A Different Kind of Oral ... Talk Competency
Students work in collaborative production groups and use talk to gather information (interviewing, group discussion) and to produce a multi-genre text. Talk is integral to the success of the project since group work is a central feature of the project.
Research / Interviewing
The project made use of authentic research methods to gain information on the featured locations. Since little information has been published about the locations, students had to rely on information-gathering techniques such as site visits and interviewing key people. Students created open-ended questions which elicit a richer response from their interview subjects. They prepared their interview guides prior to going out in the field. They also photographed the location in order to add images to the podcast to create and “enhanced” podcast.
Planning / Storyboarding
Once their information had been gathered, students planned their podcasts by storyboarding each part of the podcast (introduction “intro”, the body and the “outro” or concluding section). The storyboard was used as a guide when writing the script, selecting images and accompanying sounds.
Students work collaboratively in groups of 3 -5 to produce the scripts. Each student had a voice in their teams podcast. They had to blend humour, anecdotes, conversations between the presenters, and factual information to engage the listener. The students paid particular attention to clarity and content in order to present their location in the best light.
Podcasting is an authentic multi-modal text that calls for attention to voice, pace and spoken rhetorical conventions. Students needed to rehearse their scripts in order to gain familiarity with the content and to develop their style. At this stage, the podcast scripts were fine-tuned to better engage the listening audience.
Recording / Editing
Recording was done in several sessions. Since the editing process allows for sound clips to be added and deleted, parts can be re-recorded and added afterwards. Students made sure that their voice was clear and that they used inflection and a slower pace when recording.
Exporting and Uploading the Project
Once the project has been edited in Garage Band and approved by the teacher, it was uploaded to the Baladoweb website. Here the teacher verified the information on-line and then the podcasts became live.
As part of the uploading process to the Baladoweb site, students added markers on a map (geo-tagging) to indicate the co-ordinates of their location. This allows the audience to simply click on the map and access the podcast.
The Baladoweb site generates a QR Code, or “ quick response code” which contains a link to the podcast. The QR code can be placed in a “tourist brochure” and can then be scanned on site by a smartphone to play the podcast.