We started off small. They were to research dowry deaths and demonstrate their understanding by writing and then recording a personal explanation of the concept. The students initially were cautious of the idea, but quickly jumped on board and created some great products. I then expanded on the concept by having the students work in small groups to create a podcast about slums. They were given a step-by-step process to complete the project. Although there were guidelines, there was relative freedom to develop an original product. This not only allowed the students to explain what they learned, but also created an opportunity to discuss the concept freely. Since this was their first podcast, the students were asked to write a script for the podcast, but they were also encouraged to stray from the script if they felt comfortable.
The final step was all about feedback. We used a program called VoiceThread to allow all students to listen to their peers podcasts and then provide feedback. The great thing about VoiceThread is the program allows you leave comments as text, audio, or video. If set up properly, you could even have students leave feedback by calling a specified phone number. We tried to complete this step the Friday before the Christmas break, but due to WiFi issues and mobile app problems, we were not able to complete this set and the students were instructed to finish their feedback over the holiday break.
Below you will find some samples of the podcasts and a screen shot of the VoiceThread. As you can see from the screenshot, as the students leave their feedback their faces will populate the area around the podcast. It is a great program that has many different uses. If you have any suggestions/comments/questions about creating podcasts or using VoiceThread, please leave them in the comment section below.