Getting the kids to podcast

Published June 8, 2009

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 immersed 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?

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