The first time I did a podcast with my students, I immediately saw the importance and value of doing it.
Setting: Music classroom
Scene: Third grade class
Mr. Shay: Today we are going to make a recording of that really great song you have been practicing.
Boy Student: Why would we do that?
Mr. Shay: We are going to be doing something new called Podcasting. I will record you and then put it on the Internet. In fact, any person in the world will be able to hear your singing and they can download it from the iTunes Music Store.
Various Students: What? What did he say?
Mr. Shay: OK, let's listen to this recording. ((listening)) Now, if we wanted to make this the best it can be, how would we do that?
Boy student: We would sit up straight and hold the book up and use our best singing voices.
Mr. Shay: OK, let's do that and record it again
Girl student: Hey people, this is for the WORLD, so let's do it the best we can!
The very idea of being on a World stage and singing for people outside of our classroom was enough to raise the level of performance. Kids know what good performance looks and sounds like...Sometimes they just need to ramp up their expectations of themselves.
I now have podcasts for every class I teach. Sometimes it has a song, sometimes and assignment, no matter what, the level gets higher when I start to record because they know the World could be listening.
A complete list of podcasts can be located at my school website.