Blog, 'Cast, Engage!

Session Description

Combine blogging and podcasting for tremendous learning in your primary classroom. Blogging platforms and podcasting tools in the Apple, Google or Microsoft-powered classroom will be shared in hands-on activities.

What steps can you take to get there with students?

Step #1: Reflection

Think Pair Share:

  1. With an elbow partner (introduce yourself), explore the Top 10 Reasons for Students to Blog (view larger size image) shown right.
  2. Share: How are you showcasing student accomplishments in your classroom now?

Prepare to Share to the Whole Group:

  • How could it be different with a blog?

Step #2: Read Blogs, Articles, or Engage

Make Conversations Happen

Content Curation in the Connected Classroom

New to Content Curation, blogs and podcasts? You might find this a helpful starting place.

Step #3: Select a Blog Platform

In Your Home Group

  1. Divide into groups of FIVE people each. This is your Home Group.
  2. Number off from 1 to 5 so that each person in the group has a number.
  3. Each member of the Home Group will be responsible for learning and teaching one "blogging platform" to your peers, assigned by the number you have.
  4. Take a look at your blog platform (list shown right).
  5. Go join your Expert Group, the people who have the same number as you, to begin the activity.

In Your Expert Group

Working alone in your Expert Group

    • Study your assigned resource for 8 minutes.
    • Jot down the big takeaways, the key points, and/or the must-knows. This jigsaw notes organizer will come in handy.

Report to: Home Group

  • Return to your Home Group. You now have just two minutes each to teach the others in your group what each Expert learned.
  • Use the resources/notes you created as you share.

Share take-aways via this Padlet

Step #4: Select Podcasting Solution

Miguel's Recommendation:

Unless you're engaging in full-blown podcasting which involves scripts and audio-editing, use Voxer to record interviews in less than 15 minutes then post to social media (e.g. Instagram, Twitter).

Be sure to combine your media shares online via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

Tip: Use to manage ONE place to share your links across social media.

Podcasting Solutions

  • (Android/iOS/Web): Use this mobile or web-based tool to record "voxercasts" featuring students, staff and community. Easily share links to audio. Here are some examples.
  • Shadow Puppet EDU (iOS only): Snap pictures of great learning or displays, then combine them with your audio narration, mix in music, then share as videos online.
  • Hokusai (iOS): This audio editor (try Audacity on Win/Mac laptop or Beautiful Audio Editor on Chromebook) makes it easy to edit sound. In-app purchases extend functionality.
  • Podcasting with Microsoft Sway or Powerpoint+Office Mix

Podcasting Gear

Need some gear to get you started with Podcasting recording? Read this blog entry!

Podcasting Ideas

The following come from this article at

  1. Current Events Newscasts: Practice nonfiction reading skills by having your students do weekly or monthly podcasts on an interesting current event.
  2. Reading Radio: Have your students make short radio broadcasts summarizing the books they are reading.
  3. Roving Reporters: Send your students out into the “field” (a.k.a. the school) to interview key players in important school events.
  4. Celebrate Culture: Have your students record podcasts about important cultural months like Black History Month or Hispanic Heritage Month and then present them to the school or parents to commemorate the events.
  5. Bring Your Teacher Home: Send a little bit of yourself home with your kids by podcasting important parts of your lessons.
  6. Podcasting Library: Have your students collaborate to create a library of podcasts from which future students can learn.
  7. MusicCasts: Have band or orchestra students create podcasts for each instrument, detailing specific notes, sounds and characteristics of each instrument.
  8. Awesome Audio Tours: Give your students the chance to be tour guides for new students at your school by having them podcast school tours that kids can listen to when they enter.
  9. Podcasting Pen Pals: Record interactive or encouraging podcasts and then send them to another classroom in another state or country.
  10. Reenactments: Have your students reenact important events in history using period language and vocabulary.

Web-based, Chromebook Friendly Audio Editors

When decided on which web-based audio record to use, consider these seven questions.

  1. Will the web-based audio recorder work without Adobe Flash? This is important because it ensures compatibility with a wide range of devices. Since our priority is Chromebooks, this is a key feature.
  2. Can audio files be stored on Google Drive? Again, since we are discussing Chromebooks, it would be best to save any files to Drive.
  3. What format is the recorded audio stored as? The best answer is MP3 audio format. This is because you can insert MP3 audio files into Google Slides now.
  4. Does the audio recorder provide audio editing features? While it is easy to record audio, web-based audio editing (like Audacity) is harder to find.
  5. Can you share the audio file as a recording with an embed code? In other words, can you save the audio file on the recording site and share it? Vocaroo had this as one of its features.
  6. Will you be able to save (get or download) the audio recording as a file on your device? Sometimes, if you can’t save audio to Drive or share it with embed code, downloading is the only option.
  7. Will K-12 students be able to record audio without account creation? Students in primary grades may find it easier to record audio and then share it with others as they may be too young to log in to G Suite EDU or other system.

Give the free ChromeMP3 Recorder a try

Microphones for Podcasting

  1. Mikey Digital ($99) – Unbelievable that such awesomeness comes in a small package. This lightning-connected microphone attaches to your iOS device. This microphone captures audio quite well, in my experience, and is perfect for that six-foot space, both inside and out. My son has used this microphone with his iPhone when recording audio outside and loves the sound quality.
  2. iRig Mic Cast for iOS/Android ($35) – Less expensive that the Mikey Digital, this offers solid audio recording. This is what I carry around with me for interviews. It also comes with iRig Recorder software. I like the fact that it plugs into your microphone jack on your device and includes another headphone jack for earbuds. You can also get a handheld microphone that plugs into your iPhone or iPad. As the website says, it features “unidirectional pickup pattern that minimizes background noise, making it ideal for single-source audio recording.”

Learn More About Shure

While this version is lightning only, the MV88+ works with iOS and some USB-C enable Android devices. You can learn more at

Step 5: Decide Where to Save Audio

When podcasting, it can be difficult to find a reliable place to host your audio or video over the long term. Consider one of these locations:

Enhanced podcasts (video)

  • YouTube
  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive
  • Seesaw Class Blog (vidcasts)
  • Flipgrid

Audio only

  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive
  • Seesaw Class Blog (vidcasts)
  • Write About

Step 6: Make Your Blogs, Audio/Video into an App with Glide

Glide is a service that lets you add information to a Google sheet, then quickly create an app from its contents, all without coding.

You can save your blog entry links (or links to audio/video) to a Google Sheet, then have Glide put it into an app. Just pick one of your sheets and Glide assembles it into a polished app that you can customize, share with a link, and even publish to the app store.

Example: App | Google Sheet