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Idea 23 iPod Microphones and Podcasting

iPod Microphones and Podcasting

This project idea was contributed by Katie Broadribb

These techniques are usable in a range of teaching and learning activities related to the delivery of the new GCSE specifications.


Podcasting is a much spoken of activity, which students regularly engage with outside the classroom. Television and radio shows all take advantage of this relatively new form of media, comprised of both audio and video, which can simply be downloaded or streamed from a website. But what about making your own podcast? There are many affordable recording devices on the market and microphones for iPods are steadily reducing in price. In this lesson idea students use recording devices such as dictaphones or iPods to record their talk.

Exploring Podcasts

A true podcast is one which is regularly updated and accessed online, for example the BBC podcasts. Through setting up an account with iTunes you can access over 100,000 podcast episodes from news reports to drama series.

Educational podcasts can also be accessed and a variety of websites offer this service, such as Learning2Go.

This activity can be extended through downloading free software such as Audacity which enables you to record and edit sounds. As part of the Better World Campaign, BT provide a useful step by step guide to making your own podcast.

Key Objectives

By the end of the lesson students will be able to:

  • Engage in exploratory pupil talk
  • Identify areas of success and improvement from a peers work
  • To be able to evaluate the success of other students work as well as their own
  • To take part in an audio recording and produce an mp3 audio file.

Planning the Activity

  • Hardware you need:
    – A PC or Mac with spare USB port
    – Audio recording equipment and USB lead
  • This activity requires audio recording equipment. This can be anything from a Dictaphone to a recording microphone for an iPod. Laptops often now come with an inbuilt microphone which could be used.
  • This lesson should follow a piece of extended and explanatory writing such as a practice exam response. From this the teacher should pick 3 or 4 pieces of students work to copy for the lesson. It is suggested that the different assessments are copied onto 3 or 4 different colours of paper to aid running the activity.

Running the Activity

1. Share the learning objectives and pass round the different copies of students work.

2. Encourage students to identify success criteria for the piece of work. In this example it is exam success criteria, although this lesson could be adapted to suit any task.

3. If it has not already been done, set up the rules for pupil talk in the classroom. See the download ‘Types of Talk’ below for suggestions on this.

4. Allow 5-10 minutes for students to review the piece of work identifying success and weaknesses. They should be encouraged to annotate the piece of work as part of this process.

5. Students should then move to work with a peer with the same piece of work and begin discussing areas of strength and development.

6. With two or more audio devices these could be passed to the students to begin recording. If using one device the teacher can move from group to group recording discussion.

7. Having verbalised their opinions regarding the piece of work, students should be encouraged to get into three groups based on the piece they have been analysing. Further recording of the group’s discussion to continue.

8. The audio recordings can then be played back to the rest of the class, and students encouraged to develop their ideas and share opinions in a whole class setting.

9. As a plenary students can identify a ‘how to’ list for that particular piece of work. It is also recommended that the rules for pupil talk be reviewed at this point – did they work? Are the students happy with them?

Types of Pupil Talk – A Quick Guide

Photo Credit

The photo of the iPod on this page is by missyredboots and is sourced from MorgueFile.

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