Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Podcast About Podcasting





I had an absolute BLAST putting together this 5 minute podcast about podcasting! First of all, full disclosure: there is no podcasting studio at the Monroe County ISD! But it sure sounds impressive, doesn't it??? And the listener might just imagine me sitting in a recording studio rather than in my cubicle!

The teacher I interviewed really has recorded some podcasts with her class, but she recorded her answers to my questions at her school and emailed them to me as attachments. I just imported them into Audacity and moved them to the right location in the timeline. You can listen to her 5th graders' podcasts by clicking here.

Now then, about those links to FREE online podcasting resources:

Check out Gary Stager's long list of Podcasting Resources for Educators & Students.

The software I used to create my podcast was Audacity. It's fairly intuitive, but not without a learning curve. It may be free software, but it's very impressive! If you want to export your podcast as an mp3 file (and you will) you will also need to download the LAME mp3 encoder. You'll see a link on the Audacity download page. Audacity is available in both Windows and OSX formats.

There are a number of free music resources to use in your podcast. I found some great music in a wide variety of styles at http://www.magnatune.com/ Their motto is "we are not evil." Check out their podcasting terms of use here.

Another music site to visit is Incompetech. Their motto is "ugly website, brilliant content."

You can also create your own music using GarageBand (if you're a mac user), or the free version of Sony's Acid Music Studio (see a previous blog post here). The CTC Music Mixer is a free online site that will allow you to create and save a 1 minute mp3 music file.

OK, your podcast has been recorded, NOW WHAT?! This is the most difficult part of the process for most people.

In my case, I exported my completed podcast as an mp3 file in Audacity, then uploaded the file to Odeo (www.odeo.com). Then I cut and paste the HTML code Odeo automatically generates to my blog. This results in the embedded Odeo player you used above.

I use a Plantronics DSP-100 USB headset microphone. It's about $50-$60 online. I was not satisfied with the sound quality of a standard computer microphone, but you may find it acceptable for your students' use.

I hope you found this information helpful, and that you'll be motivated to try podcasting in your classroom.

1 comment:

Kelly Christopherson said...

James,

That was awesome! I will be passing it on to my teachers so that they can listen to it, get the links and begin to use this information. Thanks for all the links. I will definitely be using some of them.

Kelly