Quite often I find myself surfing the Internet looking for student examples and demonstrations for my students. When my 3rd graders started making posters for their online safety project, I searched for motivational and campaign posters. When my fifth graders were creating their Explorer Baseball Cards, I tried to find as many baseball card images to show them. So when it came time for my 4th graders to create podcasts I wanted them to actually hear what they were going to be doing.
I went to the REMC11 Wiki, a site maintained by one of our local educational service agencies. The results were fantastic, and finding all of the podcast resources I could use, had no reason to search further (although I’m positive there are plenty of more great resources out there). While looking through the resources on the REMC’s Producing Podcasts page, I found a number of both teacher and student created examples of podcasts, but the most rewarding by far was the link to Radio WillowWeb: Podcasts for Kids, by Kids. Not only were there terrific podcasts from elementary students at Willowdale School in Omaha, NE, but there were also links to podcasts from other elementary and middle schools. I figured since I meet and work with educators on a daily basis that have yet to experience what a podcast is, it might be helpful to someone if I shared them with a larger audience than just my 4th graders.
It was nice to see, or rather hear, from a wide range of age groups at Willowdale School. There’s obviously something fantastic going on there with students from every grade level podcasting. It was also a treat to see that Mr. Jaffe, a middle school teacher in Warrington, PA has his students hard at work on a montly radio program that covers topics from Ancient Egypt to novels that are being read in class like Hatchet. There are many more podcasts and classroom than just the couple that I mentioned, so it’s well worth a quick look and/or listen over at the Radio WillowWeb site. Or simply, click any of the images in the post to be taken directly to that school’s podcasts.
A spin-off of Radio WillowWeb is Our City Podcast. It’s set up with a host who introduces a variety of segments about the city in which the podcasters live. Currently there are 21 episodes from all over the country (and one from Canada). There’s even this nifty Google Map showing where episodes come from. Students (with the help of their teachers) from anywhere are invited to submit an episode. There are lots of resources to help students and teachers. I like what you say about the power of example before students start projects. With Our City Podcast, there is a growing library of excellent examples.
If I can mention my podcast, Attack of the TEC. It is written by my third graders. I used a few of Radio WillowWeb episodes as examples.
Attack of the T.E.C. Podcast can be found at http://www.mrwrightsclass.com.
My kids and parents love it!
I am going to look at Our City Podcast for our May edition. That would fit in perfectly with our social studies curriculum. Thanks Tony!
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