Podcasting lesson for beginners

The following post is everything a journalism teacher would need to do a two day lesson on podcasting. Journalism teachers with online media can benefit from teaching their students how to do podcasts. They are easy and fun to do and a fresh twist to posts on your multimedia websites. I have included a keynote, two part lesson on podcasting and editing a podcast, along with two homework sheets and grading rubrics to go along with the lessons. The worksheets also have hyper links in case you put them on Moodle like we do at our school. If you have any questions on the lesson, please feel free to email me at cgravit1@kent.edu.  Also, I noted that before you begin the lesson, I advise you to tell your students to download Audioboom on their phone or Ipad prior to the day you teach this.

Podcasting Lesson Planhttps://drive.google.com/a/kent.edu/file/d/0B6gHZMHmltgYZ2dwTG1kSTVFczA/view?usp=sharing

Name:  Candice Gravitt

School: Faith Lutheran

City, State Las Vegas, NV

Prior to this lesson: Have students for homework download the application AudioBoom on their smartphones.

Title: Podcasting

Overview and Rationale: This lesson will introduce students to podcasting. Students will learn what a podcast is, what some of the popular podcasts are, how to record a podcast and how to edit and export one.

Goals for Understanding: First, podcasting is a medium that lends itself to mobile consumption, and thus provides a means for reaching audiences in ways other media cannot.

Second, podcasting offers a level of engagement with audiences that is incomparable with other digital media; it thus presents a remarkable opportunity for journalistic outlets to cultivate audience relationships and experiment with new forms of revenue generation.

Essential Questions:

  • What is podcasting?
  • What journalistic value does a podcast have and how can we use them in our media?
  • How do you find podcasts and What are some popular podcasts?
  • What tools do you need to record a podcast?
  • How do recent scandals in the newspaper business affect its credibility with its readers?

Overviews and Timeline:

Activity 1 (One 50-minute class)

First play the Keynote “Podcasting with Mrs. Gravitt” https://ksuprod-my.sharepoint.com/personal/cgravit1_kent_edu/Documents/Podcasting%20with%20Mrs%20Gravitt.pptx?web=1

This Keynote will take 20 min. There are two videos in the presentation, the second one play until she talks about editing in Garage Band and tell the students next class they will edit their podcasts in Audacity.

Part 2 of Activity: have the students open up Audio Boom and explore the application. Make an account and search for their interests.

Next, Give them time to listen to podcasts and share one they are interested in with the class.

PASS out worksheet and rubric attached here: (it is also attached at the end of lesson plans)


Give them the rest of the class period to plan for the podcast. Think of who they will interview, what type of podcast they will do, what kind of questions they will ask.

Class discussion on ideas for podcast they will do.

Take questions, lend out equipment for homework.

Activity 2 (One 50-minute class)

Editing Podcast: Students will be introduced to editing program called Audacity.

Essential Questions:

How do you edit in Audacity?

What are the reasons for editing podcast?

What kind of audio issues will you have and how can you solve them?

OVERVIEW and Timeline:  Students will watch Camtasia tutorial on Editing in Audacity. Then they will edit their audio project and put it into the crusaderchronicle.com

    Editing in Audacity: Camtasia Video
  • Have them watch the video and then download Camtasia and begin editing their podcast.

Assessment (One 50-minute class)

Students will produce their own edited podcast following the rubric. Allow time to share those podcasts that want to be shared. Talk as a class about what worked and what students liked about the podcast. Things will come up like sound problems, lulls in conversation and editing hitches… talk about those things as a class. Publish the ones that fit well with the crusaderchronicle.com.

Teacher will assess what issues students have with their podcasts in the rubric an address those concerns with student.

***** all worksheets or handouts required to do the lesson.

Podcasting Part 1 Rubric Due Next Class Period

25 Points Possible/Classwork grade

______ Introduction of yourself and your guest   (5points)

______ Interesting topic  with at least 3 open ended questions  (5 points)

_______ Audio is clear, not muffled or static and can hear both parties equally (10 Points)

_______ Photo and published to AudioBoom (5 points)

Part 2 Rubric Due Edited version due next block

Editing in Audacity/Edited and posted version of Podcast 25 points

______ Sound is consistent and well heard throughout (10 points)

______ Edited out ums, lulls in interview, studdering, long pauses (5 points)

______ Introduction of yourself, your guest and conversation flows (5 points)

______ Project is exported and posted on the crusaderchronicle.com (5 points)



Storytelling with video

Digital storytelling is why I teach broadcasting. I love walking around thinking about what would fascinate or educate an audience. Visually, I constantly approach topics by thinking about how to inform an audience of new, exciting and different things going on in the city.

For this project, I thought it would be fun to shoot a team building event our staff was doing a few weeks back for staff development. I heard the word Bubble Soccer and was curious.  What is Bubble Soccer you might wonder? Watch the video below!

A few things that I learned was I needed a “Hoodman”. This is a little viewfinder shade for the camera meant for extreme outdoor lighting. I didn’t bring this to the shoot and could not leave, for fear I would miss the event.  As I always tell my students, plan ahead of time what shots you will really need and want for your video. In my case, I took the advice but did not prepare to not be able to see what I was shooting.

Another lesson learned, I do not suggest for your first project you shoot a sporting event. Balls are hard to follow and players are too. When shooting an event that you can not go back and shoot again (which is normal in broadcast), it is really important to plan. Inevitably, though something will go wrong, just know that.

I edited the video in Adobe Premiere CS6. My professional editing back round is still from the old days of linear editing. Oh, how I miss that. I still know how badly I want a story to look and sound like but it doesn’t always come out that way. I like Premiere and teach it to my students. Audio is always the challenge for many of them, including myself. Poor audio will break your story, so it is really important to shoot good audio as well as edit in the 6-12 range. In this assignment, I learned how important it is to have the shots you need. I did not shoot a lot of close ups. As I explained, I couldn’t see what I was shooting.

If I shot this all over again, I would have gotten close up shots of the ball, more close ups of maybe someone blowing a whistle too. I tell my students over and over get close ups for cut away shots!

What I love about my project is it is funny and I interviewed a lot of teachers. I let the teachers tell the story. That is what I loved. I laughed outloud watching them bite the dust on the turf and I hope you did too!


Spicing up projects with polls, maps and timelines

In this week’s assignment for Teaching Multi Media graduate course I am taking, was to create a map, a poll and a timeline. The first thing I thought of was a few years back, a student of mine asked how to create a map that would show where every student graduating from Faith Lutheran would be attending college in the fall. This was the first year I took over the newspaper journalism class and took the newspaper online to save money on printing basically. Anyway, sadly I had no idea how to create an online map. Sabrina was upset. She had been a student of the prior journalism class for 3 years and printed that every year. Well, Sabrina I know how now!

In Google maps it is quite simple if you follow these steps;

1) Open Google Maps
2) Select My Maps
3) Add a location
4) Change colors of pin

Embed the map into WordPress took some work. You have to make sure you have the Embed code of the map. This was a simple project and if I can do it anyone can! You will find my map in a previous post. I needed some assistance with WordPress.com. The live chat people are super helpful.

Creating a poll is pretty simple as well. I used polldaddy.com. Polldaddy is attached to Word Press so if you create a poll in Word Press it is simple to put onto your site. Polls are a way to get your audience engaged in your website. I did my poll to find out how the readers of my blog get their news. This works for a multi media class because in order to cater to the audience, we need to know how they obtain news. My poll you will also find in a previous post since I did that one last week.

Finally, Tiki-Toki timelines had me joking with my fellow classmate Lindsey Ross. I said “This Rikki Tiki-Tavi thing has me going crazy.” But I will say spending time on learning how to make a timeline could be very resourceful for your students. In fact, I sent the following link out on the mass email to all the teachers I work with. This is the tutorial video I found to be the most helpful.

Here are some things I learned that will be helpful to you when creating a timeline.

1) Plan out your timeline and know that it is time consuming (at least 2 hours)
2) Think titles and milestones for each “story” and where you want to place each item.
3) Photographs are very hard to put into your timeline unless they are copied from Wikipedia. If you use that type of photo, right click to copy URL. If you purchase the plan for $7.95 a month you can get the option to upload from your desktop.
4)The most important advice is to draw the timeline out possibly before or at least sketch it out because you really have to have things in order otherwise they will not be on the timeline.

5) You can not create another timeline in this plan you can only create one. I don’t understand why but if you have a great project I suggest you use this timeline feature. Word Press does not support Tiki-Toki, so you may want to search for a different timeline website that Word Press does support. Here is the link to my timeline of my middle school students putting together a weather report.


I recommend all three of these elements. I really enjoyed learning how to do these. There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube.com if you get stuck.  My students will come up with some great ways to utilize maps, timelines and polls on our multi media platform and I hope you will too.


Polling for news


Podcasting with senior broadcasting student Ricky Cornish

Our assignment for Kent State this week was to conduct a podcasting interview program. For those of you who know me, you know that I always have BIG dreams. The podcast I planned had all kinds of natural sound and sections of singing from last weeks’ musical Cinderella at Faith Lutheran. Usually, I would say I am visually very good at storytelling, however audio without video is another medium where I lack much experience.

I planned out my podcast by setting up the interview with Cinderella between blocks at school because that was her only availability. She’s a busy girl that Cinderella. Anyway, nothing worked. I have amazing soundbites but doors slamming, bell ringing and students yelling in the back round interrupted my beautiful interview! What I learned from this is it is very important to be somewhere quiet where we will not be disturbed for the duration of the interview.

Since the interviews were unusable, I went to Plan B which actually I am very pleased with. Senior Ricky Cornish, has been a student of mine since the 8th grade. He is well spoken and is possibly as passionate about journalism as I am. So I sat down and spoke to him about his journey with broadcasting. I interviewed him in a soundproof room where we do voiceovers. I used a Shure microphone stick mic that we use for broadcast with cameras. With Cinderella, I used a clip on microphone. I do not recommend this for a two person interview. In hindsight, that is where I should have had Cinderella meet me. You see, better planning will make for a better podcast!

Finally, I learned that live podcasting is fun, and easy for me as far as flowing with conversation. I know I need to work on saying “um’s, and uh’s” but I wound up going off script because sometimes as I tell my students your interviewee can guide the interview into another direction. In my experience, a good interview comes from listening  not following your questions as much. Just use the questions as a guideline.

The technicalities of editing and uploading are enough for me to never do this again, however. Adding music and natural sound would have been something I would have liked to learn about and work on and practice more throughout the time in Teaching Multi Media.

Here are some tips for you for your podcast that I learned.

  1. Be prepared for your entire podcast but be flexible if things don’t work out.
  2. Record in a quiet place.
  3. Let your interview flow naturally, do not try to stick so much to the script.
  4. When editing in Audacity, have patience, save everything and use a mouse.
  5. Google for help, nobody really can help you besides practice and watching tutorials.
  6. REMEMBER who you are serving. YOUR AUDIENCE!

Overall, it was a learning experience and I hope you enjoy listening to Ricky. He is a dynamic student and an even better communicator. I am excited to see where all of his hard work takes him.