My name is Debbie Fisher and I work at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island. I began working with students in the high school to create podcasts. Two English teachers- Deloris Grant and Alicia Migliore work with students to write book reviews based on a template we developed last year. We ask students to review the book (reminding them- no spoilers), explain what the student enjoyed about the book and/or who they would recommend read the book. They also select a short quote from the book and explain why the quote is meaningful. The students must also create connections to the book (such as text to text, text to self or text to world). Another group of students discussed the issue of violence and this coordinated with a celebration called A Day of Peace.
One teacher of English Language Learners- Michael Paul- also worked with me on podcasts. His students discussed issues facing teens today. Many of the ELL students were too shy to actually do the recording, so they had to be coached on public speaking. Once the students completed their writing, they came to the library.
I use a Mac computer for this because I found the software easier to use as I completed the various steps (recording and editing in GarageBand, uploading it onto my website and submitting it to iTunes). I teach the students the basics of editing on a Mac and then they record. It usually needs to be recorded several times before they are satisfied with their volume, enunciation, pacing, etc. When I do the final editing, I burn the podcast to a CD so they can play for parents or use the artifact in their portfolio.
If you would like to hear samples of students’ work, download iTunes and and click on the icon on the left hand side (green shopping bag) called iTunes store. Then search podcasts for Central Falls High School. It is usually the first hit on the left hand side.
If you would like additional information about these projects, please contact me. Debbie Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org