So a few months ago I noted a new school magazine blog in Viginia started by first-year teacher George Mayo. The kids have loved it.
Well, guess what? Now there is a podcast to go along with the magazine. And it is FANTASTIC! How cool is that? This is the kind of constructivist, shared learning experience that the Read/Write Web makes possible. George says that it’s “amazing to be able to have a relatively high quality radio show so easily. Endless possibilities here.” Amen.
If we can have the world’s youngest video blogger, then we can sure as heck have the world’s youngest podcasting class. Let’s spread that meme, eh?
Jane Levy says
It’s amazing to me that a first year teacher is able to take on such a task. I am a fifth grade teacher who is trying to start a class blog. I started a bIog on schoolblogs.com, but it is so slow. I’ve set up another one on the weblog site. I’m very excited about the possibilities. I want to use it as a tool for my students to publish their work and receive feedback from each other and others outside the classroom. I have spend most of the day reading up on blogs and of course your name comes up pretty consistently. Do you offer workshops or any online course on blogging for the beginner?
Hi Jane. I use Typepad.com for my online blog magazine. I pay $15.00 a month for an unlimited number of blogs. Typepad also offers a 30-day free trial where you can experiment with their service. I think you get up to 3 blogs with the 30-day offer. Typepad is so easy that after one weekend you should be a pro. I had the same issue as you when I started into this. What blog service to use? The problem is that most blog servers have this annoying feature on their homepages called “recently updated” blogs. This is a real problem when you are working with middle schoolers. I know that there are a lot of teachers that would love to have their students blogging. I’ve been planning on pestering Typepad to develop a kid friendly sign in page. It would be a good business move on their part!
Jane Levy says
Thanks for the ideas. I went to your online magazine and listened to your podcast. It was impressive! My students have computer lab tomorrow and I plan on having all of them visit your site to read and listen. I would love to get my students involved in something like this. We are getting ready to do a study on nonfiction reading in which the students pursue an area of interest and then present what they have learned through their reading to the class. A magazine or a broadcast would be a great format for them to share their knowledge. I didn’t see a place to comment on the page for your online magazine. Is this done intentionally to keep all those weirdos who post on anything they can to sell their “wares”? Without this ability to comment, is this considered a blog or a webpage? One more question if you don’t mind. . .how did you record your podcast? The sound quality was great and the fading in and out of the music sounded very professional.
HI!- We don’t allow comments on the student blogs because of the “weirdo” thing. I tried comments briefly and it became immediately clear that I had to shut it down. They are definitely still blogs though.
The podcast was recorded using my apple powerbook G4. We used the built-in microphone and recorded using Garageband. Garageband comes with the iLife software on all new apple computers. Its very easy to use. The music on the show was also from garageband. We put together various music loops into a simple song. Then I exported the show from garageband to iTunes- where I converted it into an mp3 and uploaded it to my server.
Jane Levy says
Just wanted you to know that my whole class listened to your podcast. They loved it and they also read some of the magazine. They’re motivated to give it a go. Please let your students know that they have given my class a lot of ideas of what we can do with our class blog. Send them my thanks and complliments! I don’t have a lot of technology support at my school so I think I’ll begin by using the schoolblogs site and then take it from there. As soon as we get up and running I’ll post the site and hope that you and your class will give us a look and some feedback. Thanks for your time.
Hi Jane. I will definitely tell my students! They will be flattered. Good luck with your blogs. I look forward to reading them. And be on the lookout for the next M&M Online Magazine and Podcast. It will be out next Thursday.
Jane Levy says
Since this is my very first time blogging, it was neat to see our “blogversation” mentioned by Will. That’s the thrill I want my students to have. . .knowing that someone other than their teacher has noticed/valued their thinking. For the time being (until I can better figure this whole thing out) you can visit our blog at:
There’s not a whole lot going on yet, but we’re working on it. My students just finished writing about the most important event of 2004 based on an article they read in Scholastic News. Their choices were somewhat surprising. Maybe someone in your class would be interested in sharing their opinion of the most important event of 2004.
Hi Jane- I will ask some of my kids if they want to add a comment to your blog. I’m sure they will be eager to add something.
THX for the invite.