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Seven Hills students get tuned in to podcasting

The students in Janet Montgomery’s computer class at Seven Hills School in Nevada City are fast becoming the next generation of multimedia pros.

For the past few weeks, the middle-schoolers have been fine-tuning their broadcasting and editing skills as they master the art of podcasting – that is, creating audio stories for the Web.

“They like all my classes, but this one they love because they can really express their creativity,” said Montgomery, who believes that Seven Hills is the only school in Nevada County teaching podcasting. “I think they’re all little hams at heart.”



Podcasting has become an increasingly popular subject for teachers, judging by the Education Podcast Network (www.epnweb.org). The site lists more than 170 student-produced podcasts from elementary, middle and high schools across the country, which are available for download.

Montgomery asked her class to create three-to-five-minute stories about a subject that was related to school or community.




Students worked in pairs and submitted story ideas before delving into actual production. They learned how to edit and record voices and music using GarageBand, Apple’s audio mixing software.

Seventh-grader Natalie Smith said she especially liked learning how to edit voices and music together.

“I think it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Another student found the editing software challenging.

“You have to mix everything,” said eighth-grader DJ Radulovic. “You have to talk, you have to throw in jingles. It’s kind of difficult in some spots.”

School sports ranked high among podcast topics. Tim Warmerdam and Brad Mueller create a roundup of the school’s electives, interviewing students about the inner workings of classes such as chess and bike shop, for sixth graders to listen to when choosing electives for the following school year.

At the end of the project, Montgomery will post the top two podcasts on her Web page on the Nevada County School District site (www.ncsd.k12.ca.us).

Listen to a podcast about the Seven Hills podcasters and hear their work at http://www.theunion.com/mediacenter.

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To contact Staff Writer Jill Bauerle, e-mail jillb@theunion.com or call 477-4219.


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