The idea is really simple. I create a weekly Podcast, preferably a video, where I speak about a topic we spoke of in class, but from an angle we have yet look at. In my Podcast, I’ll take a stand, sometimes a controversial one, sometimes one I don’t necessarily agree with, but all with the common theme of being thought-provoking.
For example, if we were learning parshat Ki Tisa, I could offer a short diatribe exclaiming that Moshe had no right to break the tablets. His actions were borderline criminal and God should punish him them. The students would then be responsible for responding to my video (agree, disagreeing, reflecting on, etc.), either in writing in the area for comments, or preferably with their own video. A clear rubric would be included for what a proper response must include in order to receive credit.
The benefits of such a project would include the obvious one of extending the learning outside of school in a fun and likely extremely engaging manner. In addition, students could gain the additional benefits they seldom receive in school of increasing their effective use of video software as well as improving upon their oratory skills. These are, among others, two primary advantages over a blog, where students are utilizing the written word exclusively and are not exploring any new skills. And the novelty of video alone might be sufficient to capture many a reluctant student’s attention.