Creating a Classroom Recording Studio

“Technology helps turn ordinary learning into extraordinary fun. And the whole time children are working with these technology tools, they are collaborating and helping each other problem-solve”.–Paul Solarz (@PaulSolarz), from the book Learn Like a Pirate

Well, I did it.  I finally posted a project to Donors Choose.  I don’t know what took me so long.  It wasn’t as hard, or as time consuming as I thought it would be.  Here’s a little bit more about my project.

Technology is a fact of life.  We use it in so many ways to make our lives easier, to learn, and to share our creativity and voice with the world.  Well, that’s hard to do when you have limited access to technology in your classroom.  Although  I will be sharing a new set of computers with my grade level this year, we have no access to tablets other than my personal one.  After years of constant use by myself, my family, and my students, it is beginning to show some wear and tear.  We desperately need an iPad mini devoted to student use.

What do I plan to do with just the one iPad mini?  Simple, everything.  Our first objective is to use it with the @TouchCastEdu app and their Studio In a Box.  The Studio In a Box has a green screen, lapel mic, two mini-tripods, and three mobile device mounts.  I’ve already pre-ordered it and am told it will be ready this fall.  TouchCast allows students to create professional looking videos with or without using the green screen function.  They even have an app that allows my students to use my phone (hoping to get an iPod Touch in the future) as a remote.  This allows my students even greater control of their productions.  Hopefully, I should be able to download TouchCast on the computers I share so that once my students have recorded they can complete the editing on the computer when the iPad is unavailable.  Once we get this part of the studio ready, my students will be able to create videos that demonstrate their learning, create tutorials for younger students, and create a classroom video newsletter to share with parents and the community.

However, video is just one part of the studio I am trying to create.  I have two microphones already and hope to have students create podcasts and maybe their own channel.  I’ve been reading about and listening to podcasts as to how to produce them.  Again, creating one more way for them to share their learning, as well as their creativity, with an authentic audience.

Now, since this will be in my classroom, I’m a little limited as to size.  However, I’ve dedicated a section of our classroom that combines our writing center and recording studio.  This area will house all things pre and post production.  The goal is to train a few students on how to run everything (although, I’m sure many will already know what to do), and they will in turn train others.  I want this to be something they take ownership and responsibility of running. In the past, my students have always been respectful of not only technology, but of others making any type of recording, so I believe when asked, they can work quietly when someone has booked time in the recording studio.  Once it’s up and running I’ll post pictures, and with permission, student projects.

So if you are interested, an able to support us, click here to go to Donors Choose and make a donation.  If you are able to make a donation by July 30th, they will match each contribution of up to $100.  I’ve made the first contribution and hope you will be able to support us.  Either way, check back and see how our recording studio evolves.

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