Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Podcasts and Vodcasts - Oh my!

Today I'm just looking for space to post some of the works students are creating while they are learning about natural disasters. Boy, who would've thought this would have been difficult?! It appears that although I consider myself above average when it comes to using web 2.0 tools, posting podcasts online is quite a challenge. Let's start here:

If I post a podcast on Wikispaces, first I must insert a file. Then I need to stretch it out to what seems to be an EXTRA, EXTRA, EXTRA larze in order for it to appear in about a 200 X 200 window.

If I try and post a podcast in Google Sites, it becomes more of a challenge because I don't have a widget that will let me insert it into the window.

If I just attach the podcast to a Google Site page or wiki, it doesn't show the title screen, only the name of the file. This somewhat dilutes the power of being able to share the visual with the world. It also means that those without iTunes or Quicktime won't be able to download the file and view it.

Any posting to Google Video means I have to convert my m4v to a .mov format or other. Not necessarily a terrible thing but certainly creates more work than I sometimes have the time for. This also created a bit of a problem when the pictures and audio lost their synchronization.

Posting on a YouTube creates a privacy issue if my student work isn't allowed on a public site and also means that I need to cover creative commons licensing with original works with students so that they know the possibility of others being able to download their work and change it. I guess I need to cover the creative commons licensing anyway.

So instead of actually posting my students' work online, I'm just going to tell you about it.

Students collected research on natural disasters in the US, filled out Storyboards, and wrote scripts with facts and interesting information. The podcasts were about 2 minutes long and included copyright free images that students found at home and school. Students helped each other as they worked in groups and were very proud once they were able to view their podcasts on a machine that had Quicktime and/or iTunes.

Next time I'll take a movie of the students creating the podcast and blur out their faces. It'll be easier. ;)

If you can post any helpful tips or share ways that you've been able to post podcasts easily, please comment. It would be most appreciated! Thanks!