Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Podcasting in the Middle School...an update

About a year ago we began taking a serious look at podcasting technology and what implications it might have on the classroom here at USM. After a period of time where we did a little investigating, I did a brief overview of podcasting for interested USM teachers after school one day in the spring. About 8 teachers attended this introduction to podcasting session. I wanted to write article about where we're at with podcasting one year after this initial overview.

In the Middle School, we currently have 4 projects that are taking place and ongoing. I will list these projects below along with a brief description and links to the podcast projects.

8th Grade Social Students: The "American History Rules" Podcast on iTunes
This podcast series is created by our 8th grade social studies teacher, Chuck Taft. Each week Chuck writes a class summary that is sent to parents and archived at his blog. This year Chuck added a wrinkle to his weekly summaries for parents; he added an audio version of the summary in the form of a podcast. Chuck is also dabbling a bit with doing audio review guides. You may listen to/subscribe to the "American History Rules" podcast on iTunes by clicking the link above (when you click the link above, iTunes will load and take you directly to the American History Rules podcast series).

Foreign Language-French Class Podcasts
Our Middle School French Teachers, Pam Nosbusch and Neelie Barthenheier, collaborated on a project that they introduced to students in their 8th grade French class. Students took pictures and wrote a simple and basic script using the vocabulary words that they were using in their existing unit. Unfortunately their page isn't working write now, but when it is I'll have a link on this page.

7th Grade English-Parts of Speech Podcasts
This project is being started by Hannah Reimer and her 7th grade students this week. Students are creating a short (2 minute) podcast lesson where they teach the basic parts of speech. Students are working in teams to write a script and enhance their podcast lessons with photos.

Film Class Podcasts and 5th Grade Podcasts:
I am currently doing a couple of small podcasts with students. I am trying to take a few movies from our film class and presenting them in the form of podcasts. You'll see a claymation project at the link above. This was created by five 8th grade students in our film editing class from the first semester. The second project is being completed by 5th grade students in my 5th grade computer skills class. Students are working in teams to write a script for a tour of USM. Students took photos of the campus earlier in the fall that they are using as visuals in their podcasts. The collaborative scripts are being created using, "Google Docs," which easily allows students to collaborate on documents with one another.

Fine Arts Podcasts
Thirty second excerpts from Miriam Altman's Winter Concert were recently posted online in the form of video podcasts. We posted six samples from her winter concert. Last spring we did "docent tours" to go along with the student art exhibits for Fine Arts Night. Those podcasts are posted at this site as well.

Note: The fine arts podcasts and 5th grade podcasts are all password protected. Contact Mr. Montagne for the user name and password that you'll need to access these web pages/podcasts.

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