I guess the online educational project I feel most proud of was the Sandaig Primary website.

I am not sure when I started it, the internet archive has a snapshot from July 2003. The news page says ‘Site opens ||| 11 April 2003’.

Over the next few years I and my pupils developed the site by blogging and podcasting. We were lucky enough to get in near the ground floor for pupil blogging and right at the start of podcasting. We had a lot of fun. I made plenty of mistakes, but learnt a lot.

In October 2008 I left the school after improving the site a little to allow other folk to update it.

I still visited the site and referred to it all the time.

The school have now decided to move on, and remove the site. I just finished removing all the files from the site and leaving a note.

I know the Internet is new and full of impermanence but I am pretty sad. Sandaig Otters & Radio Sandaig I’ll miss you.

We have just published the first podcast of the session on Radio Sandaig. A new bunch of children and as usual a scramble to fit it into the day. A few lunchtimes and some non-class-contact time got it done. (The children are not all in my class, so I guess this is NCC).I decided to use garageBand instead of Audacity this year, just to see what the differences are. I’ve already started some children off making some simple music using Garageband, and our peripatetic music teacher has joined in working with a few children every week. So we have incorporated one of the pieces of music into the podcast.

For the first time with GarageBand, I took a lot more control than usual of recording, mostly to figure out what we are doing and these are first impressions. Garageband has a pile of useful loops, jingles etc built in, these are easy to review and pull in. For the rest of the session I hope to find time for children to make jingles that will be used regularly, this should make the show sound a bit more professional once we start to really think about this. The auto ducking is also nice, with audacity the children hand ducked the background track as they organised the segments.
One of the things I really liked about audacity was the way you could record segments of a podcast in any order and then the children could easily move them around as they made the final edit. We recorded each segment on a separate track. With GarageBand you get a male voice and female voice tracks, jingle and music tracks. This means we will have to plan out the podcast in more detail and record it in order, this will present a bit more of a challenge to my organisation. At the moment I invite children from 4 classes to contribute so have to find time when they are available at the same time as myself (playtime, NCC time), some thinking to do.

Anyway please have a listen and if you like the show you might like to leave an audio response on the Radio Sandaig page, give us our first review in itunes or on our new Scotcast.net listing. Thanks to Tim Geddes of Glaitness School for pointing me to Scotcast.net. Tim helps the children with the TV Glaitness Video Podcast, which is well worth watching.

Back in October I blogged about a visit to Be Very Afraid one of the highlights of the session for me.

I just noticed that the Be Very Afraid 3 website has been updated with video and pictures from the event. Well worth waiting for, the quality of the video is great (and loads quickly) and it brought back a lot of memories and ideas.

The Musical montage video gives a good idea of how exciting the event was, and we feature in the Sandaig Primary School section and most of the photos of the Sandaig team are in Photo Gallery 5.