Sunday, May 20, 2007

Using iPods in the classroom

I was fortunate yesterday to attend and to present at the ICTEV conference (see session notes for some workshops here). One of the sessions I went to was this one by Richelle Hollis from Bendigo Senior Secondary College. After reminding us of what researchers have told us about Generation Y (those born in the 1980s and 90s) referring to studies by Peter Sheahan and Mark McCrindle, Richelle showed some podcasts including Douchy’s Biology Podcast.

Richelle showed us some fabulous work by Year 12 German Language students, one of whom had composed and sung his own work on what it was like to live in Australia in German!. He had then sent this mp3 file to his German host family to critique and then improved it. This really showed the power of podcasting in the classroom. Richelle also told us about a program called Breakfast bytes, which was a program for teachers in her school to learn about podcasting over a (catered) breakfast which worked so well that she ran it twice. One feature of this was that she sent out the invitations to the staff by a sound file she had recorded.

Richelle demonstrated how simple it was to record podcasts using an iPod (or any mp3player) with a Micro Memo recorder to plug in to the iPod. There were lots more ideas such as when students are on an excursion they can record their impressions of what they are seeing to later turn into a podcast summarising their learning.

One idea I got from this session that I want to try is getting my Year 7 students to make a radio show, writing the scripts in pairs on things that interest them that they have done some research on (or possibly interviews with friends or family) and recording them. I still need to think some more about how to do this.

I also want to introduce the concept to my Year 12s in the next week, as they are doing their orals outside of class time and preparing to write an essay on one of the two texts they have studied so far. I would like them to work in pairs on their chosen text and interview each other on aspects of the text, record these and put them up as podcasts which would be useful for revision at the end of the year.


  1. Good job, Jo. Sounds like an interesting conference.

  2. I really like the idea of Breakfast Bytes, and the way this was promoted! Thanks for sharing these ideas. Great to catch up with you this afternoon in the 'online' spaces - should catch you for a real coffee some day :-)