Today I showed the eighth grade where their podcast has been heard. It's been up since October 27 - so pretty much 11 days. I think they were surprised that there were so many different countries that listened. It's one thing knowing that it's on the Internet. It's quite another thing to actually see it.
They didn't realize that there were American schools in China. They couldn't figure out why Chinese speakers would listen to the podcasts of American kids in English. I explained that a few years ago, one of our eighth graders graduated and moved to Japan. His father had a business opportunity in that country for three years. This child ended up going to a high school overseas. So maybe they expanded their view of the world just a little bit.
I told the eighth graders we would check back in a month and see if anyone else listened to the podcast.
Finally, they read the surveys for their own podcast. Of course, the one group who used sound effects on their voices were a little shocked that those squeaky voices were not perceived as a great broadcast. This is all a part of the learning. They received reviews from teachers and parents in Washington state, Maine, and New Jersey.
So now, I must thank all the people who took the time to look at my student's work and "pay it forward". I am keeping a list of help wanted links on delicious. When I have free time, my plan is to leave VoiceThread and blog comments, and create other projects that help other teachers further their goals.