Why Blog? Why Podcast? Why not?!



Mary and I presented at SCASL using this PowerPoint presentation. The handout was the slides of the presentation.  

From the Podcast wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast:
“Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio or video programs, over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. The term, coined in 2004, is a blend of the terms “iPod“, a popular portable audio device, and ‘broadcasting.'”

To me, a podcast and a blog are very similar…in fact, a podcast NEEDS a blog to be able to work. Both forms of media allow students to share thoughts, ideas, and projects. The difference is in a blog, they are writing about their work and in a podcast, they are talking about it and perhaps performing.

In the Spring of 2006, DFES started a podcast called, Bookin’ It! We are still in the beginning stages of our podcast. I hope to begin including more student work on the podcast like Radio WillowWeb and Room 208. We plan to include student observations as they work in the Science Lab and student’s performing reader’s theater (creating “Radio Theater!”).

How can you create your own podcast?
It is very easy if you are a Mac user with GarageBand. Here are links that will help you:
Apple’s GarageBand support page

“How to” from About.com

*After Edtech, I became Mac-crazy (I think it was seeing David Warlick with his Mac). I bought a Mac. I tried to use the Mac. I almost threw the Mac out the window. My husband now has a new Mac and I have a new PC. Thank you, Bill Gates! Moral of the story? I don’t know if podcasting is much easier with a Mac…*

If you are a PC user, it is not quite as easy, but still easy enough! Here’s how I do it FOR FREE:

Set up a Blog just for your podcast. I use WordPress, but you can use whatever you would like.

Set up a Feedburner account using your podcast blog address.

Setting up the Blog and the Feedburner account is something you will do one time.

Record various audio into your computer. I use a cheap computer microphone and a digital voice recorder (depends on if I am in the library or not). Sound files need to be .wav or. mp3 files to edit or upload, so sometimes I convert them with Switch. Your files need to be .wav OR MP3 to edit using Audacity.

Then, I import and edit my .wav or MP3 files and create my show using Audacity.

When my show is complete, I export it as a MP3 file from Audacity to my desktop. 

Then, I upload the show using my FTP client. I have a webpage, you might not. If you do not have a place to upload your file to, try an “all in one” podcast site like podOmatic.

I create a link to the show and post it to my Bookin’ It! blog.

The feed is automatically updated as soon as I post my blog thanks to my Feedburner account. The feed is what you can subscribe to to listen to the podcast.

To recap:

1. Set up a blog for your podcast (do this one time!)

2. Set up a feed in Feedburner using your podcast blog address (do this one time!)

3. Record some stuff

4. Edit that stuff using Audacity (if needed…not always needed!)

5. Export that stuff to your desktop as a MP3 file

6. Upload that stuff to your server or via an “all in one” podcast site

7. Update your iPod or MP3 player and start listening to your podcast! 

Do you have a favorite podcast that you listen to?
Do you have another way you create and upload your podcast?
Do you have ideas on ways students and teachers can use podcasting in the classroom?
Please share!


About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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