You are finally to the recording the 1st episode. As you have realized during this process, the actual recording of episodes is very little of the overall podcast time. However, planning and executing your plan determines your classroom podcast’s success.
Diving into the Steps Of a Classroom Podcast
You must start with a well thought out plan and detailed planner for your classroom podcast if you haven’t, check out my Setting Up Your Classroom Podcast Complete Set. Everything you need for your student-led classroom podcast in one set! It takes you through all the steps, from a thought on a napkin to a published podcast.
Leading up to recording you must:
- Start with podcast research by exploring kid-friendly podcasts.
- Develop Podcast Concept
- Choose your Podcast Format
- Podcast Recording Booth and Equipment
- Podcast Software
- Create Your Intro and Outro
Check out my previous blogs that walk you through steps #1-6. Each blog breaks down the steps for “my middles” adventure as well as classroom examples with guidance.
- Is a Classroom Podcast a Good Idea? Part 1
- Planning Process of a Classroom New and Exciting Part 2 Setting Up Your Classroom Podcast
- Creating Your Classroom Podcast~ The Exciting Steps Part 3
WARNING!!! Before Recording the 1st Episode
The first recording is the most challenging recording time. There are several things you can do to make this go more smoothly. You and your students need to be familiar with the recording equipment and software. Give you and your students time to play around with the equipment. Have them record themselves reading from a book, a paper some else in the class wrote, and something they wrote. This is great “script” reading practice.Make sure all parts (intro, outro, episodes, advertisements, etc.) are scripted.
Follow Script Best Practices
- Confirm podcast format is the best option for your material
- Check for a variety and subject appropriate vocabulary
- Keep it simple
- Do a practice run of the script
- Do a dry run with the recording devices in the recording booth
It is VERY IMPORTANT to do a practice run of all scripts with no recording equipment and then do a dry run of your episode with your recording equipment. When students are recording, have them record in the booth, so other distractions are removed.
“The Middles” Recording the 1st Episode
WOW! Bloopers Galore! We made the best blooper reel! Laughing was the biggest challenge. I expressed to “the Middles” the same as you should to your students.
Perfection is NOT the goal. The goal is share strong and consistent content.
Once “The Middles” realized they can trip over some words AND keep going without laughing , recording became increasing better and productive. They said, “they felt like great podcasters”.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice is the key to successful recording. Additionally, this is a great time to have students listen to more kid-friendly podcast episodes. At this point, your students have been exposed to many different formats of podcasts and the various elements of creating a podcast, so they have a different perspective to be looking at podcast episodes. As a result, they will “gain” something different each time they listen.
Classroom Examples Recording the 1st Episode
Recording the 1st episode brings a lot of excitement. I know I was so excited for my kids and myself. You are seeing all the hard work and planning come together. For the first episode, keep it simple! Most of you will not do a live podcast, so that all episodes will be prerecorded. So the first episode is the launch of your podcast—focus on introducing your podcast, the theme, and your goals. Your first episode doesn’t need to be long. The goal is always to focus on the content and not perfection. Even famous podcastswith thousands of followers with editing teams still trip up on their words and still release those episodes.
Classroom 1st Episode Series
An idea that works well with classrooms that will have different host teams, is to the a 1st episode series. This allows all the “teams” to record their own 1st episode. It also allows for all students that will be recording to all have a chance to get all their recording jitters and not have to wait until later to record.
The goal of a classroom podcast is for it to become student-led. The older your students, the sooner this goal is met. However, it is not an unrealistic goal for younger students. They will require your guidance with a clear plan and expectations.
The Adventure Has Just Begun
There are so many possibilities with a classroom podcast. It is an excellent opportunity to expose students to new and a variety of skills that they may not discover on their own. In my classroom podcast set, I have included an entire detailed list of podcast jobs, so all students have an ownership role with the podcast.
The jobs include:
- Planning Team
- Episode Writers
- Fact Checkers
- Episode Cover Artists
- Promotion and Marketing Team
- Post Production and Publisher
- Follow Up Team
It’s been amazing sharing our journey through a student-led podcast with everyone. We will continue our journey next week with podcast and episode cover art. As we continue on this fun adventure, we will have more tips, tricks, and entertaining stories.