Podcasts - I listen to them throughout to day at work (not going to be able to do THAT when I am a librarian!), in the car on trips... ones on pop culture, "mommy" tips, tv recaps.
Podcasts have many benefits for integration into the school - they are cheap to create and publish, your students have a global audience (while being safe - no names or photos associated with your podcast), and the act of creating one has the potential to build research, creative writing, speaking and collaborative working skills. A student who is shy getting up in front of the class to read a page from a book or present a research project may thrive behind the mike!
When considering podcasts in the library, having students do book reviews is a win-win. But what other ideas are out there for this format in our schools & libraries?
• Provide a tour of the library! Before school starts, record a guided tour of the library for new students to listen & walk through when they first visit. A high school student would probably rather do this (and might even enjoy it!) than have you personally show them around. Put in some points of interest and hidden gems.
• Create a scavenger hunt - make a podcast leading students to find certain pieces of information throughout the library (either in a particular book or database, etc) with the ultimate goal of answering a certain question. Students could be timed to determine who was able to complete the hunt the quickest. I can picture this as being really fun, but am not sure logistically how to pull that off!
• Use already produced podcasts as the medium for a research project - maybe have students choose a podcasts, listen to a predetermined number of "episodes" and report on their findings. There a TONS of options for students (NASA Ask An Astronomer, BBC Global News, NPR This American Life......)
Some issues that may arise:
• Students need a devise to play the podcasts on - library would need to have MP3 players on hand for students who don't have their own.
• Copyright issues: protected music, interviews, literary works, etc.