A few of my pupils looked disturbed as a mentioned the class blog. "Not another blog! I've already lost track of all the blogs I'm supposed to write." Humn. Maybe we're overdoing it a tad...
I was able to inform them that, this time, this was a teacher-run class blog, not an individual blog. At the moment, it's basically a podcast. Each class, a new student is assigned to sum up the day's work and submit their summation to me as an mp3 file.
I save the mp3 on a free, open web archive. At the moment, I'm using the Internet Archive, which is sort of awkward to use, but works well once you've finally uploaded your file. It saves your file and generates a URL for it.
The blog has link fields enabled, meaning that the title of the blog post is itself a link, in this case to the audio file submitted by my student. In Blogger, it’s simple to set this – you just check a box in the ‘settings’ tab.
When I set this up, Blogger’s built-in feed was inadequate (don’t know if they’ve improved it), so I used Feed Burner to burn a feed for the blog. Feed Burner, now owned by Google, works well for podcasting. All my pupils have to do is open the blog once, click on subscribe, and they then get the podcasts automatically sent to their service (they’re teenagers, so almost all of them use iTunes) every week. The ones who synchronize their iPod with their computer get the podcast automatically on their iPod as well.
I was a bit disorganized last time I did this, but now that I’m a bit slicker, I’m excited to let this run for a few months and then get the pupil’s feedback on this.