How to podcast (For Teachers)

How to podcast with your primary school.

An easy teacher's guide to starting a podcast with your primary school class. Easy steps to start your podcast including software suggestions.

The Dharma School podcast is an exciting ICT project, which is run by children for children. The team produce a podcast, which is broadcast to other children at school, and to others around the world, containing a fantastic and easy information about meditation and mindfulness. You can listen to the shows online, or subscribe to our podcast using RSS or iTunes. 

To hear our podcast please visit our Radio Show & Podcast Page.

What equipment do we use? 

So you want to start a podcast with your school too? 

Most of the show is created using a regular PC. This runs most of the software, and our team learn how to use it really quickly. We use an iPad with its inbuilt microphone to record our podcasts but you can use a USB microphone?! We also use PCs to do our research and to write scripts. We can all work on the same script at the same time by using Google Drive and share documents.  

Which software do we use? 

iTunes - is one of the most important programs, as it collects all of the audio which we use in each show. We set up a special playlist, and put all of the completed episodes into it. iTunes also downloads the audio which we have recorded on iPad using... 

Garageband - We like using Garageband! We use Garageband to record our podcast. It’s really easy. We also use it to record the jingles which you hear on the show. These are used to introduce different parts of the show, and to remind listeners to send us an email, or visit our website. [Excellent Website explaining how to use Garageband to create your podcast]

Google Drive - We work as a team to write our script with every member of the team writing their words on the same document at the same time, but on differerent computers! 

Feedburner - We use the free Feedburner for our podcast feed. Those people who subscribe to our show, use our Feedburner feed to download the latest shows automatically. Feedburner then tell us how many subscribers we have, and tell us a little more about the software they’re using. 

Podsnack - Is a free website that allows us to make the playlist you see on our podcast page. It lets you upload your completed audio onto a playlist and you can even chose from a variety of looks and colours.

Free M4a to MP3 Converter - We use this piece of software to convert the files from m4a (which are sometimes tricky files) to mp3 files (nice friendly files).

Poderator - To publish your podcast on iTunes you need to send it a very special file called an XML file. These are lots of complicated code (which is easy to get wrong) so this free website makes it really easy for you.

Who is involved? What are our jobs? 

The Dharma School Podcast consists of a team of children who are responsible for the show. The main team decide what goes into each show. They then ask other children to record features, prepare scripts, or present the show. Our teacher, Ross then puts our shows online whilst we update our website. 

How do we make the shows? 

We usually start with a topic title and begin by deciding what we’re going to put into each show, and organising who is going to make the different parts of it. When we’re ready, we sit down with the DJ to record the show. We open Garageband and get everything ready to record. We record each show as carefully as we can, adding in the jingles, clips and features which we recorded earlier. Sometimes we make mistakes, but we can usually record small sections again. Ross then puts the shows onto our website, and updates our podcast feed. 

What do we learn by doing this? 

Our teacher says that we learn the following things: 

Literacy skills - although each show only lasts about 5/10 minutes, many hours of work go into the preparation and production of The Dharma School Podcast. We have to discuss, comment, reason, infer and deduce as well as think of questions to ask our interviewees. The there is writing the scripts for each show. This covers a huge range of literacy objectives. 

Speaking and listening skills - presenting a podcast requires the development of clear speaking skills. The children are aware that their voices will be broadcast to a huge number people around the world, and listen to other podcasters to discover the best ways to use their voices. As they gain experience, it is always possible to see their skills and confidence develop! 

ICT skills - I never fail to be impressed with how quickly the children learn these new and incredibly sophisticated ICT skills. They become confident and incredibly proficient at using a wide variety of equipment and software within a short space of time. The entire show is genuinely created by the children. 

As the teacher, I do very basic editing of the show once it has been recorded, and then distribute it via our website and podcast feed. 

Team work skills - A project like this requires a considerable team effort. The children all need to work closely together to create an entertaining podcast in a short space of time. 

Confidence and Dedication - The children who work on The Dharma School Podcast often do extra work and volunteer. They are all incredibly motivated young people, who give up their own free time to work on the project. As a result of their efforts, their confidence develops considerably. They all become increasingly valued and recognised members of our school community, and their dedication to the project always amazes me. But, we just think that making The Dharma School Podcast is great fun!

Another School's blog worth checking our is The Downs FM

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