I would love to have my students podcasting but my school district is afraid of having students out there on the net.. any ideas on how to let them out and still keep them protected?

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I'm a believer in audio podcasting for situation where school and parents fear having their kids' images online. There are many creative ways to produce a video podcast that doesn't feature kids' images. If the focus is on primary sources and artifacts of learning, we can produce amazing episodes. Communication is key, both with local parents and administrators and the world via the medium.
can you recommend any online sites that will get us started? there are so many out there!

I would suggest taking a look at one of these options available on the web or mobile device:

iPadio

Audioboo

Podomatic

Vocaroo

 

If you are on a PC try out Audacity along with the Lime add-on to save the files in MP3 format.  If you have access to a Mac use Garageband.

My students love vodcasting. Most of our videos that we create have students hand drawn pictures in them. I use photo story a ton. www.kellerbusybees.blogspot.com is where I host our classroom blog. This might be a time where you really look at other blogs from different schools and then possibly share that information with district people. You don't want to step on toes, but when you want to do more it is better to have stuff under your belt to help explain the importance of having blogs/podcasts/vodcasts that students create. Good luck!
You can create podcasts with your students and not post them on the internet. They could be burned to a disk or saved locally on a laptop or server. What platform do you use Windows or Apple?
Students could do podcasting without including their name or photos. Only including their voice in podcasts would not open them to security risks. Maybe you should show your school district some good examples of student podcasts.

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