A podcast is an audio story created to share ideas, presentations, or music. Typically podcasts are linked from a blog, so “podcasting” is often used to denote audioblogging. Students can use podcasts to interview each other, tell stories, create newscasts, hold debates, or run radio shows. Schools can use podcasts to make announcements via their Web site or to record guest speakers and publish their presentations available online.

Tools to Record Audio

In podcasting, the producer records the audio, edits it, and then distributes it via the web. Podcasts sometimes resemble radio programs as some podcasters add music and various sound effects to their recorded audio.

The podcast file type is very important. Naturally the listener must be able to play the podcast file, and it must be of acceptable audio quality. The MP3 file format is widely used in podcasting because it is both of good audio quality and it produces a more manageable file size.

Visit our audio recording and editing apps page for a complete list of tools that work on any device.

Places to Upload your Podcast to the Web

Once you are finished recording and editing the audio for your podcast, it needs to be uploaded to a podcast distribution or hosting website so a larger audience can find and listen to the recording. When the podcast is uploaded it can be embedded or linked in your blog or website to allow students to easily access it.

Keep in mind that public places on the Web may contain content inappropriate content for children. Fortunately, many offer areas expressly designed for educational content.

Podbean

This is a great option for uploading your mp3 podcast files. Once the editing is complete on your podcast you can create a new site with Podbean and every time a new podcast is uploaded it will appear as a new post in the Podbean site.

Google Drive

After a podcast has been edited, upload the file to your Drive account and then shared it with a link. Here is a brief tutorial on uploading mp3 files to google docs.

Blip.tv

Although Blip is primarily used for independent television producers to host their shows, it also allows users to upload mp3 files. Once uploaded, an embed code is provided for the audio file which allows you to embed the podcast directly in your blog or web site for students to access and listen to easily.

YouTube

It is possible to upload mp3 files to YouTube, but they must be converted to a movie file format first (avi, mpeg, mov). When you are finished editing the mp3 file podcast, it can be easily converted to a movie file using a service such as Zamzar and then uploaded to YouTube.

How to Integrate Podcasts in the Classroom

Here are some specific ideas for integrating audio recording:

  • Students interview relatives about their life histories, and then combine the audio interview with family photos in a video project.
  • Students write a radio drama based on a historical event and record their show (complete with commercials).
  • Students learn about a different country by interviewing a recent traveler. They record the interview and then create a digital travel album.
  • Students create a faux advertising campaign to convince immigrants to settle the new American colonies.
  • Students use audio recording to interview sources for articles for a class newspaper.
  • Students write and record short stories and add music and sound effects.
  • Teacher records a tutorial that students listen to on their own
  • Present student writing through a class radio drama or a poetry slam.
  • Teacher records and broadcasts group discussions.
  • Teachers might record students reading a story as a fluency assessment, or as a foreign language pronunciation activity.
  • On a field trip, students use an iPod with a voice recorder to take notes and a digital camera to take photos. They then create a guided tour in iMovie.