Posted by: markhowell101 | July 26, 2010

The Manor Geog Pod

Wow, no updates to this in a while. Been a hectic month or so with GCSE’s, wrapping up the end of term, moving house and then being without internet. The dust has just about settled and I wanted to reflect on what turned out to be one of the major successes of this year, the Manor Geog Pod.

Like most GCSE courses, OCR B has a DME (Decision Making Excercise) exam which gives 3 weeks worth of time on a pre-release which is then examined. Students have to answers questions on the data, maps, graphs and information given and at the end write and essay making a decision about a geographical issue. Due to admin problems in Jan (the preferred time to take this exam) my students had to take the DME in June of year 11. This meant that few of them were around for all of the lessons in the 3 weeks prior to the exam and we needed to do revision for the terminal in this time. I therefore decided to record a podcast covering the basic info required for the exam and offering some suggestions on the likely questions.

The podcasts were recorded in a low tech manner, simple microphone and headphones plugged into a laptop and used Audacity to record and edit the pod. I then used a free Podomatic account to post the podcast. All this was done at zero cost and the outcome is a recording of more than acceptable quality. In future I will get students to make their own podcasts but I felt with time against me I would do it myself in this case. I also felt that some of them were a little panicked and a voice of authority and knowledge (haha) might help.

Initially I only intended the pod to be for my students but pushed it out on twitter and it was picked up by other teachers who suggested it to their students. This meant that in total the number of downloads got very close to the 1000 mark in only a week.

It is my intention to record 8 of these pods over the next 12 months covering the OCR B spec in time for the terminal next year. I also intend to do 2 for the 2 DME’s next year, Jan and the resit in June.

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