I love to have my students create podcasts to improve their speaking skills. I give them a topic and some links to online resources to do research on the topic. The assignment is to have an intelligent conversation about the topic with a partner. The students are supposed to record their conversations on their mobile phones and upload it on the internet for me, their fellow students, and the whole world to listen to.
The app I like to use for the podcasts is Audioboom. They offer unlimited recordings at up to 10 minutes each. People can subscribe to your channel via RSS. You can easily record, edit and upload content using their free mobile apps (iOS and Android). Audioboom also enables commenting (great for peer review) and attaching photos on their site.
Here’s an example of an online resource I used with my students. It’s a fantastic interactive report by NPR’s Planet Money on how a t-shirt is made in a globalised world.
Have a listen to one of the results, which unfortunately has to be labelled explicit – the students got a bit carried away with their expletives …
Student podcasting offers a lot of learning possibilities and advanteges over ‘just having a conversation’ in the classroom:
Students can work at their own pace and decide on their own how intensely they would like to rehearse before recording or how many takes they do before they are happy with the result.
Teachers can easily give detailed feedback as they can pause the recording whenever they like.
My next topic of a podcast project will probably be the global migration crisis. Here are the three online resources I am planning to use.
The Journey is an interactive by The Guardian telling the story of Hashem Alsouki and his Journey from Syria to Sweden.
This interactive by the New York Times tries to make sense of the refugee crisis using lots of graphics and photos.
The Atlantic has a fantastic photo series called Fleeing by the Millions.