Sunday, November 2, 2008

Collaboration Podcasting- Jessie Lipsky

In my opinion, the whole point in having a classroom blog is to share your work and ideas with the world and have the world give you feedback and new ideas in return.  One way I am using my blog this school year is through a collaborative project Melanie Holtsman was already participating in called: Students Teaching Students.  Kim Cofino, a teacher at an international school in Bangkok, Thailand, started this project to help teachers and students share and reflect on work we are doing in Lucy Caulkin's model of readers' and writers' workshop.  Students Teaching Students provided me with access to Chrissy Heller's blog in New Zealand and Aly McAloon's blog in Thailand (of course, the internet provides me access to every blog... but I like these.)  While reading Aly McAloon's blog, I saw that she had recorded podcasts of her fifth grade students reading their narrative writing.  I was struggling to find ways to motivate my fifth grade students to make their writing more descriptive so I decided to play some of the podcasts from Room 229 as inspiration.

 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 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!


Melanie Holtsman said...

Thank you for sharing how you are doing this with your students. I know that connecting to these kids across the world will make a huge impact on your students.

I haven't tried Gcasting, but you made it sound so easy I want to give it a try! I'm going to check out Box of Tricks now.

Kim Cofino said...

I love how you've stated that this project is giving your students a "specific audience" for their writing. I do think that's one of the key factors to success in these global collaborations.

It's exciting to think that just "anyone" could see your work, but it's much more motivating and engaging to know that a certain group of students (selected by the teacher as part of your curricular needs) will be reading and listening to your work *and* leaving comments.

It's not so fun to send your work out into the ether and never hear anything back. This way, you are providing an attentive learning-focused audience. Thank you so much for being part of this project!

Anonymous said...

I am in awe of you and your students!!! (Especially my fourth graders!)
Mrs. Chascin

Melissa Ross said...

We have worked on Podcasting before, so I am pretty familiar with Audacity and Garage Band. I had never heard of gcast though and I can't wait to upload our podcasts there. Your project sounds great. I can't wait to hop over to your blog and check it out.