Sunday, November 27, 2011

Less Is So Much More With Podcasting

I just finished a lengthy post on my learning and understanding of podcasting and how I would use it in my primary classroom or other classrooms. What I didn't tell you was, that there is a much easier way of going about doing publishing podcasts. Here's what I learned:

My students blog on Great site if you've never used it, I would highly recommend it for getting your students to write, reflect and comment on what others write. You can then share their writing on Twitter and others will comment on it. That's just a shameless plug for for those teachers who are interested. I'll be creating a screencast to show you how to create a class account.
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Other way you can create a podcast is by using AudioBoo. This is the easiest way for young students to create and collaborate using podcasts. After all of the searching for a host server for my podcast, I remembered that AudioBoo could do it.

 The box on the left allows you to record right to your microphone on your computer and the right box allows you to easily upload an mp3 file. So after all of the work I put into learning how to find a URL to then embed it into a host server was good because during the process I realized I could do it with this Web 2.0 tool.

Here is the AudioBoo from uploading the mp3 file from my computer:
What we did on Nov. 24th (mp3)

I continued my journey to find out how truly frustrated I could get. Why do you ask?
  • If I didn't go through the hard parts, I wouldn't have come to understand that there was a much easier way of uploading an mp3 file by using AudioBoo.
  • I learned how to convert an audio file from Audacity, which I wasn't too crazy about doing in the first place, into an mp3 file. I went back to the tool I'd originally wanted to use and persevered to get through the challenges. Yeah for me!!!
  • I learned that AudioBoo is a much easier audio sharing tool to create, share and publish with than a Voice Recorder or Audacity. It has many of the features I was looking for. 
  • Of course there are drawbacks, AudioBoo does not have the ability to edit or resolve background noise or insert music, but for right now I'm not looking to add those features to the podcasts my students will be creating. 
  • During my frustration, I had to take a step back and really think about how difficult this was. If creating a podcast was this difficult for me, then it was going to be doubly challenging for the average teacher who is already afraid of technology. 
  • I also like the look of having the podcast in a blog post, rather than off to the side like I had to do with the widget. I could have embedded the widget code into the blog post buy I wanted to see what it looked like off to the side. It looks much better as a blog post. 
I know there are others out there who really like Audacity, but it is not a great Web 2.0 tool for your young children to be able to use in a collaborative way. Young students are able to press record and talk into a microphone but Audacity doesn't allow them the flexibility to have it posted to a site on-line so they can go back and access it or even embed it onto a blog if they so choose. The social media tool I will use more frequently is AudioBoo.

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