May 17, 2006

The kids tell us: Voice, Purpose, Audience

I’ve been going through some of my last six weeks’ worth of catching up and came across the precious feedback that I got from students who did the podcasting at Firrhill High School with Grant and I not so long ago. Every time I do a project I ask the kids three questions:

1. What was the most tricky thing in the process and why?
2. What was the most enjoyable part of the process and why?
3. What could we all do better the next time?

The answers this time reveal a lot. Firstly, kids want more time to perfect their work. Second, they enjoy things that are difficult when they can see they have produced a finished article (and therefore see they have managed to overcome those difficulties). Thirdly, they really value their audience – it gives them a reason to do whatever the task is they are undertaking.

Once again, we are reminded by the kids that kids like to a) speak with their own voice, not that of the teacher or textbook, b) like having an audience to entertain or inform with their work, c) need to produce something to feel that their work has purpose.

Enjoy reading the kids’ own words:

Lauren, 14
The most tricky part of the process was recording and translating because we had to find out really tricky works that even Mr Fraser didn’t know. I think recording was quite hard because some of the words were quite hard to say and we would be nervous and start laughing.

We think the best part of the podcast was recording, too, because when we got used to it it was quite good.

The trickiest part was changing the things you wanted to say into French and then saying it. It was also hard because you had to write down first of all what you wanted to say.

The best part will be being able to listen and see our podcast on the web.

Calum, 14
Recording was the trickiest part of the podcast because it was hard trying to get it onto the computer. If we had more time I think we could do it better.

The most tricky part of the recording was the process of planning things out because I didn’t know where to start. Recording was the best part.

Rachael, 14
The most difficult part of the process was recording. It was hard to get your voice at the right volume. The best part was when we heard the finished recording. We should have more time to make it so we could make a longer podcast and perfect it. It would also be best if we could choose the groups we work in.

Victoria, 14
The trickiest part of the process was working out what to write about as what we chose may not be what other people want to listen to. The best part will be listening to the finished podcast, I think. Next time we should have more time. I think it would give us more time to make the show better.

Emma, 14
The trickiest part of the process was the recording and trying to get it right because you have to get it perfect. The best was knowing that lots of people were going to listen to the podcast. We could make our accents better so people who are listening would understand us better.

The most tricky part of the process would have to be learning the French for certain words as we all basically didn’t have a clue. The best part of the process was probably doing the recording as it was a good laugh and in a way it was tricky, too. I really don’t know what we could do better.

The best part was getting to work with our friends and getting to use all the snazzy wee gadgets.

The most difficult thing was trying to get everything done on time, but the whole thing was good.


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Pretty good answers Ewan.
I borrowed your questions and ran them by some of our podcasters. I posted their answers.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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