-write and fine tune their final product.

- Deadlines can & should be flexible.
My thought was that from beginning to end this project would take a week. It took nearly two, for two reasons.
1. All recording & editing was done in school.
2. 45 minute periods fly by. Even when the groups were diligently working, they might record on segment per day.
When I see students working, being challenged & persevering, I see no reason to not extend a due date.

Enjoy the podcasts...

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