The April 2008 Podcasting Grant judging is completed! Congratulations to three lucky winners who will each receive over $2,860 in prizes. Click here to see the applications from the runner-up finalists!
Here are the grant applications of our four Grand Prize winning teachers:
Abby Hooper, East Side Elementary
Brownsville, TN 38012
Grade Level: 3rd and 4th
Number of students: 500 participating
Project subject areas: This unit will cover the subjects of Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Reading.
With this project teachers will be able to turn their lessons into a hands-on experience that enhances life skills and knowledge of new forms of technology. The project will foster creativity and cover skills that are directly related to the Tennessee state standards that are tested on the state achievement test.
If awarded the podcasting grant, the equipment will be used to create a classroom travel show. The plan is to have each participating class document their adventures by using the podcasting equipment. Some sample shows include but are not limited to: Weather Reports, Whats my state famous for?, I bet you never knew this about my state, restaurant reviews, and how to plan an economical trip to my state. These are just the basic ideas for the podcasting adventures. The opportunities are endless and I am sure that the students will come up with interesting ideas of their own. The whole goal of the project is to make learning fun and to get away from just teaching out of the textbook.
Here is how we will use the resources provided with the grant:
Tool Factory Software The Tool Factory Software will be used to produce our classrooms state adventures. Being simple for teachers and students to use is a plus. It is not always easy to get teachers to think outside of the box. I feel that more teachers will participate in the project by providing them with something that is easy to use.
Digital Voice Recorders The digital voice recorders will be used to record the podcasting segments in quiet places. The portability of the recorders is a plus for our students. They are able to take the recorders out of the class to record their segments in a quiet place or even take a recorder home for interviews or just to work on their segment at night. The recorders will also be used on our culminating activity day. Students will be able to interview community members and post their reactions to our project as a podcast. The microphones and headphones will be used to record the podcasting segments in the classroom. Part of my classroom will be set up as our class podcasting station. This will be the students own working area.
Clip Art Station The clipart station will provide a wonderful collection of clip art that will enhance all projects that will be created with the unit. I can only imagine what their PowerPoints, maps, and brochures will look like.
Worksheet Station and Tool Factory Simple Guide to Podcasting - These two items will be very beneficial when it comes to explaining the simplicity of podcasting to the teachers. They will first be used in in-services to demonstrate the use of Tool Factorys podcasting equipment and what can be created with it. The teachers will then in turn take these sources to enhance the lessons that they will teach.
Web Page Station As of right now, our teachers do not have their own web pages. This host site will be an essential part in making our project a success. It will serve as the host site for our podcasting shows.
From East to West Across the U.S. is a unit filled with hands-on
projects that link our states core curriculum content to
advanced standard-base learning. Throughout this unit, students
will participate in a learning experience that will compel them
to think critically and challenge the concepts that they already
Monika Kordowski, Lake Garda Elementary School
Burlington, CT 06013
Students will create a bi-monthly Spanish newscast. The news can include local school news, local city/state news, Hispanic news, weather, sports, fashion, health (lunch options at school), interviews and commercials. Each class will be/represent a different news station (similar to the real world and all the choices in news stations) with a unique look and personality.
Each class will decide which components they will include in their monthly broadcast. The class will be divided into 7-8 different groups, consisting of 2 or 3 students per group. Each group is responsible for a part of the newscast. Their task will be to create a report for a part of the newscast and choose clipart to enhance it with illustrations.
Here is how this one project would incorporate all the resources provided in this grant:
Tool Factory software Students will have the opportunity to work on projects at any time during the day.
Digital Voice Recorders The use of digital voice recorders
is invaluable when learning a world language. The voice recorders
in this project will be used to practice recording the broadcast
and for the interviews. It will be a very smooth process to have
a digital voice recorder per 2 groups of students.
Microphones and Headphones This equipment will make the project of creating a newscast more authentic and life-like. Students can have the real life experience by being able to use microphones and headphones for broadcasting and editing their newscast.
Clip Art Station - Students will use this site to get clipart and audio to enhance their newscast and add some visual understanding for those who struggle with the language.
Worksheet Station This will be used to help students map out their ideas and the reports they will be presenting. These will also be used as a whole class activity to outline the entire newscast incorporating all components.
Web Page Station The school website is very limiting in
space. We are only allowed to post a few pictures with captions
each month. Using this site will allow more possibilities to display
student work and it will also open up a new opportunity for parents
and other family members to hear what their loved ones can do
in a new language.
Tool Factory's Simple Guide to Podcasting This simple guide will be beneficial for any teacher to use in the classroom. It will also be a great way to teach the 3rd and 4th graders a little about pod casting so they can also begin to create pod casts and have the experience of listening to their own voices and those of their peers in Spanish.
Mary Pella-Donnelly, Chico Junior High
Chico, CA 95926
Lesson Title: Chico Junior High's Healthy Character
With a school-wide audience; the information, the technology
and the successful airing of student issues will provide reinforcement
of the positive attributes we want to encourage our students to
have. It will increase the self-esteem of those students who develop
these podcasts, and lead them to positive recognition within the
school community. By airing these podcasts regularly over the
school-wide intercom system, Chico Junior High students will have
positive behaviors reinforced as part of our schools efforts to
develop positive character attributes in all students.
Our school has a self contained program for students who have
been unsuccessful in junior high so far. It may be due to behavioral
issues or poor academic proficiency throughout most classes. The
students in this program will be given a chance to become involved
in podcasting. The program of 22 students will be trained and
will develop podcasts about issues of personal relevance to them
or share something about themselves in an authentic voice. Script
writing will be an integral part of this, and learning how to
accept free, legally obtained sound effects to enrich the podcasts.
Giving them this creative opportunity to express their issues
and learn the technical abilities in adding sound effects and
appropriate music will add depth to their school experience and
positively empower them. Sharing these podcasts with other classes
and over the intercom will be a powerful tool in these students
When this project is completed there are additional projects
that the audio recorders will be used for. Students will train
eighth grade history classes prior to the unit dealing with the
civil war. With lessons on slavery and the oral tradition of story
telling among different cultures, this curricular area will be
a perfect place to have students develop audio projects within
the core curriculum. The eighth grade history classes will then
interview elder relatives or neighbors to create oral history
projects. These oral history projects may also be used for intercom
broadcasts. This will create connections between different ages
of our community and enrich both groups.
These audio recorders may be used for other projects in addition
to science and history class use. Our Community Service Club has
gone into nursing homes and visited elderly people. By giving
the students further opportunities to interact with these people
and share their stories, both parties will be enriched. The students
that will be encouraged to participate initially, will be those
in our club and some students will be encouraged to join in whom
I have identified as benefiting the greatest from involvement
in school and community. After students develop edited podcasts,
each will be given an audio CD of their podcast and of others
who agree to share theirs.
Each of the individual projects will be shared with the community radio station for distribution over the air waves.