I think Heidi Hayes Jacobs was right when she said that teachers aren’t resistant to using technology, but that they just want to know how to get started. Often times, with all that teachers have to do with mandated pacing plans and timely assessments, there is little time to step outside of the comfort zone to do something different. Those who successfully do find it rewarding and renewing. Those who try and fail get frustrated at energy and time apparently wasted. This post will help teachers get started with quick, easy ways to incorporate audio and even podcasting into the daily schedule to engage students in learning through authentic creation. It’s painless and fun!
First, why use audio, especially student generated audio? There are many reasons. One that stands out for me is that students are using their voice in creative ways to share their learning with others. If we only rely on one medium to engage our students, we’re probably missing student contributions that are rich in vocabulary, composition, and creativity.
Here’s the process for capturing and sharing student audio.
Set up a Podcast on iPadio.com
iPadio is the best tool for creating a quick podcast! It’s easy to set up, has the ability to change many settings, and can be moderated. What makes it accessible to just about anyone is that podcasts can be created with just a phone call to a toll-free number! Add to that the ability to live broadcast a “radio show” and the coolness factor of this free tool just slid past 10!
- Set up your podcast. On http://ipadio.com/, click on the heart to sign up. It’s best to use your school email for setting this up. You will need to verify your account via email to finish your set up. Use your school phone number as one of the registered numbers, so you won’t be giving out your personal number to students.
- Get started creating your phone cast. Here’s a quick tutorial.
- Check out the ability to moderate and set other settings by clicking on the “My Profile” link, then the Channel Details tab.
- Check out some of the tutorials on the site.
- Set up your Phone Blog as a Podcast on iTunes and publish to other sites easily by clicking on My Profile then the Social Media tab.
- Record your first podcast using your cellphone, and your toll free number and pin that you received in your registration email.
- Explore some of the educational uses of iPadio:
Recording Audio using the Web and a Computer
Although iPadio doesn’t let you record directly on the site using a computer, other sites not only let students record their voice, but allow them to review what they have recorded. My favorite tool for this is the Audio Dropbox from The Rich Internet Applications for Language Learning hosted by the Center for Language Education and Research at Michigan State University. There is documentation on the Audio Dropbox site on how to set this up. All you need to do is sign up for an account.
Try my Audio Dropbox below. You must have Adobe Flash player installed to use this tool.
The audio recordings are going to my dropbox on the Audio Dropbox site, where I can review and download the ones I will upload to the iPadio podcast. Using this tool ensures that all students will have equal access to creating audio for learning.
Bells and Whistles
For those who would like to edit parts of their podcast and perhaps add music and sounds, Myna, a free, web-based audio editing application, is the perfect tool. Make sure to register for an account before using, so you can save or download your completed audio recording. Although this isn’t as easy to use as the former 2 tools, it’s easy to figure out in a very short while.
To learn more about podcasting and using audio in the classroom, please visit http://lausdpodcast.wikispaces.com