Podcasting Notes

Dan SchimtLast month Dan Schmit, podcaster, author of KidCast: Podcasting in the Classroom, and fellow Nebraskan, posted his keynote presentation from the iPod and Podcasting Users Conference in Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Texas. Here are my notes from viewing Dan's video podcast:

  • According to some market research, there are about 65,000 podcasts and 4.5 million active listeners. By 2010, this number of active listeners is expected to be 56 million.
  • Dan sees three ways to use podcasts in education: curricular supplement, professional development, and academic expression.
  • Dan teaches preservice teachers. Besides writing a paper, these students must also turn the paper into a podcast discussion of what they learned.
  • Dan recommends making students specialists when it comes to classroom podcasts. Some are sound engineers, some are email checkers, and others are publishers.
  • Teachers need to design podcasts so that they can be maintained over time. Many classrooms start a podcast but then are unable to keep them going.
  • 80% of podcasting is working with content and 20% is spent on production.
  • Use rubrics that measure what you value in a podcast. Again, content should be more important than production value in the evaluation.
  • Odeo is a podcast directory. It also lets you record and post podcasts right from inside of your web browser.
  • Gcast allows you to podcast from your mobile phone.
  • Although you can use iMovie and Movie Maker to make videos for video podcasts (sometimes called video blog or vlogs), Dan likes Vlog It! (Windows, $29) and Videocue (Macintosh, $40). These programs include teleprompter and greenscreen features.
Dan shares over 20 innovative strategies and models for educational podcasts:

  • Sound Seeing Tour: Take portable recorders on fields trips. The podcasters describes what they are seeing, thinking, and feeling as they move through museums, habitats, historical sites, etc.
  • Daily Reporter: Each student takes a turn telling about the school day or special school event.
  • Student Almanac: Students pick a day in a given month and create a listing of facts about that date. They could include famous birthdays, historical events, weather observations, etc. Episodes can be recorded ahead of time and then posted on the proper date.
  • Process Streams: Record a movie of what's been written on an interactive whiteboard. Examples include diagrams of processes and steps to math problems.
  • Study Guides: Students make unit review for tests and quizzes.
  • Sound Stories: Acting out student-written stories and dramas. Dan suggests making these serial episodes so listeners have to tune in again to see how the story unfolds.
  • Poetry Slam: Create original poems and record them expressively. Publish them separately or as collections of poems.
  • Our View: Students participant in a round table discussion about a classroom topic or news story. Opinions are shared constructively.
  • Today in History: Students are assigned a day each month to tell about the historical events that took place on that date. Students research context, events, and implications.
  • Lost in Time:Quiz show where students describe a date or event in history without giving it away. Listeners email their guesses for the date.
  • Add It Up: Students design mathematical puzzles with hints. Listeners can email their answers to the podcasters.
  • Where in the World: A global podcasting quiz show where students post hints about where they live. Listeners email their guesses. Check it out in iTunes.
  • Word of a Day: Students select a new word to teach others. Students could go to people to see if they know what the word means and how to spell it.
  • Book Talk: Review books in a podcast.
  • Spelling Bee: Publish your weekly spelling list as a podcast.
  • Pod Pals: Create a podcast for students in a partner school. Send episodes back and forth to get to know each other.
  • Pet Talk: Everyone loves to talk about their pets. Students can talk about topics like pet selection, habitats, care, and training.
  • Career Talk: Record job shadowing experiences. This could be organized through a school's guidance counseling office.
  • Liar's Club: Student listeners are the fact checkers for this podcast because the episode contains factual information and some inaccuracies. The following episode addresses the inaccuracies of the previous show.
  • Sport Stats: Connect sports statistics to what they mean to coaches, athletes, and fans.
  • Sign Casting: Video podcasting for the hearing impaired.
To download the two-part video podcast, subscribe to the KidCast podcast. Or, view the videos online: Episode 33 and Episode 34.