Beginning right after lunch at 1:00 pm, we taught a brief session starting with listening to a few short podcasts to learn more about how they are produced. We brainstormed some ideas using Popplet Lite, and then suggested that the students start exploring some scripts and resources for their podcasts. We had no idea what would happen or how long this process would hold their interest.
We shoveled them out the door at 3:30 after 2.5 hours of solid exploration, writing, rehearsing, composing, rewriting, and collaborating. The students decided to skip their usual 3:00 - 3:30 outdoor time when they realized it was already 3:15 and everyone was still actively engaged in producing podcasts.
As a musician, I was particularly encouraged to see how much time and effort the students put into creating their own theme music. Even the non-musicians (if there is such a thing) were engaged in experimenting and listening to sounds and finding apps that would suit their very clear intent. I'd love to see more opportunities for students to explore and create with music, particularly in the context of larger project-based activities.
The immediate goal is to produce at least one student podcast each week, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more than that.