Friday, 18 May 2007

May Subject Leaders

This month we consolidated the previous message around both Podcasting and E-Safety, by holding a mini competition. We began by looking at the story of Libby from Eastenders, , and used her story and CBBC's Dongle as our inspiration to complete up to 3 minutes of journalistic heaven!
The idea was to both master Podcasting and learn the Childnet SMART rules for internet safety.

So, What is Podcasting?
Podcasting is the practice of making audio (or video) files available online in a way that allows software to detect new files and download them. Podcasting is used by everyone from the BBC to deliver radio broadcasts, such as 5live and Dr Who, to small niche users on issues such as Photoshop or basket weaving.
Schools are increasingly making the most of this exciting medium, and London schools are uploading their Podcasts free to the LGFL podcasting site.

Click on here to hear a sample Podcast, created by Anthony Evans

How can it be used in Education?
The ability to upload audio broadcasts to the net means podcasts are a great tool for home study. Some schools are using the medium to help students with home revision, as seen on Teachers TV. But, it should not just be used just as Edu-radio, it can also be a means of providing children with a voice or as a means of addressing an audience, a feature of both ICT and Literacy. Children can put their work 'up-there' for others to evaluate. This is a another form of wall display, except this time many more people can view their work.
The Renewed Framework for Literacy has over 14 mentions of Podcatsing, but these are all in Keys Stage 2. Cefn Forest school in South Wales has been successfully podcasting for some time, here the children from Key stage 1 upwards put football reports and book reviews online regularly.

A further good example of Podcasting comes form Oakington Manor school, where the ICT coordinator, Ophelia Vanderpuye, works with children to create inspiring Podcasts for their radio station.

To subscribe to Podcasts (including your own) you will need to download ITunes or a similar aggregator, such as Doppler. To create your Podcast (with Windows), you have two main choices:
Audacity- a free tool that allows you to combine wav or mp3 files with voice recordings. You can download it from soundforge, but you will also need to download the associated Lame encoder to export files as MP3s.
Podium- This software from Softease is quick and easy to pick up, but does not have the complicated features offered by Audacity. This makes it ideal for use in the Primary school. Look out for an upgraded version, coming soon that will allow users to layer tracks on top of each other.

Music to use within your Podcast is available from the following sites: (only available on London school machines)

Free sound effects, including everything from twigs snapping to toilets flushing, is available here @
Support, Manuals and Tutorials
Podcasting with Audacity video tutorials click here
Podcasting with Podium video tutorials click here
Podcasting Tutorials with Audacity PDF format click here
Tips for a successful Podcast from Wolverhampton

Podium Blog
Podium Wikki
The Poducator