Anyhoo, yesterday, my class made their first podcast! I had played around with the Audacity software earlier in the week, just trying to get a feel on on splicing sound bites together with music. I did a test upload to my school website and it actually worked! Now for the hard part: getting my 1st grade students to podcast.
Since this was our first one, I wanted to keep things simple. I have a section in my weekly newsletter about things the students learned in class that week. I decided to give the students a voice in that process by teaching them to do a podcast about what they learned. I started the lesson by having the students think about what they had done in school that week -- what stuck in their minds? Using our SmartBoard, I led a discussion and made a mind map of four "news" stories that the students wanted to report about. Then we took our ideas from the mind map and generated one sentence about each item. I picked four students who were on their best behavior to start us off (great behavior motivational tool as well!)
Lastly, I called the four "reporters" over and let them record their news item. Because I left Audacity projected on the screen while we were recording I saw something I wasn't expecting -- the students began to "read" the voice soundwaves in the software. When one child recorded her item, I saw students look at the screen and remark: "That's not going to be loud enough. The lines are too little." And when the soundwaves for the music projected on the screen they got very excited (I heard a lot of "Oooohs!" and "Whoooas!") and recognized these "lines" as something different -- before I played it back! I was not expecting them to pay attention to that!
Proof # 6,987,234 that we are living in a digital world and that our students are the digital natives...
Our First Podcast!