Why Use Podcasting in the Classroom?

  • Great for literacy skills, developing speaking and listening skills and making scripts.
  • Using ICT skills, editing and improving the podcast.

How do you make a Podcast?

A school podcast can range from a single recorded story which is put onto the school website, to a weekly radio show with music and interviews which visitors can subscribe to using an RSS feed. How you make up your podcast is up to you. The basic equipment you need is a computer with some kind of recording ability (an internal or external microphone) and some recording software. Audacity is free and allows you to record your show and then export it as an mp3 file. You can then upload this to your school website. (Info found at Teaching Ideas, a useful website with lots of different ideas and resources for all subjects).
Audacity is easy to use and can be used to edit your sound.

Copyright free and free music should be used to avoid the issue of copyright and problems with being sued.

Listening to Podcasts

Podcasts are widely available all over the internet, from radio shows to talks and stories. They can be downloaded, commonly from itunes, windows media player or similar software, or alternatively listened to direct from the site.

What can I put in a podcast?

  • School news - a great way of telling children and parents what is going on at your school.
  • Children's work - children love sharing their work. Ask them to record their own stories, or write reports about an activity they've tried at school.
  • School songs.
  • Interviews - with members of staff, children, members of the community, and visitors to school.
  • Music - Please be aware that you will not be allowed to use commercial music in podcasts for copyright reasons. However, some artists allow their music to be played in podcasts. You can find this "podsafe" music in special directories (e.g. music.podshow.com)

  • Jokes.
  • National / International news - be aware of any copyright regulations when finding sources of news.
  • ... and whatever else you feel may be appropriate!

(Info found from Teaching Ideas)

Headphones and digital microphones are cheap and easy to use. However, schools rarely use headphones due to health and safety issues with sound levels and problems with spreading ear infections or headlice.

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Easi-speaks (pictured above) are about £29 and are charged through the USB drive so there are no problems with batteries. The only problem is that it records sound in two modes .wav and .mp3 but it doesn't tell you what format you're in so you can record lots of work and then find it's in the wrong format so it's important to check before doing extensive work.

The Downs CE Primary School has loads of examples of podcasting and extensive use of ICT in their school.

I created a podcast using audacity to accompany my resource. Here it is: