Podcasts are one of those things that I would see (or hear, I guess) and think that they would be too hard to create, or I couldn’t see how I could use them in my classroom.

Over time, and with most uses of technology, it was only through creating my first few that I realized how easy they were to create, and what potential they had.

Initially I created podcasts that were to be used as a review at the end of a unit, and in advance of any test or quiz. These were obviously dominated by my voice and very teacher centered. In an effort to flip this, I made my podcasts more student centered. The easiest way in which to do this was to create an assessment that involved a series of extended open-ended answers and put students in groups to answer the questions on paper. This then became a script and students chose their best answer, recorded it and emailed it to me drop into a podcast that could be shared not only with those in the class, but also those students in other classes. My 1st period class could listen to the work created by the 2nd period class and vice versa.

I have shared my podcasts in a number of ways – by hosting them on Podbean.com, Soundcloud, i-Tunes, and posting them on Canvas or a blog. I have also added the best examples of student work to i-Books that I have created for use in class.

I like this form of an assessment as it is more authentic. Previously, students would turn in their answers, they would be graded, returned, and most likely disposed of. Only the students and I would see their work. Now their work can be easily shared with students, teachers, friends and family at the click of a button. I have had feedback from student podcasts not only from within my own school building but also globally as a result of tweeting out a link.

I like it, students like it, and the best of the best can be saved and shared with future students. Now the best work that I received last year becomes the benchmark standard expected from students the following year.

Here’s our Healthy Relationships Podcast.

Students chose which topic they wanted to talk about and wrote a script and recorded their answer within a lesson….while I was away from school on paternity leave. This turned out to be a great lesson to leave with my sub.

For more information regarding creating a podcast, iPad user can check out this great video, that continues with this video.

If you are a Mac user, you might be aware that Garageband removed some of it’s excellent podcasting features. That said, these three short, and very quick-fire video’s will fire you up and get you creating your first podcast.

I’ll be presenting “Let’s Make A Podcast” at IAHPERD in Illinois in November.


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