The December 2007 Podcasting Grant judging is
completed! Congratulations to four lucky
winners who will each receive over $2,860 in prizes.
to see the applications from the runner-up finalists!
Here are the grant applications of our four Grand Prize winning
Jane Smith, A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary
Stittsville ON K2S 1G8
Lesson Title: Digital Duck Radio ALC
A. Lorne Cassidy is an elementary school located in Ottawa, Ontario,
where two classes have already begun podcasting. We have a student
population of approximately 700 students from Kindergarten to
Grade 8. Our school mascot is the duck, leading us to name our
podcast Digital Duck Radio ALC.
With this project, each class is encouraged to produce an entire
episode of our podcast, with episodes likely lasting between 10
and 20 minutes long. Classes determine the content of their own
particular episodes. Some shows may be focused on particular themes:
a grade 1 episode could be about our community and its characteristics,
a subject that they have studied this autumn. Some episodes may
also have a variety show feel, showcasing examples of student
work (poetry, singing, book reports, interviews, etc). Students
have the leading role in developing ideas and planning podcast
segments. Rather than becoming an add on to the classroom
experience, the podcast provides an alternative method of presenting
work already being studied.
Our school is dual track, with some students receiving their
instruction in English while others are in a French immersion
program. It is often difficult to encourage our students in the
French language program to use their spoken French other than
in class situations. Podcasting is a wonderful real world way
for our French language students to practice speaking for an authentic
As co-producer of a podcast (www.portableradio.ca) that is produced
with my own class, I have witnessed the effect of posting student
work on the internet. When students are aware that their work
is being considered for presentation, they are more likely to
fully research, edit, revise and rehearse their work. They develop
pride, excitement and an appreciation of quality and a job well
done. The sharing of work as a school or class also creates a
collegial atmosphere contributing to school spirit and collaboration
By taking a school wide approach to podcasting, we can involve
all our students and teachers in a project that builds upon work
already being done in the classroom, by providing a wide audience
for student work. The creation of a podcast allows students to
become producers of material, rather than simply consumers on
the internet. It teaches lessons about the importance of words
and their effect on an audience. Podcasting also provides a window
into our classrooms for our parents, community and the world.
Here is how we propose to use all the resources provided in this
Tool Factory software - Tool Factory software contains all the
software requirements for teachers (and students) to produce their
own shows. To help encourage all staff and classes to come on
board with the Digital Duck project, software that is accessible
and simple to use is a must.
Digital Voice Recorders - Digital voice recorders allow flexibility
for the classes involved. They are easy for teachers and students
to use and highly portable. Students find them convenient for
recording podcast segments in quieter locations such as the hallway,
empty classrooms and even outside. They can be taken on field
trips allowing classes to review and share their experiences after
the trip is over. Voice recorders can be brought to any location
to conduct an interview, just like a field reporter. Digital voice
recorders are great for recording large groups, for example our
school band, primary choir or any performance group.
Microphones and Headphones -Microphones and headphones are particularly
useful for recording presentations done by one or two students.
Students who are reluctant to speak in front of large audiences
are often less intimidated speaking into a microphone in a private
corner of the classroom. I currently have a physically challenged
student who would benefit from the use of a headset microphone
when recording, as it is difficult for him to control a digital
recorder or handheld microphone. The headphones allow students
the opportunity to edit their audio pieces in the classroom on
the class computer without disrupting those around them. Our older
students can also learn the techniques of audio editing, using
Tool Factory software. This is another area where they can explore
being original and creative.
Clip Art Station - With the variety of subjects that are covered
by students in the Kindergarten to grade 8 programs at A Lorne
Cassidy, it is wonderful to have access to an extensive collection
of clip art to support the audio work being created. This improves
the opportunity to promote our podcast episodes on our school
Worksheet Station - Our school podcast is designed specifically
to support each grade levels curriculum, particularly reading
and writing. The Worksheet Station reinforces the work that teachers
do with students. The sheets provide guidance and opportunities
for research. They encourage the preplanning, writing and revising
of student work. The podcast sheets guide the students through
the process of producing a quality audio segment.
Web Page Station - In a school of 700 students and approximately
28 classes, web space is at a premium. We are currently hosting
a school website, several class websites, a class podcast, and
a School Council website. Additional web space will be required
for new episodes, as our podcast grows.
Tool Factory's Simple Guide to Podcasting - Podcasting can sound
a little scary to a teacher who hasnt had much experience
with the internet and sound editing. The guide presents information
in a non threatening way that would help to convince more teachers
that they can become involved in this exciting project.
Jennifer Smith, Monticello Middle School
Monticello IL 61854
Lesson Title: Super Science Sleuths Explain It All: Circumnavigating
the Circulatory System
As an eighth grade teacher I am responsible for introducing my
students to several scientific concepts that are new to them in
addition to helping them become more personally responsible for
their own learning. I accomplish both tasks through introducing
topics, providing necessary and relevant background information,
using guided instruction and experiments, and then assigning a
capstone activity. Each capstone activity requires students to
design a project that will illustrate their ability to apply learned
The podcasting grant would greatly add to the effectiveness of
our current class activities by allowing students to become more
comfortable with different forms of technology, challenging students
to create increasingly more unique capstone projects, encouraging
students through the motivation derived from using technology,
and allowing students to showcase their work for parents, peers,
and the community.
The following is an example of how podcasting would enhance an
anatomy unit I currently use in the classroom.
1. As an introduction to the circulatory system unit, the students
spend time discussing what they know about the circulatory system.
These discussions can be recorded and used to create a podcast.
At the conclusion of the unit, students can listen to the podcast
and evaluate the accuracy of their initial assumptions regarding
2. After the introductory discussion, I determine the information
the students need to have clarified and the information that still
needs to be taught.
3. While several experiments are conducted with each unit of study,
whole group discussion is the primary vehicle for instruction.
These lectures can be recorded as podcasts which would provide
absent students with the opportunity to hear classroom lectures
or help students study for upcoming tests by listening to the
podcasts as a means of reviewing information.
4. While in their lab groups, students will create podcasts of
circulatory system related experiments. For instance, students
will record the steps of the experiment and take pictures with
digital cameras to record the results of each step. During our
circulatory system unit students are able to participate in a
heart dissection. The steps of the dissection can be photographed
and the students can create a podcast detailing the dissection.
This podcast can then be used as a learning tool by students who
choose not to participate in the dissection. These activities
will also afford students the opportunity to learn how to document
data and display it for a larger scientific community.
5. The capstone activity for each unit of study in my science
courses requires that each student work alone or with a partner
to creatively display their knowledge of the recently studied
science topic. Students will be asked to create a podcast to share
with the class at the conclusion of the unit of study. Students
are encouraged to be as creative as possible when producing projects
in the form of interviews, dramas, songs, radio shows, etc. Examples
of past projects include student created dramas about the life
of a drop of blood traveling through circulatory system, a news
report detailing the path of blood through the body, and comic
book depictions of red blood cells living in the circulatory system.
A. Students select their own topic from the unit which permits
students the opportunity to further study information in which
they are interested.
B. Students are then given time to research their topic in the
library, online, and through professional interviews. Previous
podcasts from the unit will be available for students to use as
C. Students will use the Tool Factory Podcasting Formats worksheet
to determine the format that would work best with the scientific
topic they have selected.
D. Students will complete the Tool Factory Listener Profile worksheet
to help determine the content of their podcast.
E. Students will use Tool Factory Word Processing software to
create outlines and type information for their podcasts.
F. Students will use Tool Factory Podcasting software, headsets
and microphones, and Olympus Digital Voice Recorders to prepare
G. Students will use digital cameras, scanners, and Tool Factory
Clip Art Station to insert sounds and photos into their podcasts.
While working on their projects, students will use flash drives
to save and transfer their podcast information to different computer
H. Upon completion of the podcasts, students will review and assess
each podcast based on a class created rubric, offering suggestions
for improvement and praise regarding the final project.
I. After each podcast has been examined, the revised versions
will be uploaded to the school webpage and the Tool Factory Web
Page Station. Students will then be able to share information
not only with their parents and the larger school community but
also with their peers in other school districts throughout the
Joyce Pushpak, St. Michael School
Independence OH 44131
Lesson Title: A Nation Divided
I am a computer teacher working in a private school in Independence
which is a small suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Much of my curriculum
is driven by the curriculum of the regular classroom teachers.
This year, the 8th grade social studies teacher, the 8th grade
language arts teacher and I are going to work collaboratively
on a project which incorporates the use of Internet searching,
asking the experts, digital photography and video, and podcasting
to create presentations which will chronicle the events leading
up to the U.S. Civil War as well as the war and the rebuilding
of our nation. The students will work in cooperative groups of
5 or 6 students, each assigned a chapter in their social studies
book that covers one of the periods of the Civil War.
We will use our current computer lab and wireless laptops to
do the Internet researching and online collaborations with experts
in the field. Our language arts teacher will be responsible for
overseeing the facilitation of the research process, including
the use of graphic organizers, notes, citing sources, etc. The
topic of plagiarism will also be covered.
The social studies teacher will oversee the presentation and
the understanding of the content. In-class discussions about the
Civil War and it's role in U.S. history will be conducted prior
to the beginning of the project. The teacher will then serve as
a facilitator in helping the students to determine appropriate
and relevant content.
My role, as the technology teacher, will be to help the students
understand and utilize the integration of technology into this
project. This will include, but is not limited to, understanding
how to evaluate a web site for authenticity and accuracy, a discussion
of copyright laws and plagiarism, and teaching them how to create
the end product - the podcast. The podcast will involve the students
presenting reenactments of specific events as well as primary
source documents, pictures and videos.
Throughout this project, students will also be practicing skills
such as keyboarding, desktop publishing, Internet searching, use
of a digital video camera, digital photography, audio recording
and web site development.
The length of this project is projected to be a full quarter,
consisting of 9 weeks. The students will meet with me in their
computer class during their scheduled computer class time which
is once per week for 40 minutes. The lab will be available to
them during any non-class periods as well as before and after
school. I will be available during those times as a resource person.
The project will be evaluated by all three teachers resulting
in a grade for each subject. The evaluations used will be observation,
rubrics (both self-assessment and teacher assessment), peer rubrics
and the final presentation. There will be a specific time line
provided to the students detailing due dates.
Assuming all goes well, we will post the final products to our
school web site as well as to public podcasting websites. (This
is assuming approval by parents for their students work to be
posted in the public domain.)
Frances Lamb, New Paltz Middle School
New Paltz NY 12561
Lesson Title: The Omnibus Vodcast
During the 8th grade in NYS, the curriculum focuses on our nation's
heritage. As part of their studies, students take a 3 day journey
in April of 2008 to Washington, D.C. to take a look at our capitol's
rich history and monuments. Our students will have studied about
the nation's capitol and visit many websites about our nation's
history before the trip. To make the trip more memorable and interactive
for our 170 students, they will interview classmates "on
the spot" about various sites they have studied about and
now visited (e.g. Lincoln Memorial, National Air and Space Museum
and other Smithsonian museums, Vietnam Memorial, WW II Memorial,
National Zoo and The Arlington National Cemetery.)Students will
be broken up into interviewing teams and must work cooperatively
together to complete the assigned task. Each team will be responsible
for creating their own questions based upon class lessons and
team research of Washington, D.C., to answer while on the trip.
Students will also use recording equipment, from the grant, and
digital cameras, from the grant, while on the trip to capture
memorable and historical highlights from this three day journey
that relate to the team's developed questions. Upon returning,
students will use Tool Factory software to edit their interviews,
video editing and podcasting tools to be specific. Their final
product will consist of video podcasts that will act as a digital
scrapbook of the journey to our nation's capitol. Final products
will be posted on the district's website for the educational community
to enjoy and explore. In addition, this activity would likely
be expanded to our 6th and 7th grade class trips based upon its
As a result of this project students will:
1. enhance their knowledge of the project creation process
2. learn or enhance public speaking and presentation skills
3. learn and use new technology, including digital cameras, digital
video cameras, recording equipment and video editing software
4. increase their knowledge of American History, Science and journalism
5. learn script writing skills
6. practice teamwork and cooperation and a sense of responsibility
7. learn how to create and post podcasts
8. learn knowledge of process in a project from beginning to end
9. learn appreciation of our national heritage, technology and
the animals we share this planet with
applications of the 3 runner-up finalists.