You’ve been handed a new notebook with Windows 8. The students have all been handed a cloud full of powerful tools called Office 365. There are all these new handheld devices being purchased by the school and being brought into class from students’ homes. Every half hour of the day you hear someone say, “There’s an app for that.” How can we harness all these new and powerful tools to support the needed inquiry approach and variety of ways needed by the student to express their learning?
Using the framework of Banchi & Bell’s “Simplifying Inquiry Instruction”, a hands-on day will be facilitated with plenty of opportunities to experiment with all these new tools being presented to schools. Differentiation will be provided based on self-declared skill levels. Please bring your SPS notebook and other devices (Smart phones, tablets, iPads, etc).
podcast n. a digital audio file or recording made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player.
Podcasts can be created from original material by students and teachers or existing audio files can be downloaded for classroom use. Creating a podcast allows students to produce and share compelling digital media. It can also provide them with a world-wide audience that makes learning meaningful and assessment authentic. Teachers can use the technology to provide additional and revision material to students to download and review at a time that suits them.
You will need a recording device (microphone and computer or a hand-held MP3 recorder.) You can also record directly into Audacity with a microphone. If you record with a hand held MP3 recorder, you will insert that file into Audacity.
Here are a few things you need to decide for your podcast:
What is the topic of your podcast?
What is the format of your podcast?
How long will each episode be?
Will you have background music and if so, where will you get copyright free music to use?
How often will you going to release new shows or is this be a one-time show?
Where will your podcast be uploaded? Do you have a class blog, website or wiki with enough space to host your podcasts?
Tools for Podcasting
Audacity - Free, open source software for recording and editing sounds.
Sites to Host Podcasts
The iTunes Store has thousands of free podcasts. The podcasts directory in the iTunes Store is where students can find and subscribe to new podcasts.
Search Podcasts by Popularity Before students subscribe, they will want to find podcasts that appeal to their inquiry. There are several ways of fining relevant podcasts. Students can either use the iTunes search box in the upper right-hand corner of the jukebox window, or for a more detailed search students can click on Power Search under Quick Links in the upper right-hand corner of the iTunes Store homepage. Power Search provides pull-down filters for category or language, as well as search boxes specific to podcast title, author or description. Once a search is performed, students can order results by popularity by clicking on the column header titled “Popularity.”
Manage Podcast Subscriptions Get smart playlists – Podcast episodes can be added to a playlist, or smart playlist, like any other track. When a podcast finishes playing, iTunes does not play the next podcast episode in your Source List by default. To keep a steady stream of episodes playing, consider creating a podcast playlist. By creating a smart playlist, students can even customize playback based on artists, genre, topic, etc.To build an all-podcast smart playlist, Choose “New Smart Playlist” from the file menu. To include only podcast episodes not yet listened to, choose “Plays” from the first drop-down menu, “is” from the second, and enter 0. Add additional filters to further refine the smart playlist.
Podcasts cannot be created with iTunes. However, the iTunes Store houses a searchable directory of podcasts, to which students’ podcast feed can be submitted. An account for the iTunes Store is not needed to get podcasts. However, an account is needed to submit a podcast to the iTunes Store.
Kid-Cast -Kid Cast is a site for students to publish their own podcasts in an environment safe for young minds to hear. Contribution by students allows learners to listen to their peers on topics of interest.
Click the screen shot below for a larger image. Basically you record into Audacity and you can lay additional sound tracks into the project so that you can have your voice with a background sound track and so on. Once your recording is complete, you export your file as an MP3 file. You must have the LAME MP3 encoder also installed.
Here is a straight forward Tutorial for Audacity (7-8 minutes) to help you get started.