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Kidcast is a podcasting tool that is intended for kids to use; for kids, by kids. It’s purpose is to allow kids a place to post their podcasts or vodcasts. The files are submitted and reviewed by an adult before being posted. The website has a rating system that the webmasters compare to the rating system for video games. Uploads need to be in a universal format, MP3, MP4, .MOV, or M4V files. All uploaded files must be original intellectual property and must be at least one min. in length. To use the service, you must make an account. I am not sure what kind of spam you would get after signing up for this service. I think this would be difficult to manage, if each child had an account, it would be impossible to manage. Because of that, I doubt that the County would ever unblock this particular site. Although this seems like a nice site, I am not sure that it would be easily used as an instructional tool.

PS: Thanks Dorothy for your help with finding the correct site 🙂


June 22, 2008 at 11:51 pm 2 comments


Gcast is a podcasting website that clearly states that it provides “completely free” podcasting services; recording, editing, and hosting. It seems to be related to, if not owned by the folks that make Garage Band, an audio editing program that is available free of charge on line. Users of the podcast can subscribe via e-mail alerts, automatic downloads to I pods, click and play on the web and various other services (My Yahoo and My MSN). According to the site, you will either need a computer with Mic capabilities or just a cell phone to record the audio. The service also offers podcast safe music, ways to embed your podcast into a webpage and, free hosting, and ways to subscribe to podcast. No technical requirements are mentioned except that you can use a computer or your phone to record the audio. I can think of many, many, ways to effectively use podcasting in instruction. All grade levels could progress in language arts including speaking, by doing several podcasts per year. We could use podcasting with our Communication Club, GT units, our book club meetings, the instructional possibilities are endless. Teachers could use podcast to communicate with students, reviewing important items from a lesson or unit or just to communicate information. This would also be a wonderful PR tool to use with parents; we could podcast our morning announcements, school performances, important information, again, unlimited ideas. This tool would have to be very closely monitored by adults. Although I do see it as something that all students, teachers, and parents could use, I do not envision large group projects in the beginning. Host space and cost of hosting could be an issue, even though this site advertises it as free. If you were going to use this daily, you would have to have someone that available to edit the audio and publish it; so as with everything else, time is an issue. Also, the website is currently blocked by Websense. I put in a request for it be unblocked b/c my use was educations (in this case to review the site for a graduate course). Their response was that this site is a “portal” site and that it could not be unblocked. So obviously, even if podcasting is approved, the likely hood of this site being unblocked seems unlikely. I am also skeptical about it all being totally free? Since it is a .com site, someone is making money off of this somehow. Could be pop ups or spamming, I am not sure, but there must be some sort of catch. Most likely once you sign up, that you will be solicited by those that “sponsor” or advertise on the site. This would have to be closely and tightly managed by adults. I do not see this as something that could easily be used in classes of 24 until we have been using it with kids individually or in small groups. Managing what kids are recording is tough, and publishing to the world adds many more layers. Overall, I love the idea of podcasting, and have though of several ways that I could use podcasting with whatever software and publishing tools. I am skeptical though, about this particular site. I think though that I will start with joining through my personal account and see if it works well to communicate information and then see if my spam or if solicitations increase, if that is the case, I will know not to use this site with staff or children. I hope that I will be able to though.

June 12, 2008 at 3:22 am 3 comments


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