I thoroughly enjoyed PodcampUK at the beginning of this month, but the session which I found most helpful was from Joe Dale. Joe teaches French at a Middle School on the Isle of Wight and what caught my interest were his blog rules.
They help manage the tricky problem of comments, which really motivate pupils involved in blogging or podcasting. If you take a look at the comments on this post from the Frankley Talk podcast project in South Birmingham you’ll see how those who took part wanted to share their pride and got a real kick from the praise coming from elsewhere.
Rule 7 and 10 strike a chord with me because I loathe txt speak. However different types of work may need different rules. As an outsider working in schools sometimes we can make more progress by being more relaxed. A teacher like Joe needs to remain firmly in control and is aiming to integrate web 2.0 in all they do.
- I will only use my first name
- I will never give out my email address
- I will never give out my home address
- I will never give out my telephone number
- I will respect others
- I will not use rude or threatening words
- I will not use text talk or chat language
- I will not copy other people’s work
- I will be responsible for everything I write
- I will check my spelling before posting
Below is a conversation I recorded with Joe in a short pause during podcampuk.
Whilst I’m here (and I’ll write some more on Podcampuk soon) thanks to everyone who organised the unconference and mentions for brum based Digital Central for sponsoring such a brilliant gathering, the NTI for hosting it and Aston Business School for a great venue for a party. It would be great to see you all back in Brum next year.
A few weeks late with this but I just want to share with you the work of a group of year Nine Students at Frankley High in Birmingham.
I’ve been working for Stan’s Cafe and Birmingham Creative Partnerships, with musician Mathew Beckett, to develop podcasting skills in infant and senior school students and staff in Frankley. The most recent results are up on FrankleyTalk (blog every much in beta! any tips to improve it visually gratefully received).
It’s the start of the process for most of the young people, and we have more time in September to leave develop the skills, and hopefully enthusiasm, to continue to use these techniques to raise creativity, aspiration and citizen involvement.
The group pictured above chose to produce a piece of short radio fiction and radio journalism on the connection between boredom and antisocial behaviour. Their starting point was “The tenth pink slip..” – a drama created in less than a day and based on the fear of getting too many pink slips from the police. The tenth one, they told us, means a likely court appearance.
From dramatists to journalists: the next part of the work produced radio journalism exploring the link between boredom, crime and gangs. (listen to “The Estate We’re In”).
One curious frustration was our attempts to invite the police to come and talk to the students. In principle they were willing to help, in practice it didn’t happen. Even a direct appeal from two of the most pink-slipped young men didn’t manage to get the critical interview. Better forward planning which helps the services understanding the value of work like this as a means of talking directly to young people is on my to do list.
The team presented their work twice, once to the rest of year 9 and once to a Creative Partnership conference. If you want to understand what the work meant to the group listen to this podcast (produced by a shy (!) volunteer conference goer who we trained on the spot)
Also read the many comments on the Frankley Talk blog – add to them if you wish.
I’ve so far worked in a couple of schools to introduce podcasting. The teachers see the value, even if we are still learning the best ways to integrate with the wider work in the school. Some are hugely enthusiastic. The pupils mostly find it fun, some find it compelling.
But we always have to deal with the battle between control and freedom of expression which characterises school life. Which is why I was pleased to read Howard Rheingold on the DIY Media Blog. In his post he states the benefits very simply:
By showing students how to use Web-based tools and channels to inform publics, advocate positions, contest claims, and organize action around issues that they truly care about, participatory media education can draw them into positive early experiences with citizenship that could influence their civic behavior throughout their lives.
That is exactly what the students at Kings Norton Boys School in Birmingham are starting to do with their podcast the Podminions. The channel not only provides them with a patform to find a voice (or a collection of voices), the microphone is giving them a power boost – encouraging them to get out there and ask questions – query the world and then interpret it for an audience.
At Reaside School in Frankley the pupils combine podcasting with drama – developing self confidence and narrative skills. At the same time they shared their own view of the world – whether it was fear expressed in The Beast or affection in Wendy Scattergood.
Edit: and if you just want to listen to their in song it’s here:
So why tell you all of this? Read more
I’ve just come to the end of a series of days working with children at Reaside School in Frankley in Birmingham. Four of us were briefed through Stan’s Cafe (I love Stan’s proper use of the apostrophe) and creative partnerships to use podcasting to tap into the children’s imaginations and their skills at evolving and structuring stories.
You can listen to and see all the work the children created at a website we have established for this and future work: www.frankleytalk.com
Early work was focussed on where the children live – the streets and neighbourhoods of Frankley and what this means to them. One piece that popped out of this was a podcast on renaming an imaginary street. Most of Frankley’s streets are named for either monarchs or British islands. The year 5 group plumped to name their new street after someone they know, one of their nan’s. So Wendy Scattergood (’tis truly her name) has became a symbol of the things that grown ups do which children appreciate: