Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Create an All-iPad Class Radio Show with AudioBoo, Bossjock, GoodReader, & SoundCloud

Do students in your classroom regularly create online “radio shows” to share information with parents and others? With more people than ever (over half of U.S. adults) owning smartphones capable of accessing Internet websites and playing digital audio files, classroom radio shows can potentially reach a larger percentage of your parents than ever. Common Core State Standards require that students improve their oral communication skills and also practice publishing digital content online. An Internet-based classroom radio show can be a “supervised stage” for your students to demonstrate as well as develop their oral literacy skills/fluency, share information about school learning and events, and also share about topics they’re interested in and therefore have high levels of intrinsic motivation to discuss.

Radio Show

The August 2005 New York Times article, “New Tools: Blogs, Podcasts and Virtual Classrooms,” featured information about Maine elementary teacher Bob Sprankle and the “Room 208 Podcast” created by his 2nd and 3rd graders. That article, which I first learned about thanks to an online radio show / podcast by David Warlick (now offline), inspired my own work the past eight years with online radio shows both professionally and with students in different classroom contexts.

Now it’s 2013, and iPads are among the most powerful and useful technology tools in many classrooms as well as homes. Today I recorded a fifteen minute screencast tutorial, demonstrating how to create an “all-iPad” class radio show. By “all-iPad” I mean a digital radio show which can be ENTIRELY recorded, edited, and published with an iPad. To do this, students and I used AudioBoo (the “classic edition” iPhone app running on iPads,) Bossjock, GoodReader, & SoundCloud with a self-hosted WordPress site. There are definitely many other ways to create and share classroom radio shows, but this is the best way I’ve found (so far) to create an iPad-only radio show with multiple spots / parts.

You may have noticed I’ve used the phrase “classroom radio show” instead of podcast in this post. That’s not an accident. One of the recommendations I’m including in my forthcoming eBook series, “Mapping Media to the Common Core,” is that we “change our vocabulary” with other teachers when it comes to educational technologies in the classroom. Instead of “blogs” we should talk about “interactive writing.” Instead of “podcasts” we can talk about “classroom radio shows.” We need to avoid terms which sound overly-geekish and like jargon, and instead use phrases which other teachers (even “non-techy” teachers) can recognize, understand, and embrace. This will be the focus of my poster session at ISTE 2013 in San Antonio, “Changing Our Vocabulary as Technology Integration Coaches.” I hope to see you there, and even MORE importantly I hope you’ll be creating more classroom radio shows with your own students in the weeks ahead!

Check out some of the radio shows I’ve been helping 4th and 5th grade students at Lakeview Elementary School in Yukon, Oklahoma, create this semester, as part of their after-school “Storychasers Club.” More are coming!

Special thanks to Joe Dale and Michelle Cordy (UK and Canadian-based educators, respectively) for helping me identify prospective apps to use for iPad-only radio shows and the workflows these apps make possible!

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