How to get kids podcasting

I recently ran a workshop at a local school about podcasting.

I’ve learned how to create, produce and launch podcasts over the course of several years, and that’s on top of an extensive skillset gained through a career in radio and journalism. I’d just run a three-week course teaching adults how to make their own podcasts and still felt like I didn’t include everything.

So how could I condense all that knowledge into something that children could understand…and squeeze it into one hour?

It had to be simple and easy to follow. Plus, I wanted to create a worksheet the children could continue using at school or they could take home and use with their parents and carers.

This is what I did:

Step 1: What will you talk about?

I first got the children to think about a topic they really cared about. Their ideas included Alton Towers, axolotls (I had no idea what these were), gaming, football, pets and trains.

Step 2: Planning

Next, we looked at how to plan a podcast including choosing a name, a potential guest and five questions to ask. I also shared a simple script template.

Step 3: Recording

Next up we had a go at recording. The children each had their own iPad, so we practised them recording themselves using Voice Memos (the in-built microphones on Apple devices are generally excellent). We started with them recording their own names and ages, then recording a classmate. For those who could manage this easily, I then got them to record themselves asking their classmate some questions.

Step 4: Further steps (for teachers/parents to help with)

I also ran through the other steps required if you were going to put your podcast out into the world which they would need additional help with:

  • Editing (it is easier to avoid this step and just record then upload). Audacity is an editing program that’s free to download.
  • Adding music
  • Creating a hosting site
  • Connecting to podcast apps like Apple and Spotify
  • Uploading audio

I found some great resources courtesy of the UK Audio Network Google group. This is a great guide from National Public Radio for anyone wanting to teach children at school how to make a podcast.

If you know a teacher who would like a copy of the worksheet I created including the script template, please feel free to contact me directly; I’m happy to share it.

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