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What is Podcasting?

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What is podcasting?

Podcasting is really like a radio broadcast with the exception of it being provided through the Internet. Thousands of people worldwide are making podcasts on many different subjects. Millions of people listen to podcasts every day.

These podcasts are recorded as MP3 files and can be played on MP3 players, such as Apple's iPod, or other electronic devices. Most podcasts will have an RSS feed (which stands for really simple syndication) that will allow you to subscribe to it using an aggregator such as Apple's iTunes. Subscribing to the show's feed allows you to know when a new show is created.

The term podcast originating from combining "pod" from iPod and "cast" from broadcast. Even though the term seems to have some connection to iPods, you do not need an iPod or other MP3 players to listen our shows. All you need to have is a computer to listen to any podcast.

So, how do you make podcasts at Southeast?

Making podcasts can be a lenghty project. Our first episode took about 6 weeks, but students only worked on the project for about 30 minutes per week. There are three stages to our podcast. The first stage is pre-production; the second stage is production; the third stage is post-production. We aren't very fancy with our technology. Most of the newer computers in our school could be set-up to be recording stations as long as we have the appropriate software and microphones.

Pre-Production - This is the most important part stage of our project, but it is the least exciting for students! This stage is where we brainstorm what will make up our podcast. We come up the ideas for our segments, assign jobs, and spend a considerable amount of time scripting out what students will record.

Production - This is the fun stage where students will record the podcast. We use a fairly cheap USB microphone and a free software program called Audacity and a Windows XP desktop computer with a bunch of memory. Our technology coordinator Mr. Sokoloski helps us with the hardware and software to make sure our podcasts sound great! Sometimes we need to record over and over to make it right. After all the students record their parts, our directors Mr. Hendricks and Mrs. Irvine piece our parts together and add any music that we selected.

Post-Production - This is the final stage where we take one last look at the podcast to make any changes and corrections. We bring in our principal Mrs. Fisher-Doiron so she can hear what our finished project sounds like and so she approve what will be published for the world to hear! Lastly, Mr. Hendricks puts our podcast on the Radio Southeast web site so it can be listened to by our students, families, community members and people from across the world!

What's so great about podcasting?

Podcasting is a great way to integrate technology into learning! Although some of our podcasts are enrichment-based where students direct their learning (about science, current events, and new vocabulary), it can also be used to showcase learning inside a classroom such as storying writing, social studies units, world language learning, musical talents.

Students are highly motivated when they are creating a podcast. They frequently say, "Do I sound like that?" after they hear themselves for the very first time. Podcasting integrates many skills that students learn every day in school. Students need to plan out their podcast episode. They need to write out their script and make sure that it is accurate. They are motivated to do this writing because they are producing a product for an audience. Students then need to work collaboratively to ensure that they create a quality product.