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BBC News Interactive School ReportBBC News Interactive School Report
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 11:17 GMT
Students give their podcasting tips
Students from Coombeshead High School in Devon conduct an interview

Podcasting lets you automatically receive the latest episode of your chosen programme as soon as it's available.
You need to "subscribe" to receive a podcast, rather like you might subscribe to a magazine and get it delivered each week.
You receive the episode as an MP3 sound file which you can download.
As part of BBC News School Report, students are being encouraged to use different technology to create their news.

Podcasting is one way to broadcast news on the internet.

Students from three schools - Villiers High School in London, Coombeshead College in Devon and Longsands High School in Cambridgeshire - visited the BBC's digital learning centre (21CC) to learn how to make a podcast on 31 January 2007.

Before making podcasts, students created a web page on which to place them.

To start the day, they scoured the daily newspapers and news websites for items that would appeal to people their own age.

Students from Villiers High School in London interview BBC journalist Ros Smith

Many students had pre-prepared scripts and interviews, which they re-drafted on the day.

Their scripts contained an introduction from the presenter (giving their FIRST name only and the name of their school), news headlines and news stories.

Amy and Jodie, both 12, from Longsands High School, gave their advice on writing scripts: "Research the stories before you start.

"When writing the script, put the most important thing first, as you don't have much time."

Tom and David, both 13, from Longsands High School, said it was a good idea to "relax and rehearse before going into the interview". Raja, 12, from Villiers High School, said: "Even though we had a few technical difficulties the outcome was quite good. You need a lot of creativity to initiate your thinking."

Students from Longsands High School in Cambridgeshire
Music should not be used in a podcast unless you own the rights to it.
Some software comes with tunes and jingles that can be legally used in a podcast.
The safest way to make sure you are not doing something illegal is to make your own sounds or music

He added that the best way to conduct an interview was to "be yourself".

The students at 21CC used Garageband, a piece of software which comes with most Macintosh computers, but other editing software can also be used.

Students assembled the ingredients of their podcast in chronological order, beginning with a jingle to introduce their news programme.

The news headlines were laid down next, followed by individual news stories and interviews.

Some pupils finely edited their audio clips, cutting out pauses and mistakes.


Teacher Helen Breakspear from Longsands High School, said: "The confidence of the students has increased so much. Having someone professional explaining to them what to do has given them a real sense of purpose.

It's expanding their minds. I think all kids should be exposed to this
Karine Waldron, teacher

"They can now teach other people and that empowers them. I think it's amazing."

Karine Waldron, a teacher from Villiers High School, said: "The students are now starting to get used to the goings-on in the world. They've never looked at newspapers so prolifically before. They've realised it gives you something to talk about. It's expanding their minds. I think all kids should be exposed to this."

She added that creating a podcast had addressed several curriculum areas including literacy, and speaking and listening. as well as improving concentration. "The students have had to pay attention to everything that's been going on and stick to deadlines," she said.

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