- Podcasting, or online radio, is a way of schools sharing audio recordings of pupils talking about their learning, their discoveries, or discussions about class topics. The voices of the pupils, recorded and shared, speaking about the learning going on in their classroom provides a powerful way of engaging pupils – knowing that what they say they can hear played back to themselves, and also to an audience wider than the confines of their own classroom teacher or peers.
So what tools can schools use to get their audio recordings online?
There are many options. You can create mp3 audio files using software such as Audacity or similar tools to create, edit and and simply upload these to your class or school website or blog. Many website hosts or blogging platforms provide players so that simply uploading the mp3 file will automatically present it in a published page as a player on screen.
Alternatively simply adding the file to be downloaded in mp3 format would also work. From there the school and wider community can click on the mp3 files to listen to what the pupils have to say (or optionally download the file to a computer, mobile, tablet device, iPod or mp3 player.
RSS feeds to an online podcast host tool can add the option for users to subscribe to the school podcasts, by just clicking the RSS feed icon in the new player and copy and paste into podcasts in the preferred music player on the computer or other device. iTunes or Windows media player would then automatically search for new content next time it is opened.
Audio Boo is a free podcasting tool for sharing audio. This can be done using whichever means suits a school or class. It can be done via website, or mobile device app. Once uploaded the AudioBoo site provides different ways of then sharing the audio with the audience for the pupils – you can simply add a link to the specific audio file or to the channel on Audio Boo with all of your class or school recordings, or you can embed a player for the file on the school website or class blog. Or these can be accessed from iTunes. Click here for a link to Porchester Junior School’s AudioBoo channel (which in turn links to their school website showing how they link together).
SoundCloud is a free podcasting tool for sharing audio online. SoundCloud lets you upload audio files, and provides links to each file which can be shared by email or as links on blogposts or a website page. In addition each audio file post can be embedded on a site or blog with an on-screen player. Click here for a description by John Hardison of how his pupils used SoundCloud in the classroom at East High School. Sound files can be uploaded to Soundcloud via the website or via mobile device apps. Click here for teacher guides to using SoundCloud from Med Kharbach
Vocaroo – a free online service which requires no logging in before creating a recording – just click and record, then share. This link includes a video showing how Vocaroo is used.
ICT Magic Music, Sounds and Podcasts – a host of tools for creating, editing and sharing online podacsts, as well as sources of sound effects, music and more for use with podcasts collated and described on the ICT magic wiki.
Creating a podcast with GarageBand on an iPad – a post detailing how to use the app GarageBand on an iPad to create a podcast in a classroom
Podcasting with Microsoft Sway – an excellent blogpost by Miguel Guhlin describing in straightforward steps different ways in which the free online tool Microsoft Sway can be used to incorporate podcasting audio. This includes the option to directly record straight into the Sway or add previously recorded audion files (such as created from Audacity where they can be edited and sound effect, etc added). Sway can be accessed using an Office 365 login (Glow account for schools in Scotland) and anything created can be shared with anyone with no need for listeners to login in to enjoy the shared content.
Why Podcast with Pupils?
Mark Warner has written a useful article on the Teaching Ideas website detailing the many benefits teachers have found when podcasting with their pupils. This also provides practical suggestions for teachers about how to make the most of the podcasting opportunities, and also pointers for putting it into practice.
Podcasts for schools – one directory of podcasts form a host of schools around the world. So if you are looking for ideas to get started or to try something different if you’re already podcasting then browse through these schools and listen to see how others are already using podcasts with their pupils.
Simon Haughton has written helpful guidance about podcasting in his primary school – this describes the benefits to using podcasting with pupils, as well as suggestions for where it can be used to good effect. And there is adescription of the tools their pupils use to share their podcasts.