Basics of Podcasting

Podcasting, if you don’t already know, is the creation and distribution of amateur radio (Richardson, 2010). Podcasts are fun and interesting to list to and can give some wonderful and useful information.  You can check out the podcast page under Web 2.0 tools  to see a list of educational podcasts for teachers in general or for math, science, social studies/history, reading/writing, or English as a Second Language.

According to Richardson, schools can use it to create a free radio show and world language teachers can record and publish practice lessons, among many other uses. Podcasts are simple and free as long as you have a computer with speakers and a built-in microphone.  There are some things you need before creating your own or having students create their own podcasts (Hesse, 2016):

  1. Planning and Preproduction
    • Theme – go broad and cover a wide variety of topics, or you could go specific
    • Episode length and format – most podcasts do not exceed 60 minutes
    • Script – even if you plan to go off the cuff and improvise your conversations, as most podcasts do, having a general outline to keep yourselves on track is a good idea
    • Scheduling – how often you want your podcast to air
  2. Podcasting Equipment
    • Computer – with built-in or attached microphone
    • Quicktime (Mac or PC), Windows Media Player, or any software that allows you to record and edit audio file and save (or convert) to an mp3 file
      • Press record button and begin speaking (try to sound relaxed, not formal or robotic)
      • Press stop when finished (you may need to practice a few times)
      • Save file as mp3 or wav file and convert to an mp3 file
  3. Post-Production

You and your students will be amazed at how easy it is to create a podcast, once you get over hearing your voice and stop using filler words, such as “um” or “uh.” An article from Harvard Extension School tackles this very subject. It is great practice for students to learn how to speak publicly and work together in groups to create something unique.

Good luck and comment how you have used it in your classroom!


References:

Cohen, Steven D. Tips on Public Speaking: Eliminating the Dreaded “Um.” Retrieved from https://www.extension.harvard.edu/inside-extension/tips-public-speaking-eliminating-dreaded-um

Hesse, Brendan. (2016, July 24). How to Make a Successful Podcast. Retrieved from: http://www.digitaltrends.com/how-to/how-to-make-a-podcast/

Richardson, Will. (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Tools for Classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin.

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