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What is School Podcast?
School podcast is a new safe web facility which allows children to plan, research and create podcasts on any aspect of the curriculum, including for example, science ,history, geography , sport and the arts , and edit, and upload these podcasts to the school page within www.schoolpodcast.org. This school podcast programme is provided by the NI based educational social enterprise, Tonnta which is the trading arm of the charity Sólás. The charity Sólás focuses on providing support to schools to address areas of need and in particular those additional needs of children who are struggling with learning. According to the School Census data for 2007/ 2008 , almost 1 in 5 pupils were classified as having a Special Education Need, 4% have been officially statemented, leaving 14% without statutory support. Sólás aims to work with schools to support these children. We are currently recruiting retired professionals to provide one-on-one support in literacy and numeracy to two pilot primary schools in south Belfast. On completion of the pilot, we hope to roll this programme out to a wider base.
Each participating school will be set up with a mini website and a set of 8 to 10 channels, one channel for each year (P1 through to P7) as well as additional channels such as the after schools club and the pre-school. We provide each participating school with three days training on audacity (sound editing software) as well as Photostory (a video creation and editing tool) plus the podcasting equipment needed to make audio and video podcasts.
We provide training to staff or a complement of staff and children depending on the needs of the school. Each child will be allocated a user name and password which will allow them to upload podcasts on completion. These podcasts will then be validated and reviewed by the class teacher before they can go live on the school podcast site.
www.Schoolpodcast.org has an integral teachers forum, which allows teachers to communicate with other schools on any area of the curriculum or indeed to set up collaborative projects between schools.
Advantages of SchoolPodcast ?
Anecdotal evidence to date has shown that children who have had an opportunity to use the educational podcasting facilities offered by Tonnta are highly engaged in learning. Through active learning and hands on experience of making podcasts on subjects such as gardening, maths, history, sports, the environment, language and music, children become an integral part of the learning process. Rather than being passive recipients of knowledge, they can actively participate in creating a podcast that tackles specific aspects of the enriched curriculum.
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