Friday, May 25, 2007

Sager Solomon Schechter Middle School

We will be creating podcasts for students to use in support of difficult Hebrew reading assignments. This year I've been focused on acquiring the technical skills for podcasting. Since we're a "Mac shop," we have been using GarageBand to record audio files. We have a chesed club that has a sharing wiki with a community in Russia and several of our sixth graders have already created podcasts - I have found that the process is very straightforward and the students took very little time to get comfortable with it.

We purchased Logitech mics that stand on a desk (about $20/each) to add to our tools for recording. We already owned a few Sennheiser boomsets (headphones combined with mics), but I wanted to use the stand mics to make it easier for several students to record at the same time. In addition, we used FundingFactory money to purchase mp3 recorders. These may work the best for having a teacher record the Hebrew for our podcast, since they're very easy to use and don't require a computer to record. I bought four of them from iriver on closeout - they're very small and probably will only record an hour or so at a time, but that will be fine for our purposes. This will give us three different types of tools to use, in addition to trying out the onboard Mac mics.

We putting together our schedules for next year and then we'll know which of our Hebrew teachers will be the coordinator for the project. As the technology coordinator for the school I'll be responsible for putting the files online and supporting the students in downloading the material, but we will have a classroom teacher who will be recording the text. My principal and I met to discuss what kind of issues will have to be addressed with the teacher, in terms of clarity of the audio files, etc. Our thought is that we will have the teacher work with one of our resource teachers to make sure that the audio file will be helpful for our students.

I'm very excited to be part of this esteemed group - I've read through the descriptions of the other projects and can't wait to hear everyone's progress. On a personal note, if anyone will be at CAJE in August at Washington University in St. Louis, let me know - I'd love to share notes.


Elky Langer said...

A tip on using MP3 recorders--a lot of them are sensitive to being held and they pick up noises from hand movements. If you find your recordings aren't clear have the teachers put the MP3 recorders down on a nearby desk as they're speaking. I found it made a big difference in clarity.

Evi Reznick said...
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Evi Reznick said...

I'm attending a podcast workshop this week. Here are the notes from their last one. Georgia Tech is repeating the workshop because so many people wanted to attend. The notes contain links to valuable advice and how-to info.