For the past year or so, there have been occasional news stories about entrepreneurial individuals who have used podcasting (making digital audio recordings that can be uploaded to the Web, downloaded to mp3 players, etc.) to create audio tours with a uniquely personal viewpoint. Some are available as free downloads, and others cost less than $15.
These tours could just as easily be created by students to give a tour of their school, neighborhood, or city. (In fact, there’s a chapter about audio tour planning in my upcoming book, Podcasting at School, which came out yesterday … nudge, nudge).
The Times article poses these questions that might be relevant to project planning:
Should tours guide you across every street or assume you can find your way between the attractions they describe? Will people pay for smoother production quality? And should the narrators be local characters, casual conversationalists or smooth-talking Mr. Voiceover?
Here are some other questions to ask in planning this project:
- Will the tour include interviews?
- Will the recording include ambient sound, such as cars honking, birds chirping, and more?
- Can literary excerpts be integrated, such as a poem about the neighborhood written by a student or local author (with permission)?
- Will the tour have opening and closing music?
- How many narrators will it have?
- Will listeners hear it in their car (in which case, burn it to CD) or on their mp3 players (post the digital file online)?
- How will I be sure that student and interviewees’ privacy is protected?
Here’s a challenge for you:
Gather a group of students interested in creating a tour. (It could be part of a local history unit in school.) Have them plan and record the tour. Post it online, then add a link to the tour in the comments section below.