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How to "Podcast"Edit

  1. Use a computer with a microphone to record yourself. The free recording software "Audacity" works well for this (see below.)
  2. Save your file as an "mp3" file format.
  3. Post your mp3 file on a web page, or on a blog that people can subscribe to.

What is a Podcast?Edit

In its simplest form, a podcast is an audio file (usually in mp3 format) posted to a website, so that others may listen to it. Many podcasts are automatically delivered over the Internet using either RSS or Atom syndication. Subscriptions to podcasts are usually free, and once subscribed to, it can be automatically downloaded over the Internet and accessed with an iPod, laptop, or desktop computer.[1]

Podcasting can be used to assist students’ vocabulary, writing, editing, public speaking, and presentation skills. Classroom teachers can create a podcast of daily assignments/lectures and publish it for their students. Likewise, students can create and publish content and deliver it to their teachers or to other students. Many educators have found that when students create content for a larger audience (beyond their classroom walls); they have more interest and motivation to work harder to improve the quality of their work.

Rationale for PodcastingEdit

  • Offers another sense modality (aural) for students to express themselves and absorb or manipulate information
  • Increased student motivation
  • Teachers or students can record audio about homework assignments, assignments, feedback, announcements, etc. thus the classroom is extended and enriched
  • Many students already have audio players, so it taps into an existing technology.

Examples of Podcasts in EducationEdit

  • A drama teacher is having his cast members podcast their description of the character and role they play in their upcoming production.
  • Freshman and Sophomores wrote their own story and then podcast it for elementary students in our district to be able to listen to and they were also given the printed book so they could read along.
  • Students on a field trip to the local zoo had to research and then describe each of the animals they saw at the zoo through a podcast.
  • A fairly large group (20+) of students from Australia spent close to two weeks visiting our community and one of our middle schools. They students were interviewed and their comments edited into a several podcasts.
  • We are trying to work out a Skype podcast with a teacher who is heading to the Olympic Games this weekend. We already have been receiving videos in Quicktime format from her husband who is over there.
  • We have two students lined up to interview Miss North Dakota when she visits their school in about two weeks. We already have her permission to post the interview as a podcast.
  • We would like to have students interview prominent community and state people and podcast the interviews. We would also like to interview some of the older citizens of our community about life the way it used to be and podcast those interviews.
  • One of the members of our tech department just posted a podcast aimed at the teachers in the schools he supports. Here is a link to that podcast.
  • Students work in teams to create a product and "market" it online.
  • Audio tour of an Ancient Near East Exhibit: To augment a recent trip to the Ancient Near East exhibit with a 6th grade History class, my colleague and I using GarageBand and iTunes recorded a curriculum specific audio tour of the exhibit for the students. Students either downloaded tour to an ipod or if no ipod we provided a disc for a discplayer. The experience of being at the exhibit and listening to their teacher guide them thru, ask questions, and set up activities enhanced and helped focus the student's field trip experience. Each student had a personal experience and was engaged visually and orally. We are working on making the tour recording available as a podcast and hope to do many more as we grow a podcasting program in the Poly Prep Middle School.
  • Students can record a summary of what they have learned in class.


Links to K-12 Podcasts from SchoolsEdit

  • Radio Willoweb - Podcasts for kids and by kids from the students at Willowdale Elemetary School in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Barrett Elementary Project Interaction - Project Interaction is an exemplary project that allows students to express their creati
  • GDS Podcasts - Audio files posted to the GDS website from projects in grades 1-8.
  • Buzzwords - The sounds and vibes of Gunston Middle School in Arlington, Virginia


Podcasting Tips & TricksEdit

  • Quiet room helps (low ambient noise)
  • The results from a good quality (condenser) microphone are noticeably better. Condenser microphones are good for multiple people, however, they are also apt to pick up a great deal of background noise if you do not have a studio environment. Be sure to consult the pickup (or polar) patter on the microphone to see if it suits your needs. Using a dynamic microphone for each person speaking may offer better sound quality. For podcasting in a lab or class, good quality headset microphones are best as they are usually unidirectional microphones, so they pick up less background noise.
  • Putting the wav file through Levelator (free) helps with quality

To learn more about PodcastingEdit


Free websites that allow you to create and host podcastsEdit

  • AudioBlogger allows you to use a telephone to record your podcasts.
  • FeedBurner to burn your podcast feed. Then when people subscribe to your feed, you will give you stats on how many people are subscribed, and what they are using (iTunes, Juice, etc).
  • Odeo - a easy to use website that lets you record through the site, no software required. You can then share files with individuals, download the audio files, publish them to a "channel" and publicize your feed. People can also reply with audio comments.


Software for recording audio on your computerEdit

  • Audacity - Free software to record audio, and save in a variety of file formats. In order to export as mp3, you also need to download the LAME installer unzip and save the "Lame-enc.dll" file. The first time you ask Audacity to export to mp3, it will ask you to browse to the location of this dll file.

Other software you might want to tryEdit

  • Levelator - A free tool for smart leveling of a WAV or AIFF file.
  • Windows Media Encoder - enhanced controls of Windows Movie Maker for audio and video production
  • Juice, formerly ipodder, is a podcast receiver and organizer. The homepage has links to podcast resources.
  • Podcast Maker is a MAC OS X tool that makes creating podcasts and RSS feeds for them very easy.
  • Podcast Software Directory - large index of software for Mac, Windows, Linux for creating podcasts
  • ListGarden is software to generate RSS feeds.

Software to run on a web serverEdit

  • LoudBlog is open source software for php based servers. It is a cms for publishing/hosting audio media.

HardwareEdit

  • Use your computer! Just use your built-in microphone, or attach an external one.
  • Portable recorders: M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96 - Portable 2-Channel Compact Flash Recorder with USB

FAQsEdit

1. How do I record audio?

You can use the internal microphone on your computer with the open source audio recording/editing tool Audacity (see above, under "Software"). Audacity allows you to save your audio files as MP3s. If you're moving around while recording you can use a laptop, or a handheld digital recorder such as an Olympus WS-200S. With 128 megs of RAM, it holds almost six hours of high-quality audio in Windows Media format. You can then use the open source tool Easy WMA to convert it into an MP3 and compress it.

2. How do I capture video?

You can use a digital camera that records video files.

3. How do I edit the video?

First time video bloggers might use iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, which are really easy to use. But Final Cut Pro or Pinnacle Studio allow more complex edits and compression options.

4. How do I get my files onto the internet once I've created them?

If you have a web host, you can upload the file to your account. However, you should check the bandwidth limitations of your account because you can quickly go over your limit once your show gets more popular and you have more shows to download. It is recommended that you have at least 1 gigabyte (GB) of storage.
Another place to store your podcasts is Libsyn. They charge a small fee.

ReferencesEdit

Borja, R. (2005, December). Podcasting craze comes to k-12 schools. Education Week. Retrieved February 18, 2006, from http://www.mec.edu/algonquin/ipod.htm

Campbell, G. (2005, December). There's something in the air: podcasting in education. Educause Review. February 7, 2006, from ProQuest database.


Back to Emerging Technologies

Brad Fenerty

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