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Character Education Podcasts

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Keywords: podcast, character education
Subject(s): Technology, Podcasting, Writing, Information Skills, Drama, Civics
Grades 4 through 6
School: Idaho Arts Charter School, Nampa, ID
Planned By: Andi Arnold
Original Author: Andi Arnold, Nampa
Character Education Podcasts – Integrating Character Education and Technology

Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on the importance of certain dispositions or traits of character to themselves and American constitutional democracy.
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
Designing by developing environments for improvised and scripted scenes.

Each month a different character trait will be focused on. Students will create and record a podcast highlighting the character trait. The target audience is the other students in the building. The podcast will include tips on how to demonstrate the trait, highlight students who exhibit this trait and other useful information. Guests from the school or community will be invited to participate in the Podcast.

Students will conduct research; write script and record podcast independently. They will share their knowledge of character traits to other students in the building by hosting a weekly/monthly podcast.

Time Span:
One Podcast a week/month for each week of school

Microphone, computer, speakers, audio editing software and internet connection


Introduce Podcast 30 minutes
Students may or may not be familiar with a podcast. Listen to a podcast such as http://millard.esu3.org/willow/radio/shows/Willowcast33.html , with the students and then brainstorm what they just heard. Share idea with students that they too could create record and host their own podcast. The character committee is looking for a creative way to teach students and remind them that it is important to have good character. It will be lots of fun and lots of hard work. Such traits as cooperation, caring, responsibility, etc will be highlighted.

Design Podcast 30-45 min
A good Podcast needs a good name. Brainstorm ideas with students. Take into consideration the target audience, the content and school pride.
Theme music is also important. Theme music allows the Podcast to be identified. Select volunteers to come up with a 10-20 second music clip to be used as theme song. This could be performed using free software. Be sure not to violate any copyrights.
Decide first character trait to be focused on. This would be a great time to choose a trait that is really strong in your class or school or one that needs some refreshing.

Write Podcast 1 class period
Students need information in order to be able to write a script. For the first podcast provide students with this information. Let them know that future research will be done by a small research committee. Students should be able to answer the following questions about character trait. What does it mean? What does it look like? Who demonstrates this trait? What is important for teachers and students to know? How can they help?
Write answers to these questions on the whiteboard. Along with other information provided and student responses begin writing script. If going to have music, designate that in the script.

Character Education
Podcast Script
Introduction: (Welcome to…)
Program Overview: (In today’s podcast…)
Closing: (Thank you…)

Record & Edit Podcast- 1-2 class periods
Give scripts to “talent.” Have them read through a few times. Rehearse podcast a couple times together. Record the narration. Edit recording using audio editing software. (This might be done initially by the teacher.)

Post Podcast
There are many different ways to share your podcast. Use what is appropriate for you school and approved by your administration.

Evaluate Podcast
Reflect on podcast with students. What went well? What could we change? Start planning next podcast.

Links: http://www.guidesandtutorials.com/podcasting-in-education.html
Materials: Digital Voice Recorders, Microphones