Why our school?
Over the past few years our market research indicates that prospective families value “future readiness” as a top priority for their students. Families want their students to thrive in the competitive, digital world that they will graduate into.
Our research also shows that families care about:
- Sending their children to a school that has a caring community, where students know their teachers and the staff who manage the school, and where there is a sense that students are a part of a community with a history and culture.
- Sending their children to a school where students value learning and are interested and excited about learning new things.
- Sending their children to a school where communication skills are prioritized, and where students practice speaking for an audience.
With this in mind, the School Communication and Marketing Team has asked us to form a task force to produce a sample podcast which highlights our strengths as a school. The podcast must be ready for publishing prior to the Spring Break, and should be designed to reach as many prospective families as possible. The School Communication and Marketing Team and your teachers are available to support you in this task, and are expecting that you will report out on your progress. A full report will be expected as you reach the publishing stage, and your podcast will be made available to the public in April of this year.
You will be evaluated on your ability to work together in a group to plan and make group decisions, and on your ability to communicate and contribute to your group’s success.
Your work will be assessed on how well you incorporate features of oral language including tone, volume, inflection, and pace, and on how well you make use of the podcast medium to discuss and present your ideas in ways that are appropriate to the purpose and audience.
How will this project work?
Students will work together in teams of three or four to learn more about the podcasting genre and will put together a “best practices and techniques” list, before brainstorming possible ideas for their project and putting together a proposal letter. Each team will meet with their teacher or a mentor from the Marketing team to review and refine their ideas. Each team will then write a script, and create any interview questions that they might wish to employ.
Students will then begin to record, edit and produce their podcasts using the “best practices and techniques” they discovered to guide their work.
Finally students will produce a report explaining their process and evaluating their successes and challenges. This, along with their published podcast, will be submitted to their teacher for evaluation prior to Spring Break (10 classes away).
- Students will be able to recognize and make use of the form and features of a podcasting text in order to support their purpose and message, while connecting with a particular audience.
- Students will be able to effectively collaborate in a small group to complete a task and to build a shared understanding of the podcast genre.
- Students will be able to use a variety of strategies to support the creation processes of planning, drafting, editing and publishing.
Please see this link for the rubrics that will be used to assess student work.
These rubrics are inspired by several found at the Buck Institute for Education’s MyPBL website.
Before you begin, your group will want to explore the podcast genre. Use this worksheet to help you build your understanding.
Creating a successful interview can be challenging. Check out this video for some tips on how to do this successfully if you plan to include interviews in your podcast.
The podcast episodes below have some great ideas about features that make radio shows and podcasts successful.
When you are ready to record your podcast, you can use software like:
- Audacity (open source, for PC or Mac) – Tutorials can be found here and here
- Garage Band (for Mac) – Tutorials can be found here and here
- Soundtrap (mobile app for iOS and Android) – Tutorials can be found here and here
We will be using Anchor.fm to host our podcasts, and as an extension, students are able to take part in the hosting of the podcast. If you are interested in being a manager of our podcast, you can come and speak with their teacher to learn about how to upload and manage a podcast account.
We are similar in our student media project in that we are both creating podcast episodes! I created one for my Math 8 final “review” topic where I wanted to incorporate more opportunities for cross-curricular applications and tie in our skills to social issues and challenges. I was inspired by your podcasting unit in English 8, and although our projects are quite different, if you take a look at mine maybe we could find a way to collaborate and coordinate them in the future! I liked how you included tutorials for different recording options; I just chose to focus on one (AnchorFM) and then have students request to use others. I think I prefer your method!
I particularly liked that you front-loaded a lot of the skills that the students would need for the project in the beginning, having them create a “best-practices and techniques” checklist prior to starting. This will help them to steer clear of common but misguided practices that they may be tempted to use.
All the best on your project,