Portable Radio: Podcasting from the Portables

Jane Smith, Nathan Toft

In the summer of 2006 Nathan Toft downloaded ApplesiTunes software, curious about  the 99-cent songs hehad heard about.  This move introduced him to the exciting world of podcasting. He quickly got Jane hooked and the two teachers, who are both  joggers,loaded up their iPods with a vari ety of shows theydownloaded from the I nternet. This was the start oftheir pod-casting adventure.

We have been team teaching Junior  grades for  the past five years. We share a similar interest in technology and its application in the classroom. This year, we are each teaching a 5/6 class, and we plan our units together and combine our classes whenever possible. We both maintain class websites and blogs and collaborate on the  portableradio.ca website. We also act as “computer contact  teachers” in our school, assisting staff with all things technological. Being teachers as well as techies, we surfed the Net and found two podcasts in particular,  Room 208 and Radio WillowWeb, that we were eager to introduce to our students.


What is Portable Radio?

Portable  Radio  ( portableradio.edublogs.org) is  a  podcast made by our two  grade 5/6 classes at A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School,  just  outside  Ottawa. We named  the show  Portable Radiobecause our classes are housed in portable classrooms and podcasts are played on portable MP3 players. Of course, podcasts like ours can also be listened to directly on any computer with Internet access.


photo of computer desktop on projection screen

It’s an unusual experience for the children of the First Nations School (FNS) in Toronto’s downtown east end to have a bearskin, with the animal’s head still attached, spread out in their room.

photo of students in classroom working on computers

The New Media Consortium’s 2011 Horizon Report,  which examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, fo