Are you looking for a fun and creative way for students to build self-esteem and use their voice? Podcasting offers a mode of learning and presenting with many educational benefits, including strengthening skills in research, speaking, writing, editing and collaboration. It’s especially great for auditory learners who absorb information best when they listen to it.
With free tools like GarageBand, Anchor and Audacity, creating podcasts is a breeze. You’ll probably need several inexpensive microphones (to plug into cell phones and computers). You can post podcasts to your class or school’s website and link to social media for distribution. Here are five project ideas for students:
- Celebrate culture: Students podcast about important cultural events, such as Black History Month or Hispanic Heritage Month, and present these to parents, the school or the community.
- Reading radio show: Students make short radio broadcasts summarizing the books they are reading and what they like most about them.
- Current events newscasts: Students practice nonfiction reading skills and deliver weekly or monthly podcasts on interesting current events.
- Audio tours: Students act as tour guides and record school tours, so newcomers can explore the school through the eyes of a peer.
- Roving reporters: Send your students out to interview each other as well as teachers and administrators about important schoolwide events.
GarageBand (Mac) is a fully equipped podcast creation studio right inside your Mac. Though known for its music capabilities, its clean interface makes podcasting easy.
Audacity (Windows, Mac) is an easy-to-use podcast recorder and editor. Record from your computer’s built-in mic or attached mic, or drag a sound you want to edit into the main window. Then edit, monitor and mix.
Anchor (iOS, Google) is an app you can download onto your mobile phone to easily record podcasts; no extra equipment required. (The website offers metrics and a smooth editing experience.)
SoundCloud (iOS, Google) is a streaming audio platform that can also host your podcasts. You can record podcasts with the app on your mobile phone as well. It’s easy for students to tell stories, upload and share.
You may want to create a template for students, such as:
- Teaser: State podcast name and purpose
- Intro music
- Welcome, including hosts’ names
- Main content
- Call to action (“Review us on Facebook!” “Look for us next week!”)
- End music