This is the first time that I made a podcast. It was alot of fun! You can hear our podcast, lampooning different conspiracy theories here.
I can say that going into this project, I was a little hesitant to consider using something such as this as a teaching tool, but now that we’re through with it, I can see how using this is the classroom would be a great way to get students to have fun with what they are doing, whether the topic be something fictional such as ours was, or using the format to enhance their multimodal presentations with an interesting and entertaining tool. Kate’s commentary provided in the “making of” is a good illustration of how much fun it can be to work in a group on a project like this.
This leads me to my first thought concerning the podcast as an educational tool in the ELA classroom; teambuilding. One of the methods that we will be using a great deal of is group work. Obviously, we want this to occur in as useful a way as possible, however often, it can be difficult to create a situation where successful group dynamics are the order of the day. The podcast itself is not a solution to creating a successful group, (a rubric developed with the class which lays down exactly what is to be expected of each group member and clearly defines sets of grading criterium that will in turn allow for the assignment of students’ specific roles within the group is, ultimately, the scaffolding that will help create a successful group), the podcast is an excellent way of illustrating how groupwork can be fun rather than laborious and formulaic.
The second thing that occured to me about the podcast was how useful it would be in a genre study situation. Now again this would have to have a strong rubric component that gave students a definite idea of what was expected out of the project, but being able to act and attempt to stay in character is an excellent way to give an example of whatever genre the podcast is supposed to be mimicing. Beyond that, having to observe the conventions of the subject matter is a tangible and valuable lesson. (In our podcast, for example, we had to observe the conventions of a radio program and specifically, the conspiracy theory radio program).