There’s no denying that when it comes to podcasting there’s more than one option. However, we chose to create ours using a particular combination of technologies in order to get the most out of our experience. Whether we can truly call the items we produce “podcasts”, I don’t really know, but that is what we call them – and anyway, why not?
At the moment, our class is the main one creating podcasts in the school. Two other teachers have dipped their wary and tentative toes into this exciting process, but generally most can’t seem to get the value that this particular integration of technology offers. Anyone who does podcast will recognise the benefits:
- Opportunity for oral language activities
- A permanent record of oral language
- Allows shy students to build confidence
- Independent and group discussions
- Formal and informal activities
- Allows for creativity and personalities to shine
This is by no means the full list!
But let’s get into it!
The first activity we do is we create our own personal theme music. This is created on the iPads using Garage Band and will become the students’ individual theme tune for the year. This is only short (about 20 to 30 seconds) and is initially uploaded to Soundcloud. The next process is a little convoluted, but this has been because of the way our school system is set up and may not apply to anyone else. Also, it’s just a one-off action. The problem is/was (we’re in the process of updating) the theme tune is not created as an mp3, so we had to convert it as the version of Audacity that we use to edit the whole project only accepts/accepted mp3 files (fingers crossed for the update). So (long story short), we converted them on Zamzar for free. We then store our theme tunes on Google Drive so we can access them all year, wherever we may be.
To record the actual spoken part we use the fabulous Easi-Speak Pro Microphones. These are great tools, mobile and easy to use. We bought stands for the whole set to cut down on external noise. The great thing about the microphones is that they simply plug into a laptop via the USB connection and the saved mp3 audio can then be dragged off. Easy!
The final process involves loading the theme tune and the speech onto Audacity and editing it to create a professional product. As an extra, I created a set of instructions and made this a reading activity. When finished, the podcast (or whatever it is) can be posted on the blog.
I know this probably isn’t the way most people do it, but it works for us. We get to integrate a variety of technologies and create a personalised product.