On the first day of my half term break this week, I was invited by Allison Bolster one of the Lecturers in Modern Foreign Languages at The University of Bristol to train her MFL PGCE students on how to blog and podcast following the two sessions I ran at the Primary Languages Conference in March.
As you can see, I've uploaded recordings of both sessions so you can listen back to them as many times as you like and learn how to blog and podcast too. I will post the notes I made for the day as well later once I've updated them with a few screenshots.
The three hour morning and afternoon workshops took place at The Graduate School of Education in Berkeley Square and involved around fifteen trainee teachers in each. Setting up the laptops with microphone headsets and Audacity pre-installed took a matter of minutes and we were ready for our hour and a half of podcast training.
The written notes seem to come in handy as I explained the step by step process needed to produce an audio file in mp3 format, upload it to the internet and allow others to subscribe to it through iTunes.
As you can hear in the examples they produced on the day, the students have understood very well the basics of podcasting, but are still working on issues such as the distance their mouth is from the microphone to avoid distortion or to speak loudly enough to be heard clearly over the music track.
After a fifteen minute break, it was time for the blogging workshop to begin and I showed them how easy it was to set up a TypePad blog, to moderate comments and publish their podcast and so anyone could listen to it whenever or however they wanted. As you will hear from their feedback, the trainees realised the exciting potential of blogs and podcasts for producing personalised resources for their pupils, but felt they needed more time to refine the skills they had learnt already which was fair comment, I thought.
The atmosphere throughout the whole day was relaxed and informal and all the trainees rose to the challenge with aplomb. On a personal note, I was delighted to return to Bristol having spoken about the learning benefits of blogging and podcasting earlier this year and train colleagues on how to actually do it. I hope you find the training useful too and it helps you to have a go.
Don't forget all you need is a computer, microphone, internet connection and VISA card (if you want to subscribe to TypePad) to get started. See picture below for further clarification. Easy.