Tag Archives: podcasting

Commonwealth in rhyme – creating and editing audio recordings to share online

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer in the Curriculum Support team of Service and School Improvement, Falkirk Council Education Services, supported pupils from the Grangemouth High School cluster to create and edit audio recordings which they shared online as part of a national Digital Commonwealth project. Creating, editing and using an online tool to share recordings provided one set of skills learned across a series of themes in this project.

Working with Dugald MacGilp (of Young Reporters for the Environment, part of the Keep Scotland Beautiful Charity) and Steve Duffy of Grangemouth High School the pupils were set the task of creating an audio recording of a piece of writing in rhyme which represented a Commonwealth country of their choice. Some groups of pupils chose to find a representative poem from a Commonwealth country of their choice, while some did some research about their chosen Commonwealth country and their Commonwealth athletes (in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow) before creating a piece of writing, poem or rap.

Click here for Jamaica Rap which one group of pupils pupils created, edited in Audacity (including adding backing sounds) and uploaded to AudioBoo, free online podcasting host.

Click here for Swaziland Rap which another group of pupils created, edited in Audacity (including adding backing sounds) and uploaded to AudioBoo.

Audacity is free downloadable software which works like a word-processor except it is used to edit  audio recordings. With a simple click on a record button in the screen, and with a connected headset/microphone a redording can quickly be made of any audio. Once recorded there are simple cut/copy and paste icons just as in a word-processor to remove unwanted noise or move elements and reuse in a different sequence. It can also be used to have multiple tracks so that once the spoken word (for example) is recorded you can play it back and also record a new track at the same time (such as to add a beat sound). Once you are finished editing the audio you can go to File – export – and save as an mp3 file which is then ready to be shared with others for playing back. Click here for more information about where to download the Audacity software and how to use it.

AudioBoo is one of a number of free online tools which can be used to either upload previously recorded mp3 files or to record straight from microphone. The resulting AudioBoo recording can then be shared with others and played straight from the page where it is stored.

Active Literacy Podcasting

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer, and Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer, in the Curriculum Support team of Falkirk Council Education Services, presented a professional development course for school staff on Active Literacy at second level using podcasting to develop talking and listening, reading and writing skills. This is part of a series of three courses examining how literacy skills can be developed using ICT. Other courses in this series are: ‘Using fakebook, twister and email to develop summarising skills’ and ‘Using animation tools to support writing skills’.

Section three of the reading for second level Active Literacy programme is ‘Using media to develop higher order literacy’ and this course is part of a series of CPD opportunities for teachers at this level. Other courses in this series are: Using fakebook, twister and email to develop summarising skills and using animation tools to develop literacy skills.

The course looked at ways in which using ICT as a tool facilitates, supports and develops confident and accurate literacy to add value to all aspects of Literacy Across Learning. It explored ways teachers can plan for opportunities to use digital technologies to enhance and contribute to overall meaning, communication and understanding of texts. It examined ways in which talking and listening, reading and writing skills can be developed using podcasting.

What is podcasting?

•A podcast is a digital audio and/ or video site that can be accessed using any computer that can play media files using recording software such as audacity

•Podcasting involves pupils in recording and broadcasting

•Broadcasting allows pupils to listen, watch, discuss and analyse the content of the material.

Listen to the audio links below to hear the different verses of a poem, as an example of how audio files can be shared on a class blog.

Participants on the course were all very positive stating they were going to use ideas gained at the session immediately.

Verse 1

Verse 2

Verse 3

Verse 4

Verse 5

Verse 6

Free Audacity software for creating and editing audio

Audacity is free software to download which lets users record and edit audio in order to create mp3 files for use on websites, blogs, podcasts or anywhere online. Audacity lets users combine multiple tracks (to include music, sound efftecs and voices) and to add shorter sound segments together to create longer audio files. Audacity also lets users edit out unwanted sounds, re-order a sequence of sounds, add a whole host of effects to sound (including changing pitch, adding echo, and much more). Click here for more information about Audacity (including resources showing how to use it).

Royalty-free sound-effects and music for adding to podcasts

Schools are often looking for royalty-free sound-effects and music for multimedia presentations – music or sound effects which pupils and staff can use in their podcasts (or videos, stop-motion animations, online or Powerpoint presentations). And of course they wish to ensure that they are not infringing the rights of others so look for free sources of music and sound effects where permission to use for school projects has been granted by the creators. Click here for sources of royalty-free music and sound-effects free to use in school podcasts.

Alternative online tools for hosting audio files/podcasting

There are online spaces specifically set up for hosting podcasting, some of which are specifcally suitable for school use. So while school websites and class blogs can easily host audio files you may wish to consider using a tools specifically set up for podcasting hosting and sharing.  Click here for links to some of these online podcasting tools.