When dealing with media production, preparation is 75% of the workload. Getting all your ducks in a row means that when it comes time to use equipment or software, your students know exactly what to do. This is especially important when you have limited access to equipment, or limited resources. Here are some ideas for preparation activities.
Begin with inspiration
Have students listen to sample productions from the type on which you will be working - in this case podcasts. You can build this step into the beginning of every time you work on the production, so students keep seeing samples along the way. You can also begin building this part a week before you begin actual pre-production, by listening to podcasts every day and discussing or responding to them.
See our Podcast Inspiration pages with links to interesting podcasts - Go to page
Introduce equipment and software
Not all students have to be involved in equipment or software tutorials. Avoid being the bottleneck! We suggest using two key students at first and giving them a crash course during a lunch period or while other students are busy with their work. These students can then show smaller groups of students later on or be available to troubleshoot and answer questions along the way. If you do not know how to use the software yourself, consider taking a workshop or using a tutorial.
- Manual - Go to site
- Community Forums - Go to site
Audacity (PC, Mac, and Linux)
- Download - Go to site
- Manual - Go to site
- Audacity Basics: Recording, Mixing, Editing - Go to site
Make a storyboard, write a script, have a plan
We cannot repeat this enough - do not skip this part! Your students MUST have a storyboard or script before beginning their podcast on the computer. The planning process will ensure that they have thought through their story or message and that they have identified all the things that will go into making the final podcast. You can choose to use sticky notes which will allow your students to change their minds and move panels around if they need to.
Your students can use (one of) the following organizers (PDF):
- Three Part Planning - Beginning, Middle, and End - Download
- Script and Soundtrack Planner - Download
- Enhanced Podcast Storyboard - Download