Posted by: Heather Durnin | March 4, 2012

#105theHive: Live Student Broadcasting Begins

(Give the files some time to load)

Turnberry 1st Broadcast Feb. 28    Turnberry 2nd Broadcast Feb. 29

Turnberry 3rd Broadcast Mar. 2

This week in the Turnberry Gr. 7/8 classroom, 32 students began their journey into a new learning space, an internet student radio station, 105thehive. In my previous post, I described the purpose of using this new media layer in the classroom, a space brought about by a handful of educators working together. Create a different online space for students to share, develop and support each other’s passions and learning in a safe and supervised place. Our latest idea emerged from the #ds106radio community and focuses on creating a similar internet radio learning space for our students to create live broadcasts and programming.

Prior to their first broad, students had completed a music project which would be the basis of their show. Several volunteered to be the first, along with two radio hosts, Kori and Ethan, who wrote their own programming script. Two student, Brad and Dylan, needed only a few lessons using the software, Nicecast, before feeling confident enough to organize the playlists and transition between itunes and voice during broadcasts.

Using Twitter to communicate the schedule, many supportive people tweeted in during the live broadcast. With the Twitter stream the #105thehive hash tag posted in full view on the smartboard, students began to experience “community”. There were familiar faces they knew dropping by (their Idea Hive teacher, Clarence Fisher, Andy McKiel) and others I’d told them about (Andy Forgrave, Alan Levine, Grant Potter, Jim Groom). Teachers and their students cheered them on from across North America via twitter. Other classes in the school were tuned in. When I took a moment to step out of the classroom, the school halls were literally buzzing with Metallica. Thanks to the ds106radio folks who cross-cast the show on their stream, students had truly gone global. Alan Levine blogged about the event.

Our web host, CentovaCast, allows the user to view current listeners, providing the number and map.

By the second broadcast, students demonstrated confidence in their voice. New hosts, new presenters, and they were realizing the power of twitter. Several who had accounts asked if they could join in the conversation, and so a very quick lesson on hashtags and protocol took place. Our principal, Suzanne Irwin, asked one of the students to teach her how to tweet in. How cool is that?

By end of the week, the students were onto their third broadcast, expanded now to include additions they wanted: a Leaf’s rant, school sports and jokes. They owned the process. And just as we hoped, another class took the stream. After our show, Bryan Jackson, a seasoned ds106radio performer, streamed in his B.C. high school guitar students from GleneagleMusic as they performed their projects. Bryan even created this video intro the previous day so our students could see his students in their classroom space. I love this idea. While the live broadcast was scheduled over our lunch break, several students stayed in to listen and tweet encouragement to students 3 time zones away. The community was growing. Parents and grandparents!! were listening in. One grandparent, listening in from Hawaii, even commented on Alan’s blog.

After the first live broadcasts (and their exuberance had somewhat settled), I asked the students to briefly write their thoughts on the experience. After the third broadcast, I had them add next steps. After all, they were now experienced radio broadcasters, programmers and writers.

Their thoughts… Besides being a ton of fun…

Things we loved:

- monitoring the map to see where the listeners are tuning in from
- amazed how everyone stayed quiet when we were broadcasting
- I was really nervous to go up and talk, but it’s not that bad. No eyes on you, only       ears.
- the hosts wrote good questions for the presenters, which made them feel more   relaxed
- loved listening to the different types of music. It was interesting how diverse we are    (rock, classic rock, techo, pop, classical).
- everyone was organized
- now my parents can hear how smart we are
- we made history today
- reading the twitter stream thoughout the broadcast made me feel a little less nervous

Challenges

- a lot of people were tweeting in, and it was hard for Mrs. D. to keep up and reply
- there’s a 30 s or so delay between the live person speaking and the broadcast

What we improved on:

- spoke with more personality and enthusiasm
- we got better with our timing
- added more segments to keep everyone hooked
- students writing and supporting each other through twitter (and helping me keep up!)
- on the 3rd day, we turned our classroom into the sound booth, and those listening    sat in an another room

Next Steps

- always do a sound check using the built-in server before each broadcast
- rehearse our lines more so we don’t stumble
- speak up when talking into the Snowball (the microphone)
- bring in more guests (teacher, principal, community members)
- create a wider variety of segments (there’s a 105thehive group in the Idea Hive    where students will be posting their ideas)
- convince other teachers from around the world to let their students broadcast here

While I knew the students would take to this new learning space, I hadn’t predicted their level of excitement, engagement and sidebar learning. This was demonstrated by a Friday night tweet from one of my gr. 7 boys:

@105theHive Unfortunately it’s the weekend so no more music projects… But I can’t wait for Monday!!!

or the tweet from another student home sick during the week: “Hey Mrs. D, this is Isaac. Can you broadcast the Idea Hive reading over 105thehive? Brad and I are going to tune in.”

The engagement and learning my students have demonstrated this week is evident. By giving them a place to practice their knowledge on a new oral platform, students become the programmers, experimenting with their peers and interacting with others while developing a new global community. Their enthusiasm is contagious. There’s room for more participants, whether that’s as a listener or student broadcaster. Andy and Clarence’s students will be broadcasting very soon. Consider having your students join in. We’ll help you get set up. Follow 105thehive on twitter for programming details.

Today while channel surfing, I came across, and watched a Marshall McLuhan biography. I think Mr. McLuhan would have approved of 105thehive.

#Radio4Learning

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Responses

  1. Enjoyed tuning in on Friday!!

    While listening I was curious as to how your classroom looked liked during the broadcast – nice to see pictures as they tell part of your story too.

    I appreciate all of your hard work and that you are sharing your learning as you go forward – looking forward to tuning in this week!

  2. [...] than this one. They are constantly exploring new opportunities for their students. Recently they launched their own radio station. I'm guessing that most teachers would never be able to even consider this. Even if you have a [...]

  3. Heather, I’ve been meaning to get back here and comment. This is fantastic. And knowing some of your kids makes it even better!!! The details are great–and I love seeing the tweets continue. I amazed at how our connections seem to come full circle. I’m hoping to finally meet @cogdog now that he’s moved a couple of blocks away:) Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing.
    susan


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