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B1 Podcasting

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To use a podcast as a means of communication and develop some basic skills in writing a report for broadcast. This activity could be run over 2 to 3 weeks. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills Creativity Media B1. Introduction: Podcasting is a newer, perhaps easier way of creating a radio programme which can be shared, potentially, with a worldwide audience. It can be done relatively easily with a computer and some fairly cheap software. You do not need to have a connection to the internet whilst recording.


Activity 1
• Paper for notes/planning
• A computer can be used, if available, to compile ideas and start reports if time allows

Activity 2
• Computer with podcast software and microphone
• Paper, pencils and/or computer for typing up scripts
• Musical instruments being used for any performances

Activity 3
• Computer with podcast software
• Microphone for computer —.
• Scripts for items I.
• A quiet room in which to record and another room for those not recording to wait in
• Webspace (to upload to)


Activity 1 Planning a Podcast (1)

Aim: To give young people an understanding of the elements of planning a podcast/radio show.

• The chances are the young people will know what a podcast is, but not all of them will. A podcast is a radio programme which is convened into an MP3 tile which can be downloaded and played on a computer, MP3 player or Pod. Your podcast might have regular editions or it may be a one-off. If it has a regular edition, people will be able to automatically download each new edition as you publish it.

• Have a quick discussion about what makes a good radio show, in the young people’s opinions. Points you might cover:
— Variety — a mixture of content
— Regular features to which people tune in
— Music
— Presenters who are lively, engaging

• Aim to make a podcast which has a variety of content items, in order to encompass as many of the young people’s interests and talents as possible.

• Discuss what kind of items you could include in your show(s). You might have some regular features (such as news, sports/competitions/church updates) and some one-off performances. Some items you could include, if there is a shortage of suggestions:
— FiIm/DVD, TV, music, computer game, car, website, store or technology reviews
— Musical performances by the young people (could include their own compositions or silly songs
— amusement value is always good!)
— BB news (local, national, worldwide)
— Comedy sketches (be careful with copyright)
— Interviews (with young people, the minister, local personalities, leaders etc.)
— Competitions — a good way to get responses from people listening to the podcast

• Once you have a list of ideas, allocate the jobs (pairs work well) and ask them to begin brainstorming what they’re going to do. If some young people are unsure about what to do, they could be the ‘continuity” guys who MC the programme and introduce each item/act.

• Remind the young people that if they are reporting about members of the SB, they should not mention any surnames in order not to identity anyone on the internet. They should also not mention specific venues and times of BB events.

Tips / Advice:
• Encourage all the young people to contribute in some way. There will be some who are shy about recording their voice or performing, but they can contribute by helping to write the script.
• Aim for a podcast which is about 8-10 minutes long, or shorter if you only have a few young people. Their items are not likely to last more than about 1 minute each,

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
Check with parents that they do not object to the young people’s voices being available on the internet. You can choose whether to make the podcast publicly available or not, but it is best to check with parents.

Activity 2 - Planning the Podcast (2)

Aim: To compile, finalise and rehearse the items for the podcast.

• This week is the time to put together all the items. It is helpful if the young people have a script ready to read for the recording to help it flow. WebPodStudio and other software packages have a teleprompter built in to help with this, or you can read from a printed sheet. You should also think about the continuity and whoever has this job should write out the links.
• Young people should think about whether they want to include any sound effects (assuming the software you have is capable of this).
• There are lots of websites available where you can download short audio files to use for this.
• The young people may need advice/guidance about how to “write for radio”.
• They should think about how it will sound when read aloud to an audience. It is worthwhile practising the items so they can think about how they will use their voice. Making some test recordings using the software is a good idea, too, so you can check on the volume.

Tips / Advice:
Make sure the young people are ready to record for the following week.

Safety issues / Risk Assessment:
Check with parents that they do not object to the young peoples voices being available on the internet. You can choose whether to make the podcast publicly available or not, but it is best to check with parents.

Activity 3 - recording and Publishing the Podcast

Aim: To get young people to perform & record their Items with confidence and to publish the podcast In order that It can be downloaded & feedback received.

• Copy sound effect files into the podcasting software if these are needed. The young people may bring these in on a memory stick or CD or could e-mail them in advance.
• Some podcasting software does not have the facility to record in small chunks and then put them together. However, it does allow you to pause and then carry on with the recording. This means that if you make a mistake, you’ll have to record everything again. Check this out in advance!
• Record the podcast — remember to have a good introduction and ending and give out a web or e mail address for people to send feedback to.
• If you can get internet access during your SB meeting, you can also upload the podcast to your site and publish the feed” which updates people’s computers automatically. You will need to know the web address where you have uploaded the file in order to do this.
• Use wvni.podcastblaster.com to create the teed tile you need, and then upload this file to your web space, too. When you have the address for this file, you can tell people to use this to manually subscribe to your podcast using iTunes or other MP3 library software they have. In iTunes, you choose Advance > Subscribe to podcast... and type in the address of the XML feed file. It will then download the latest edition each time you add one.

Tips / Advice
Encourage the young people to listen to the podcast at home if they can, or make it available to those who may not have an internet connection by burning a copy to CD for them. Next week, get them to feedback on how the podcast sounded and, if you plan to make more editions, what they can improve on for next time.

Safety Issues I Risk Assessment:
• When the recording is done, review it before publishing. Ensure that no unnecessary details have been included, such as full names or details of venues/times of SB events.
• Discuss with other leaders and parents whether they are happy to make the podcast available to the wider world or only by giving selected people the address. You can submit your podcast to Tunes so that its searchable by others if you choose.

For full details see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills Creativity Media B1


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