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Page history last edited by Brian Grenier 12 years, 11 months ago

Table of Contents  


Blogging in the Classroom

Wiki Wiki


Become a Campus Role Model

RSS - Bringing the Web to You

Digital Storytelling

Technology and Your PLC

Growing Up Online


Educational Podcasting



"Learning is something students do, NOT something done to students"  

  – Alfie Kohn



What is Podcasting? 


The term podcasting derives its name from Apple's iPod, but to create a podcast or even to listen to one, you don't need to own an iPod, or any portable music player for that matter. In a nutshell, Podcasting is a new type of online media delivery. The easiest way to explain what a podcast is is to describe it as a user-created, online, radio program with one significant difference.  While radio programs are scheduled and made available only at certain times of the day, a podcast can be accessed or downloaded at any time and thus is made available on-demand to the listener.  When we create podcasts we are in fact creating and posting an audio file to the internet.  Most commonly, these audio files are in an .mp3 file format, but can exist in any number of audio file types including, .wav, .ogg, and .aiff.  Typically, an RSS feed is associated with user created podcasts that allows listeners to subscribe to the podcast.  A consumer uses a type of software known as an aggregator, sometimes called a podcatcher or podcast receiver, to subscribe to and manage their feeds.  iTunes and Juice are two examples of podcatching software. 


Why Create Podcasts with Your Students?


  • Authentic Audience
  • Offers a window into the classroom
  • Encourages creativity and collaboration
  • Teaches effective communication skills
  • Engages students in their learning
  • Gives students a voice


How Podcasts Can be Used in Your Classroom


Record lessons for students.

Create a short introduction about your school or class that new students or parents can liten to and learn from.

Create a class/school online radio station

Encourage and allow for the option of students to submit assigned work as podcasts

Create audio resources for use by sight impaired students

Explore the possibilitiy of using podcasts as part of project research materials

Use/Create foreign language podcasts to improve liguistic skills

Create a podcast of a class fieldtrip

Encourage students to interview relatives and develop oral histories.

Ask students to create a podcast to meet a real need.


Educational Examples of Podcasts

Streaming Eagles - a great example of an educational use of podcasting.  Students at Mitzi Bond Elementary school (El Paso, TX, USA) create book reviews for items checked out of their school library.

 Radio WillowWeb - a podcast for kids and by kids from the students at Willowdale Elemetary School in Omaha, Nebraska. Each new show is called a Willowcast. Each Willowcast can be heard on WillowWeb as an mp3 digital audio file.

Speaking of History - a podcast and blog maintained by an 8th grade American History teacher in Missouri who attempts to use technology to enhance the curriculum. Teaching about George, Thomas and Abe using the latest technology.

Korero Pt. England School Podcast - from Aukland, New Zealand, Korero Pt England (KPE) has a global audience and won the ComputerWorld Excellence Award in 2006.


Steps to Making a Podcast

Planning Your Podcast


Planning your podcast is an essential first step in producing any quality production.  Especially in a classroom setting, determining roles that various students will play, as well as designing the entire show from start to finish will save you time and headaches in the long run. Some things to consider as you begin planning your podcast are:

              • The theme of the show
              • Individual segment topics
              • Script writing, especially for younger students
              • The audience the show is aimed towards
              • Sound effects and music incorporated into your broadcast
              • What your teaser will include


Feel free to use one of the planning worksheets below to help you get started planning your broadcast, or develop your own based on your particular needs.



Producing and Mixing Your Podcast


Actually recording and mixing your podcast can seem like a dauntiing task at first, but, rest assured, doing so is a fairly simple process once you've practiced doing so a couple of times.  There are three basic tools you will need to record and mix any podcast:


  1. Computer with internet connectivity

  2. Microphone - although many computers and laptops come with a built-in microphone, these are often of low quality and it is recommended that, if possible, you invest in a quality microphone.

  3. Sound editing software

  • Audacity -  powerful, multi-platform, and FREE!!!

  • If you decide to use Audacity, download and install the LAME MP3 encoder so that you can save your recordings as MP3 files, the preferred format for podcasts.

  • Garageband - bundled within Mac's iLife software suite, Garageband is a wonderful application that will allow you to create your podcast and should already be loaded on your computer if you are running OS 10.4 or higher.

  • Garageband 3 Getting Started Manual


  • Handheld digital voice recorder - (Optional)  if you plan on recording interviews "in the field", this piece of hardware makes a lot of sense.


A Bit About Creative Commons




There are a number of sites on the Internet that will allow you to download, and use (royalty free) music and sound effect clips for use in your podcast, some of those sites include:


Royalty-Free Sound Providers

Free Play Music

Find Sounds

Partners in Rhyme

Garage Band

Podshow Music

Internet Archive Audio

Nature Sounds

American Rhetoric

History and Politics Out Loud

Creative Commons Audio


CC Mixter

Flash Kit

Acid Planet’s 8 pack of free loops


Pre-made Bumpers

(right-clik to save) 




How to Publish Your Podcast

After you have created a podcast on your computer, the next step is to actually publish your podcast to the Internet. First, you must find a site that will host your audio file on a server.  While there are a number of sites out there that offer free hosting to educators, I'd encourage you to consider hosting your audio file, for free, at TeacherTube.  TeacherTube will not only host your audio and video files, bu also provides a number of tools that make it simple to embed your Podcast to your web site.


Another site you may want to consider to host your audio file is Box.com - Box.com will allow you to organizeand view all of your content online in a familiar file and folder structure. Share or embed content with direct links to files and folders, turn any folder into a public webpage in one click and create widgets to share files on a your web page or blog.


Now that you have your podcast hosted on a server someplace you will generally want to embed your podcast into a webpage of some sort.  You may want to consider making your podcast part of your web page, blog, or wiki.  While some plugins are available that make embedding podcasts a relatively simple procedure, eg. Podpress if you are running a WordPress blog, often you will need to rely on hard-coding the file into your page.  The following bit of code generally works to embed your file into your internet site and will automatically place a player into your page:


<embed src="http://URL_OF_YOUR_AUDIO_FILE" autoplay="false">


Note: by setting autoplay to "false" users will have to click on a play button in order to listen to your podcast, changing the value to true will automatically begin playing your podcast after the web page is loaded.


Evaluating Your Podcast

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Brian's Podcasting Bookmarks



The final step in your podcasting experience is to sit back and actively listen to the broadcast you have created.  Consider, as you are listening, what worked well in this episode and what needs to be improved upon in future podcasts.



Presentation and Workshop Highlights





Podcasting Participants

Additional Tools and Resources


 Tools and Resources


 Additional Reading and Listening


 Brian Recommends These Books

Audacity Tutorials






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