I was really excited yesterday, about adding a player to the pages of our website. This was before arriving and logging on in school, only to find, that neither of the player widgets I had installed seemed to cut the mustard with our Firewall. One saying the provided feed could not be found, and the other simply appearing as a... well... not appearing. I have uninstalled the widgets and instead added these feeds to my feedburner account, downloading and installing a chicklet instead with the option to subscribe in a reader. I have had iTunes installed around the school to enable podcast subscription, so hopefully this will now work.
I have been working with year 3 today, the very proud, authors of the podcasts, which are now linked from here. Most of their sessions today were spent revising their visual scripts, in 2 create a story, and as they completed, students were asked to work in pairs to rehearse their performances. We had a few problems initially with over referal to images, and we discussed how this could not do this as our listeners wouldn't have the images in front of them. We couldn't for example say "This is the deck of the SS Great Britain and its huge masts." We had to think about how we might paint a picture in our reader's mind, by trying to describe what we did and could see, something like, "We stood on the deck of the SS Great Britain, and looked up at its enormous masts. We felt like ants..."
I think today's offerings are great, considering again this is a first attempt at this process by most of the students involved. The highpoint for me was the episode produced by two children one of whom has speech difficulties, and the other for whom english is a second language, and the sense of achievement when they had completed. What boosted this further when the other students recognising just what they had achieved clapped what they had done.. Both seemed to visibly grow a couple of inches. Anyway I will leave it up to you to see what you think about how successful the sessions were.