Podcasting in the Classroom
Podcasting is one of my favorite ways to bring technology into the classroom. Podcasting can seem overwhelming and daunting, but it is much easier than even I thought at first. It is a great way for students to have their voices heard, literally!
Some ways to incorporate podcasting into your classroom:
- Use as an alternative to blogging: Some students are great writers, others are great speakers. Let students shine no matter their strength
- Keep parents updated on school and classroom happenings. Post podcasts to your classroom website or wikispace
- For younger students, use podcasting as a way to practice, listen to, and record progress in reading fluency
- Create your own “poetry theater” or create “books on tape” for a listening center
- Have students record a “diary entry” for a literary character, impersonate a historical character, create an alternative to the traditional book report, or create a “how to” segment
- Have student groups split a large or daunting topic, like the Civil War or Parts of Speech, and create their own instructional lecture. Let kids teach kids!
The possibilities on podcasting are endless. I’m seen Pre-K classrooms record a “read along” or song for parents to hear. I’ve seen early elementary teachers put podcasts into digital portfolios. In my middle school setting, students record human interest stories to be feature on my classroom or the school website.
There are some easy as pie tools to help teachers get their podcasts off the ground:
- Audioboo: Personally, this is my favorite and go-to. Its simple, fool proof, and even the less tech savvy teachers at my school like to use it. My students are able to work on their own with this without me having to walking them through the process.
- Garage Band: If you personally have a Mac or your school does, you can use Garage Band to record, edit, and post podcast. T
- Flip Camera: Make a video podcast!
- Poducate Me: Visit Poducateme.com for ideas, tips, and tricks for podcasting in the classroom
- Audacity: Allows you to create and edit mp3 files
- Mr. Coley: California teacher with examples and resources on podcasting (and everything else education!)
Do you currently podcast with students? How? What tools do you use? Can you see yourself podcasting in the classroom?
The Ihnatko Corollary
I hereby dub this the Ihnatko Corollary of Internet Security.
Always assume that you know nothing, and that anything you do on the Internet will inevitably end in tears. Because that’s probably closest to the truth.
(Via his own column at the Chicago Sun-Times)
I've got nothing
As to not drop this fantastic roll I have going with blogging every day I am making an entry. Today was an average Tuesday. I cleaned the apartment because I was too lazy to do it yesterday. Matt’s beard sheds more than the cat and the bathroom was a beard hair graveyard. It was wicked gross but I am always 100% happier once the apartment is all clean and sparkly.
I received all my medical leave paperwork crap today and none of it makes any sense so I will be having some assistance with that ASAP.
Bartender Tom will be coming by any minute now to have me teach him the basics of podcasting and audio editing.
The DnD group is in the other room saying the most ridiculous thing. At one point from what I can tell Peter’s character turned into Fat Professor and the rest of the group were all Very Mary Kate. Also Peter needs to know how to “milk his beetle”. Standard things to hear on a Tuesday night.
This weekend we will be having the Gurren Lagann marathon and I will actually get to meet Allison instead of just talking to her through twitter and tumblr. Pretty cool.
I am having a FANTASTIC hair day and have absolutely nowhere to show it off at.
Catface hates the noise of all these strangers and is hiding deep in the closet instead of sleeping in her normal keffiyeh nest. She’s getting braver though.
Tuesday. It’s a day. End.
Where is your expertise?
Something I challenge my students to do is understand their own expertise. We’re all experts in something, and usually many things. Sometimes that expertise is as fundamental as our palate or our tastes in music.
I evaluated my own expertise recently. I started a podcasting project with a few friends to see what it was like, how to do it, and just come to understand the medium better. In doing so I had to come up with a topic to podcast about.
I tried two podcasts. One with a friend attempted to go “blue” and explore the funny side of relationships. Of course, neither of us have expertise in comedy, so the blue ended up feeling forced and misplaced. My wife said it sounded like we were kids who were swearing because we could. She was right.
But the podcast didn’t fail because it wasn’t funny. It failed because there was no expertise. Not in comedy, and really the only expertise either of us had in relationships was our own relationships. We ran out of material after a few months.
The other podcast was a comic book and book review podcast that I did solo. It was ok, but I wasn’t enthusiastic about it. That is until I refined the topic to only Harry Potter.
I realized that I am a Harry Potter expert. It’s my niche. My nerd specialty. I know far far too much about the world of Harry Potter, and I read the books series at least once per year.
Once I switched over I felt the passion of expertise. I knew my topic. I had thousands of things to talk about, and I knew right where to find my audience. I had a successful podcast on my hands.
We got the podcast up to 100 downloads per week. That’s not too shabby for a quick and dirty attempt at podcasting. The excitement of the final Harry Potter film helped of course, but the methods would have worked with or without a major event like that.
The podcast ended because of my time commitments elsewhere, but both podcasts were useful experiences. I learned a ton about technology, marketing online, and finding an audience. The audience for both podcasts was not what I expected. Learned some lessons there.
So, what are you an expert in? How can you leverage your expertise to help you build experiences? Maybe my Harry Potter knowledge won’t ever help me build relationships for small businesses, but my experience podcasting sure will.
G+: Andy Boyan
ps - there are still 2 podcasts going at the Supervillain.me network. Nerdfun and Gamefun. They talk about just what it sounds like. Check them out!
So I was listening to the Game of Owns podcast and less than ten minuets they called Sansa weak and pathetic. Which is hardly an original opinion; but I’m so fucking sick of hearing it.
I starting to think all the Sansa fans on tumblr should get together and have a Game of Thrones podcast.
I’m only 30% joking about this.
And So They SpokeKind Of A Talk Show
Episode 70: And So They Spoke
In their inaugural septuagenarian episode, Thomas, Kieran, and Raynell journey as always to Sweden, tell a Navy Seal’s incredible story, hunt some quarry, and dig deep into your questions.
The Perils of Podcasting on an iPad & Your Face.
Note: Scroll to the bottom for updates to this post.
When GarageBand for iOS was announced I nearly went in my pants. As you may or may not know, I do a few podcasts. My main computer, a nearly 5 year old MacBook, has seen better days. It has a cracked screen and when compared to today’s computers, it’s slow as heck.
When the iPad 2 was announced all I could think about was using the iPad and it’s fancy Smart Cover propping it up to record shows, and then zip them to a FTP, maybe even Dropbox, remote into my MacBook and share it with my friends. Once I got my hands on GarageBand for my iPad, those thoughts quickly soured.
I recorded an episode of Techsmoke with my wife using GarageBand to mixed results. First, the iPad locked after 10 minutes while we were recording. Ok, my fault; I suppose I’ll just have to set that to “never” when we record. As a musical novice, the app is not intuitive if you want to record longform podcasts. (After some crashing snafus several years ago, I turned to Audio Hijack Pro on my Mac and never looked back) While recording it doesn’t show a timestamp to let you know how far you are. It shows its measurements in bars. I don’t know jack shit about bars, I’ll be honest. The first recording shut off after we hit 320 bars, the GarageBand limit. After some questions with actual musicians, I found that you could extend the length of a recording while using the tempo settings.
Even with muffing with some settings, the app is flaky for recording anything more than a few minutes. And even then, the exporting features are slim. I can either email the recording or save it to the iTunes app locally on the iPad. At that point, I can sync it with my Mac and move it into the full-fledged iTunes app.
Oof. Save us, iOS 5. You’re our only hope.
I asked the great Jim Dalrymple and his beard if he had ever come across an app on the iPad that would allow for long form recordings. I guessed there just wasn’t a market for such things, as the replies included adjusting the tempo settings as well as just getting a handheld audio recorder for mobile use.
After coming up empty at first, I again searched the App Store for anything that recorded audio. I eventually found the Audio Memos app. The reviews showed that folks had recorded past the 60 minute mark and it also included some solid multitasking as well as clipping, etc. Not only that, it featured something that I dared not even dream finding - wireless exporting to Dropbox.
Easiest in-app purchase I ever made.
My ideal podcasting situation is one that uses my MacBook the least. I envisioned myself recording the show on an iPad 2 connected to my mixer. Since I do no post production, I’d save it to Dropbox wirelessly, grab the public URL, and post it to iTunes. If I wanted the intro and outro, I’d throw those files onto my iPhone and use that as an input. Boom. If I needed to use the laptop at all, I’d be able to remote in via Screens for some quick edits.
With this app, I can record a podcast in one clip, send to Dropbox, then to Feedburner, and then to iTunes without ever using my Mac. The proof will be in the pudding, however, so keep an ear out for the next episode of Techsmoke. If my wife ever agrees to another one, that is. (She did, and every podcast I record is now done on an iPad 2.)
For those curious, I use a mixer which connects to a Behringer USB Audio Interface which then plugs into the Camera Connection Kit. We also use these Behringer Dynamc XLR mics when recording. In terms of headphones, I blew my wad and have zero regrets. We do use a headphone splitter, though, as there is only one output on the board.
Update 1 - I did need to make one setting change inside of the Audio Memos app as there was a noticeable clicking sound when recording. Unchecking the Auto Normalize setting knocked that off right quick. The Audio Memos app saves the final product as a .wav file at first, but when you’re done making your edits, it can be converted as a much smaller AAC file(.m4a). It’s also worth mentioning that conversion process can take about 30 minutes for a 60 minutes file on an iPad 2.
Update 2 - I posted a lengthy article on just how I podcast using Dropbox and Tumblr as well.
Update 3 - I’ve since moved off of Tumblr/Dropbox and into Libsyn.
Update 4 - I made a special page just for the tools I use to record.
This would really help me. Please submit your answers to me in my ask box or fanmail or something. Thanks.
- Did you ever listen to Side B Radio in the past?
- Would you be interested in listening now?
- What style of music do you listen to?
- Name your top 5 favorite artists
- Would you be interested in a talk/music show?
- What kind of segments would interest you? Music/Movie reviews/news/interviews/etc.
- Would you be interested in contributing to a weekly podcast?
- Would you be interested in themed podcasts? What sort of themes? (Classic Rock, Broadway, Top 40, Alternative, Pop, etc.)
- Do you have any suggestions for the podcast?
- Would you visit a companion blog site with content in print/video?
- Do you think Side B Radio’s name should change? Do you have a name suggestion?