Christmas Bauble #1

I teach a lot of lessons in a year. Most of them are very pedestrian. Some of them are better than average. These are the ones with clear learning intentions and success criteria and a solid activity in between that links them. Among this fairly average teaching, however, is the odd exceptional lesson. So, my teaching is a bit like a Christmas tree. Most of it is pretty ordinary, but there’s the odd shining moment. Don’t get me wrong; it’s solid, like a good little tree, but I wouldn’t generally bother to blog about a particular lesson, and I certainly don’t want anyone to get the idea that every lesson I teach is as fun as the one I’m about to describe. So, this lesson is like a shiny bauble on an ordinary tree.

This lesson was inspired by Mark O’Meara’s session at the ICTEV conference in 2013. In this session Mark had us hard at it for the entire 45 minutes collaborating on a podcast. You can find it here. It was a really inspiring session and I swore that one day I’d run the same session with one of my Media classes. Today, in a double period, pretty much on the spur of the moment, we did it.

I had set my year 11s the task of researching and recording a podcast, which I like to do to because it gives them the chance to play to their strengths (talking). When one of them asked how to “do” a podcast I knew the moment to pull Mark’s lesson out had come. So today I walked into class, got them to volunteer for their production roles and then stood back and let them create a podcast.

My highlights were:

  • Refusing to answer questions with anything other than “It’s your show”.
  • The serious looks on their faces in the production meeting that they called half an hour into the session.
  • Looking around the room at 50 minutes in and seeing everyone on-task, even though I hadn’t given any instruction for about 45 minutes.
  • The look of combined terror and exhilaration when I told them that it would really be put online.
  • The audience managing to stay (almost) silent while the recording happened. Something that never happens in my actual class.

So, here’s the podcast. It’s rough, and the facts expressed are questionable at best, but it was a great learning experience for all of us and I’m looking forward to the reflections they write tomorrow.

Big thanks to Mark O’Meara for running the session last year. It was seriously inspirational.

The girls would love it if you could give it a like on Soundcloud or even better if you could leave them an encouraging comment (even if you can’t be bothered listening to it).


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