Wednesday, Sept. 30, was the second International Podcast Day, an event celebrated not only
by podcasters, but by students and teachers in classrooms around the world. This year, I was
happy to share my passion for podcasting with fifth-grade students in two elementary buildings
at Westwood Regional School District. Through the use of Google Hangouts, we connected our
classrooms and interviewed our superintendent, Dr. Ray Gonzalez, who did a great job answering.
Traditionally, a podcast is rigidly defined
as a piece of audio or video media that,
when combined with an RSS feed, can be
subscribed to a worldwide audience. In
education, however, the term podcast can
be used with any type of recorded learning
media. Teachers everywhere are creating
podcasts as a way of telling their stories in
their schools, flipping their classrooms or
archiving their classroom lessons.
WHAT ARE BEST PRACTICES WHEN CREATING PODCASTS?
- Use a good microphone. Here are two
classroom microphones that I recommend.
- The Snowball Microphone is very
lightweight and USB powered. It can
easily plug into any computer or iPad
(using the camera connection kit) and its
360-degree recording makes it perfect for
- The Yetti Microphone is heavier and
sturdier than the Snowball, yet also features
360-degree recording. It can easily
plug into any computer or iPad, as long
as you have a powered USB hub and camera
- Have a plan. When creating media, it is
always best to have a plan of attack. I don't
always recommend writing a word-for-word
script, but I like to think of podcasts the
same way I think of lesson planning: have a
beginning, middle, and an end.
- First you should introduce yourself
and thank the audience for listening.
Briefly explain what the show will be
about and how the audience can communicate
with the show.
- The middle is the body of the podcast.
Identify and expand on your topics, but
be sure to limit them as well (three is
always a good number of ideas to tackle).
- To close out your podcast, review all
the topics covered, thank the listeners,
and remind them how to communicate
with the show. You may also want to add
some closing thoughts.
- Have fun. Podcasting is all about creating
content. It's not a race for numbers,
and it's not about which podcaster did a
better job. When we created our podcast in
Westwood, we were setting up an experience
where fifth graders were given the rare
opportunity of speaking with the superintendent.
We created a scenario that turned
into something that resembled a game of
20 questions. The fact that we recorded it
was simply an added bonus.
NEED MORE ADVICE?
One of the best reasons to create and share
digital media is to introduce your students
to the fact that global classrooms have no
walls. We can create content or share an
experience that not only connects with
students inside the classroom, but with
students outside the classroom too. Podcasting
is about giving your students a voice
and showing them they we all have a story
to be told.
If you are interested in learning how
to listen and consume podcasts and in
learning how to create podcasts of you
own, check out the resources found at
"Educational Podcasting Today," a page on
TeacherCast.net, an educational broadcasting
network I have created to assist educators.
You will find advice, tricks and links
to equipment, apps, and other tools that I
Are you an educator who commutes to
Are you an educator who is looking
for new and innovative ideas for your next
class, faculty meeting or community event?
Check out some podcasts today. In fact, if
you are looking to learn more about podcasting,
or participate in a podcast, I encourage
you to reach out and be a guest on
my next show by emailing me at email@example.com. I’m happy to have you on
the show! You can subscribe to the podcasts
at www.TeacherCast.net/itunes and www.TeacherCast.net/youtube.
Jeffrey Bradbury is the coordinator for technology
integration for the Westwood Regional School
District and creator of TeacherCast.net, TeacherCast
University, and Educational Podcasting
Today. Contact Bradbury at firstname.lastname@example.org.