Following a recent bit of conversation back and forth on the blogosphere between Jo Rhys-Jones a languages teacher at Kingswear Primary School in Devon, Joe Dale (MFL Nodehill School, Newport, IOW) and laterly myself seems to have worked Jo's post below from her Ning Social Networking Site is an excellent piece of evidence for the case 'podcasting is easy peasy!!!'
Jo has posted her podcasts at Kingswear Podomatic excellent work Jo, I for one look forward to the creativity to come from that corner of Devon...
These are the confessions of a digital novice:
Until yesterday I admit I have recorded and allowed the children to record themselves either using a tape recorder (or ‘walkman’ in ye olde englishe) or sometimes that dusty machine I found in the KS1 classroom that you slide a flashcard in to hear the sound, child repeats the sound and plays it back. It works for me – the machines are robust and simple with big buttons and the class are quite happy to get the equipment out and use it themselves. But then I saw Joe Dale’s blog about ‘podcasting’. Frankly I thought it sounded a bit complicated – and rather rudely said so.
‘Not so’ insisted Joe and the next minute Paul Harrington is emailing me insisting I try out the technology myself. I tried to plead lack of equipment, but to no avail. Well you know what? It is easy. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy in fact. So that’s why I am writing about it now and urging you to try it too just in case you weren’t already:
- Firstly take one mp3 player. That one my brother gave me 2 years ago from Tesco (cost about £12 I think – thanks Paul) was fine. Don’t bother finding the instructions; someone in year 3 will either already know how to work it or happily press all the buttons until they do.
- Then record someone (anyone!) speaking French. (You press record – that’s it, no microphone or stuff, just click record).
- You now have a little soundclip on the mp3. If like me you can’t work out how to play it back, it doesn’t matter. Have faith. Go plug in mp3 into a computer, which will open it like a flashstick/memory stick. Click on the file, (which will probably end in .wav) and play it in Windows media.
- At this point I discovered that the soundclip included not only small child speaking French but me saying ‘Is it working do you think?’ ‘Not a problem’ Mr Harrington assured - ‘just download a free version of audacity and the children will be able to edit it.’
- Hmmm… still, as George Michael sang ‘You gotta have faith’, so at lunchtime one of year 6 downloaded the program. It took seconds. Within 3 minutes same child had opened the program and was using it to cut and edit the soundclip. It was so simple.
And we could have stopped there, but we felt indebted to Joe and went back to his blog to leave a comment. Except while there I clicked on the demonstration link to podomatic. 15 minutes later we have ourselves our own little site. The children used ‘audacity’ again to click on ‘export clip as mp3’ and saved the soundclip again (by this time soundclips as more children were having a go). We followed the site instructions to upload the clips (just like attaching a file to an email really) and …. well you listen Monika (8) and Lexie (4) - click here.
We are podcasters! We had published to the internet. We’d gone hi-tec. We felt cool, hip and happening!
So really that is all I wanted to say with this post. Try it if you haven’t already. It’s easy – honest!
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