Auckland’s Pt England School creates its own innovative weekly podcast, which is then distributed globally through iTunes Music Store USA.
The podcast, called Korero Pt England (KPE), went live in August 2005 and has been cast every week since then. The school was the first in New Zealand to syndicate a podcast.
KPE is all about New Zealand fiction. The students read novels by New Zealand authors and then write book reviews. They then find a partner to act as “DJ” for the podcast and then record the session.
During the recording the students might also discuss an aspect of New Zealand life from the books reviewed that might be unfamiliar to an overseas listener. Selected podcasts are uploaded to iTunes by the ICT facilitator. The Pt England students also download KPE episodes to classroom computers and listen to each other’s podcasts.
Pt England School is a decile one school, which can mean students sometimes struggle to achieve academically. Through the KPE project, the students are learning that their voices can be heard — no matter their age or who they are.
The podcasting project has also greatly improved students’ oral confidence, says the school. They are reading more New Zealand fiction, and reading comprehension, as well as clarity of writing, has improved too.
The project has also social benefits as the students work together in podcasting teams that consist of a reviewer, a DJ and a sound engineer.
A number of schools around New Zealand are now using KPE, as part of their reading programme and as an example of how to create podcasts.