Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom - a one day conference took place on Friday 20th October at Nodehill Middle School. The lead practitioner event was attended by nearly forty language teachers from the Isle of Wight and the mainland and was funded by The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. Top national speakers from England and Scotland ran sessions on:
- digital video
- interactive whiteboards
- 3D learning environments
- Primary languages
Pupils from 8VM and 8JH were involved in a podcasting workshop as part of the conference. Here is the podcast which they recorded and edited on the day. Have a listen and tell us what you think.
The podcasting workshop lasted for most of the day and pupils had the opportunity to practise recording their voices using Audacity and then edit their vocal tracks with podsafe music from Flash Kit loops and Magnatune. Once the pupils felt confident with recording and mixing, we made the definitive versions group by group all on the same laptop with my USB microphone. We were fortunate enough to be able to use our Head of Year 7's office next to the ICT suite which acted as an ideal recording studio. The pupils seemed to really enjoy the final recording despite being a bit nervous that they may make mistakes. They all did very well and the fact that they had all prepared their scripts beforehand really paid off.
Once we had made the six recordings, I exported them individually as mp3 files and transfered them across to the shared area on our network via my memory stick. Pupils could then mix them with the podsafe music I'd copied for them. I showed them how to balance the vocal and music tracks by reducing the volume of the latter with the Envelope Tool or by increasing the volume of the former with the Amplify Effect.
We then exported the results again as mp3 files and transfered them back on to the laptop for the final mix. For this part, I asked one pupil to add an intro saying the name and the date of the podcast and another pupil to record a suitable ending. To finish, we just exported the completed podcast and uploaded it in the body of a new post on my blog. To get the finished product up on the net by the end of the day was a great motivator and a relief for me that everything had gone to plan.
I know there are mistakes in the podcast, be they grammatical errors or editing slips, but that doesn't matter. We achieved what we wanted to achieve by the end of the day which was to show how a podcast could be made from scratch and published to the web in a relatively short period of time. I was really proud of what the pupils had been able to produce in the time they had had as well as the mature way that they had dealt with questions from the teachers who had observed what they doing in the workshop.
Here are some thoughts from three of the pupils about the benefits of podcasting in French:
In addition to making the podcast, pupils created a couple of PowerPoint slides each where they wrote down their impressions of the day. We presented these as part of the plenary and I've reproduced them here as a Slidestory. As you'll see, the pupils were not afraid to say what they really thought!