Thursday, February 19, 2009

Podcasting - Step 2


Last Week
In a post a week ago, I chronicled the first step in the seventh grade scence alternative energy video podcast project.

This Week
To facilitate the students' research, the science teacher created a worksheet packet which is posted on her website. This packet includes requirements, a research guide, and a storyboard template.

Students spent about 4 class periods researching alternative energy sources and finding pictures relating to alternative energy. After they finished filling out their research guide, the students had to write out a script for their podcast (minimum 1 1/2 pages long). Finally, before they were ready to begin, the students created a storyboard of their video podcast.

The science teacher brought her students to the library to record the audio portion of their podcasts using Audacity. After the first class, we realized that we needed to give them a limit of 3 chances at recording. We found that they would record, and being not quite satisfied with it, re-record again, and again, and again. I originally had thought we could get the recording completed in 10-12 minutes, but it ended up taking the entire period. Luckily I had the laptops, microphones, and headphones all set up for the students before they came to the library. When the students arrived, I did a quick tutorial on how to use Audacity and let them begin recording. The students were excited about recording and they had a great time!

Next Week
On Monday, the science classes will be down to the library again. They will be importing their audio and pictures into moviemaker (my solution to creating video podcasts without macs) and uploading their finished product to a ning. More about that on Monday!

Number 2 photo used under Creative Commons License by

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!
(a day late, but I like to celebrate the entire weekend)

PicLit from
See the full PicLit at

Valentine's Day always makes me think of poetry and all the wonderful poets who expressed their love so elegantly. Poetry makes me think of PicLits and how I love matching a poem to a picture . . . so here is a PicLit valentine for all my readers:)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My First Steps Into Podcasting

Last spring I attended a podcasting session at the PSLA conference and I knew that podcasting would be my big push this year with my teachers.

I began by getting audacity and the LAME encoder downloaded on all the computers/laptops in the library. Next, I taught myself how to use audacity - there are tons of great tutorials out on the web and audacity itself is very simple to use. Then I bought enough headphones and USB microphones for an entire class.

So, now I was ready to pull in the teachers. In addition to talking to teachers, I sent out an electronic newsletter hoping to introduce, educate, and interest teachers in doing podcasts with their students. I was able to interest 5 teachers in developing podcasts projects this year.

I want to highlight the alternative energy video podcast project that a science teacher and I are currently working on. This will be the first of three posts chronicling the process.


We introduced the students to the project yesterday. I wanted her students to be aware of copyright and creative commons. So, I created a short presentation (see below) to introduce them to the Creative Commons license and how to give attribution to creators. I also introduced them to compfight - the image search engine they will be using to find their pictures (not blocked by our filter - yay!). Finally, I created a page on my website for students to reference.

After talking to the science teacher today, it sounds like she and the students are excited to be working on this project. The students have one week to create their script and find their pictures before we begin creating our video podcasts.

Next week . . . Second Step!

Photo used under Creative Commons license from