Getting the kids to podcast

Last week, I was reading about this Youth Centre in the US that has bought up some podcasting equipment to offer kids the chance to try their hand at recording themselves. It seems to be a summer holiday and half term kind of thing, a place to send your children – for a fee – to mingle, socialise, and learn things.

According to the story from The Detroit News, the revamp cost a cool $3 million, but has the features to show for it:

The 15,000-square-foot facility accommodates about 400 people and features a stage, computer lab, three study rooms, meeting rooms, multipurpose/activity room, dance/fitness area, recording studio, two music practice rooms and a cafe as well as a video editing and podcasting room.

I wonder how many kids will be interested in making podcasts. I know when I was a kid, me and my friends used to get together and try to be radio DJs, doesn’t everyone? But it’s not quite the same as podcasting, and I wonder if it would hold the same appeal.

The flip side to this is that with the digital age now affecting kids from the moment they are born and even before (think parent-blogs), that it would be hard for them not to want to get emersed in the online world. I stumbled across a podcast called Emily Explains It recently, and although it doesn’t interest me in the slightest, it’s adds weight to getting kids into podcasting. Emily is long-time podcaster C.C. Chapman’s daughter, and her show is about explaining some tricky topics in a way for everyone to understand.

There’s a lot to benefit from learning about podcasting – confidence, scripting, working with others, recording, editing, patience, seeing a project through from start to finish, being creative, and many more. How long will it be before podcasting is a mainstay on the curriculum in schools?

7 thoughts on “Getting the kids to podcast

  1. I look at podcasting and think, ‘Hey, this could be a great thing to do at somepoint.’ The problem with me is, I’m inconsistant as owt, I keep putting things off and generally exams.

    I’d like to have my own little poddie when I’m older, the problem is that pretty much every field that I may be intrested in has been covered and I enjoy the shows that happen in that categories. And by then, more fields will be covered and it will be hard to get into it.

    I think schools wont get it into the cirriculum yet, mainly because there is no way to examinate it at GCSE/A Level. 😉 But I think it could end up in Media Studies at some sort. I don’t know how, since the current thingies at GCSE say its either Print Production or Moving Image Production. It could happen, but I don’t think for a very long time, at least in Britain.

  2. But I think it could end up in Media Studies at some sort.

    That is a very good point. I suppose it depends whether a school can justify that it will help in the ‘real world’. Media Studies is a great example because podcasting seems to be becoming an integral part of journalism, so the two might be interlinked.

    What would be your chosen podcast subject, out of interest?

  3. As part of a media studies course, this seems like a very good idea. To be introduced as a more general part of the curriculum may be tricky, though.

    You mentioned confidence as being a potential benefit. I remember when I was at school for some reason we had to make recordings onto a dictation machine. This was done as a one-off exercise over a small number of English lessons. Whilst it didn’t affect my confidence levels one way or the other, it seemed to have a negative effect for most people. It was the first time for many that they’d listened to recordings of their voice, and they didn’t like what they heard.

    That said, if this exercise had taken place over a longer period of time, it may have offered more of a benefit, as students would have gained confidence in their work.

  4. That said, if this exercise had taken place over a longer period of time, it may have offered more of a benefit, as students would have gained confidence in their work.

    This is true. I hadn’t thought of the short term effects, but was simply thinking I am a completely different person to who I was when I started podcasting and I have a lot to be grateful to it for. 🙂

  5. This is true. I hadn’t thought of the short term effects, but was simply thinking I am a completely different person to who I was when I started podcasting and I have a lot to be grateful to it for.

    It’s the confidence aspect of your idea that I think’s especially interesting. Many of podcasting’s other benefits could be provided through traditional subjects. But aside from sport and drama – subjects which aren’t for everyone – there’s very little in schools that addresses confidence. And podcasting could potentially appeal to a great number of students, as long as they are free to pursue topics which interest them.

  6. Just thought, you should write to the schools minister with your idea. He might make you the Podcasting Tsar. 😉

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