I was beginning to focus on how I was going to organize my class to create podcasts, when one of my students asked for a "closing circle" which is a meeting at the end of the day in which a student has something that is important to discuss. The student wanted to bring up the idea of starting a podcasting company. Other students chimed in their interest, and so a company was born. I’ve been working diligently to create a bureaucracy (Kafka would be proud) in order to have an interaction and dependency between departments.
The Pod Groups
There are pods which will function as part of the process of producing the podcast. Each group will be composed of five students. I had the students write their preference and tried to honor it as much as possible. The groups will oversee a Flickr pro account, del.ic.ious account, GarageBand, and the blog at BlogMeister. I of course am the president although truth be told it was the students who decided on this. The Geek Pod will oversee the use of the technology and the Biblio Pod will monitor the use of tags and the written portion of the podcast. They will also help with the choosing of grammar problems for minilessons. I was thinking that each of the podcast groups which I will discuss in the next section will be required to submit two grammar/parts of speech issues that they had difficulty solving to the Biblio Group. Each group will have forms which I intend on creating from screen grabs of the interfaces from the respective program or internet apps. that the students will fill out by hand.
The Podcast Groups
The second organizational structure will involve the content. The students will be in groups of at least four with two groups of three. The class brainstormed ideas that made sense to report on and we also listened to Bob Sprankle’s classe’s podcast to hear an example. The content will be fairly open so that even if the podcast group is say math, the students can choose to report on topics outside of what they are studying.
The importance of Student Centered Learning.
I tried as much as possible to allow the student to be involved in all aspects of production. But because these are fourth and fifth graders I wanted them to use the social aspects of the tools and take on the technical elements which can be done by an individual, myself. The part of the process that I am doing myself may change later when the students are ready. At that point they would need to learn the conversion of the Garageband file into an MP4 file, the addition of chapters using the Chapter tool that I’ve found easy to use, the uploading of the file to Ourmedia although I’m growing impatient with the slow uploads and access, and finally the html needed to link the file in BlogMeister.