ArTechTivity (TM) (the podcast show for Ms. Gaub’s Art Classes)
The Process: or How the podcast gets recorded in my classes.
Because I teach art and technology classes, I combine a lot of art and technology. The expectation in my 8th grade Digital Art class is that they will research and record at least 2 podcasts within the trimester class. They pick a topic from the ArTechTivity Topic list, or can suggest a topic. We spend the first week of the podcast unit by picking topics, beginning research, including trips to the library and time on the Internet. Many topics can be written just using the books in my classroom. Students write their scripts and need to practice reading it aloud to a friend a couple of times before they are ready to record. I will give them a demo on using Audacity to record their project. We will then have a computer lab day within 5 days of starting the project. By the computer lab day they MUST have a completed script ready to record. Students that work faster and are done before the computer lab day are asked to do a peer edit and then might be asked to begin writing their second podcasts segment.
In the computer lab, I have been fortunate enough to purchase a class set of 30 recording mic/headphones. Each student works independentlyrecording their segment. If all students come prepared to the lab with a finished script, they should be able to do a complete recording within the period. They will often record, mess-up, rerecord, listen to it, erase, record again. This process will be shorter for kids that feel confident about recording and longer for those that feel less confident. The next class period I will do a demo on HOW to add music to the recorded segments. Next computer lab day kids will need to add music, save as a WAV file and turn in their finished segment.
We will then have a listening party. Even before I put them together into a podcast for public consumption we will listen to individual segments. Student have feedback questions that then need to answer for each segment that they listen to. (See evaluation questions here) Most students will want to rerecord their podcast after they hear their own played aloud, and have heard others. I try to pre-screen and play a couple of ones that need improvement first, then a couple of stellar ones later. We talk after each one about what was done well and what could be improved. Because I already have some finished podcasts I do play a few of the old ones before we even begin the unit so they have an idea of what other students have done before them.
By the time we get to the second time around (4-6 weeks later) the kids don’t need as much hand holding. The more computer savvy kids I will offer for them to be a HOST. They will get 3-5 segments that they have to blend together, introduce and put together in the Audacity program.
I have had some students that really struggle with recording their voice. I will allow those students to write a script and have a friend record it for them, as long as they make some attempts to use the program and try to experience recording. Most students do enjoy the project because they have a great deal of choice in the topic and get to use technology to give the report instead of a traditional in front of the class presentation.