Friday, April 10, 2009

Week 9: Thing #21 Podcasts

As a half-time music teacher, I am embarrassed to say that I still don't own a ipod, and have been slow to incorporate the use of podcasts in my library program. I created an enhanced podcast several years ago as a way to advocate for instrumental music at the elementary level. I interviewed students who were in our Morning Musicians program using Garageband, and then added slides to the recorded interviews to complete the project. It was very powerful for the board to hear these young voices speak about how playing an instrument makes them feel and so my first experience with podcasts has influenced how I see them: as an advocacy and assessment tool, rather than a teaching tool.

Since I was unsuccessful accessing Yahoo's link, as well as TechSavvyGirls podcast and When trying to download a visual Chinese podcast on, I got stuck with the downloading process, so I decided to focus on iTunes and the Educational Podcast Directory. I have to admit as a visual learner, I struggle with podcasts that are solely audio, but do see their educational benefit. On iTunes, I didn't find a lot of podcasts that appealed to me, but did end up subscribing to NPR's Education podcast. I found the Educational Podcast Directory to be the most useful. Under the Elementary section, you can see a lot of examples of student-created podcasts. Unfortunately, the student and class podcasts are not searchable by subject so I found myself randomly selecting pocasts in hopes of finding something relevant. EPN's subject specific podcasts directory was much more helpful, but still many of the podcasts are labeled only as numbered episodes, so it was difficult to identify the content quickly. I was able to find storytelling podcasts, as well as booktalks listed under the English Language section. One podcast came from Storynory, which provides free, downloadable audio stories for children. I love the storyteller's British accent and enjoyed listening to the Fox and the Wolf podcast.

The Beginner's Guide to Podcasts & Podcasting provides a useful outline for creating a 10-minute podcast:
  • 10 seconds: Intro music or audio
  • 20 seconds: Introduce the podcast. State the title, your name(s), and the purpose of the podcast. Also state the URL where your podcast and the show notes can be found. Introduce your guests, if any.
  • 10 seconds: If you have any sponsors, mention them now!
  • 20 seconds: Provide a brief outline of your show, if you have a script; if not, state here what you plan to talk about.
  • 9 minutes: The main body or discussion
  • 20 seconds: Wrap up the discussion, outlining your main points. If you have guests, take this time to thank and acknowledge them.
  • 10 seconds: If you have sponsors you’d like to mention again, now’s the time!
  • 20 seconds: Introduce the podcast once more. State the title, your name, and the URL of the podcast and show notes.
  • 10 seconds: outro music.
I would like to create a podcast with a group of boys from our school's Graphic Novel book club and ask them to review the newly purchased graphic novels they've read so that other students can benefit from their book club. I'd like to include photos, including the cover of the book. Can you use Voicethread to create an enhanced podcast?


  1. I looked at the link you provided for the Beginners Guide to Podcasts and Podcasting. I like the outline to provide form for something that I am new at. I will follow this format for my first podcast. Then I will be able to make necessary changes the format to make it my own.

  2. Lorrie,
    Great posting on podcasts and podcasting. The beginner's guide to podcast and podcasting is wonderful and I plan to use it.

    I am a storyteller in the traditional sense of the word and I have a bit of a problem with this term "digital storytelling". That being said, I made an imovie with a group of students in our after school program. It was a powerful and positive experience for all involved...and yes a great advocacy tool.

    Nicky, aka the sweetest berry

    ps, I don't have an ipod either