Thanks to Doug Belshaw I was inspired a week or so ago to try out the idea (as yet in its infancy) of recording revision podcasts for Year 12 students preparing for their exams coming up in about ten days. Of course this meant I would have to learn how to make a podcast, but armed with my resources from the website already mentioned plus my del.icio.us links on podcasting carefully collected for just such an opportunity, I thought it would be the work of a few moments to get my head around it. But it was harder than that. It is much harder than blogging, but now I know how to do it, it is getting easier. I have made two episodes that are just me talking about Henry Lawson's Short Stories and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and plan to do two more this week which I will record with other Year 12 teachers at my school discussing their readings of the texts. The students can download these podcasts onto their iPods, as some have already done, and listen to them while walking to school without being considered 'nerds', a sad reflection on school life today - if you are to succeed, you must make it look as though you did no work; being a nerd is one of the meanest things to say to a student. My dream would be to make regular podcasts of Year 12 texts next year throughout year 12 and involving the students (and possibly teachers at other schools - maybe through skype). This could be a source of revision for students as they come up to exam time. If any of your students are studying these texts feel free to have a listen. The two that remain to be done are reflections on Andrew Nicholls' film Gattaca and Janet Lewis' The Wife of Martin Guerre. The podcasts, called The Open Text (what else?) can be found here through Podomatic.
And speaking of podcasts, one that I have been enjoying recently is the Critical Literacy in Practice Podcast with Vivian Vasquez. Check it out.
Update: I remembered that I should also give credit to Joseph Papaleo as he had the idea of podcasts for revision. Podcast on Gattaca will be posted tonight