My students loved hearing the work of children who lived on the other side of the world! Soon, we recorded (and are still recording) our own podcasts so the students in Thailand could hear our stories as well.
This collaboration has given my students a new and specific audience for their writing. I have noticed dramatic improvements in their writing now that they know their peers in Thailand and New Zealand will be reading and listening to their work in class.
Podcasting stands for Portable On Demand Broadcasting. You can listen to podcasts on your computer or an Mp3 player like an Ipod. Podcasts are free and download to your computer via a subscription. My hope with this "geek" post is to help other teachers record and upload podcasts to their blogs. On a PC, I use the program Audacity to record my students' voices and gcast.com to upload their podcasts to the internet and eventually my blog. On a Mac, I use the garageband program to record my students reading their work.
The best information I can give you on podcasting is from a blog called Box of Tricks. Click here to watch "Podcasting in 5 Easy Steps." In this brief tutorial teachers can learn how to record audio files, transfer files into Mp3 files, upload them to a podcasting website, and finally publish them on their blogs.
Once you get the hang of podcasting it is a fun way to share student work with listeners all over the world!