We are learning about how to make a podcast and ways we might use podcasting in the classroom.

My podcasting resumé : I started podcasting with my class of Year Four and Five children in August 2006 and since then have spent some time exploring different genre of podcasts. When we started I had no idea about it at all and pretty much worked it out by trial and lots of errors. Hopefully this resource will make your podcasting journey a little easier as you know there is someone to contact if you get stuck.

If you need some help when you get home please feel free to email me at Allanah's email and I can lend you a hand or my Skype name is AllanahK if you would like to give me a call. My edublog can be found here.

NZ E-Fellow, Jane Nicholls, is doing some wonderful research into how podcasting fits into the NZ oral language curriculum. This post on her blog, in particular, gives a useful matrix highlighting the elements of oral language that can be taught through podcasting as identified by children and teachers- Jane's Podcasting blog post.

Here are some interesting links that you may want to look at.

  • My Podcast using Podomatic. This site gives the teacher more autonomy for uploading podcasts and an easy ability to be subscribeable in iTunes. Allanah's Podcast>.

  • We are called Allanah's Appleby Airwaves- you can search for it in ITunes also.

  • This video be Lee LeFever from Commoncraft gives you a really easy to understand idea of how a podcast differs from just putting audio on the internet.


  • With Call Recorder on a Mac you can record both sides of a Skype conversation. You get a free seven day trial and then you pay about $12US. Call Recorder for Skype

  • You can get a similar thing for a PC called Pamela for Skype.
  • Now we can have a look more deeply into what podcasting is all about.

1. My experiences with podcasting so far.
  • Giving the children in my class an audience- peers, parents, other classes and time zones
  • Giving the children ability in speaking with clarity and confidence
  • Giving children a meaningful context for improving their oral skills
  • Giving the children a global perspective- linking with other classrooms and schools
  • Giving the parents a window into the children's learning at school
  • Providing an opportunity for constructive feedback and encouragement
  • Allowing children to be expressive and creative
  • Podcasting is fun!


2. What is podcasting?

  • audio files that you can download onto your computer and listen to when you feel like it.

  • 85% of people just listen thru their computers, not uploading to an iPod.

  • but the good thing about a podcast is that you can make them subscribe to a podcatcher like iTunes so that whenever iTunes opens the latest episode gets downloaded without you having to do anything. It uses RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to catch your podcast’s latest episode. The joys of using Podomatic is that it does it all for you.

3. There are lots of different ways of listening to a podcast

  • in iWeb linked to a website

  • in a podcast site like Podomatic - the cool thing about this is you can get feedback and tag your podcast so that you can easily search for similar podcasts

  • in a podcatcher like iTunes

  • downloaded onto your iPod with headphones or thru a speaker.

4. There are three types of podcast

  • a straight audio kind that you make with Audacity. Audacity doesn't allow you to add pictures to make your podcast more interesting. Personally I think pictures are a must for primary aged children. Audacity is multi-platform and gives children an idea of how to edit and mix audio at home if they want to.

  • an enhanced podcast with photos/graphics that you can make using Audacity and Microsoft Moviemaker or Garageband.

  • a vodcast with moving pictures using Kid Pix, iMovie or Powerpoint.

5. Examples of some of podcasts using different medium

  • an enhanced podcast using Movie Maker

6. What you need to make a podcast?

  • a way of recording (Apple has a built in microphone, PC you can buy a desktop microphone for $10 from Trade Me, a Singstar USB microphone will allow left and right audio tracks.

  • a piece of software that allows you to record like Audacity, Garageband or iMovie

  • if it is an enhanced podcast you need some photos, Kid Pix, iMovie, Garageband or the like

  • a soundtrack is good to help fill in the silences and give it a professional look but beware of copyright. I can recommend Freeplay music as an excellent place to get music that is very suitable for publication. Freeplaymusic

  • a podcast publisher like podomatic or iWeb

7. Topics for podcasts could be endless, limited only by our imagination .....

  • interview, book review, retelling, conversation, monologue, reading aloud, diary, advertisement, discussion, singing, assessment, jokes, sharing news, music, art discussions, instructions, publication of written work, poetry, visitor interviews, recount of field trips, play/drama audience, class welcome, step programme agreement publication, instructions/how to's, current events/news reporting, links with other schools (accents, languages), communication with overseas students, maths explanations, inquiry findings, debating, school speeches......

  • This is a quick podcast we made to highlight the children's art work and make a change from the 'What we did in the holidays' story! Click on the yacht for it to play.

  • This poetry based podcast was a mix of audio, children's art work and video.

8. Managing the Podcasting Process

  • We start with a podcast 'We are learning to'.

  • Suggest that when you podcast with children that the podcast is scripted and storyboarded in some way with an introduction, sequence and ending. Children may need to record and re-record as they listen to themselves and reflect on possible improvements.

  • Appleby Podcasting Template - I use this pdf to introduce our podcast and give it some structure

  • The way I do it is to have three ‘podcast monitors’ a week whose job it is to put together a podcast. If we can’t think of a topic we will do a book review. A book review is a good way to start as it is very structured and easy to manage. A great exemplar for book reviews would be KPE Point England School (Korero Point England) in Auckland. Do a search in iTunes.

  • In the beginning I had kids listen to a heap of good children’s podcasts as exemplars of what a podcast sounded like. Letting them listen/view on my iPod was also useful. Look at the wiki sidebar to see a list of awesome podcasting people and examples of their podcasts.

  • I was also fortunate enough that our ICT cluster shouted me a trip to Auckland for the day to Point England School to see how they were doing things which helped get me started. You are welcome to visit with us at Appleby for a similar experience should you be passing through.

9. Now we will make a little podcast in Garageband and publish it to Podomatic.