#11 Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasting is often viewed as highly technical, specialist area. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Creating a podcast is not as easy as creating a blog, but it’s not difficult either.

You need: a plan (what do you need podcasts for?), time to record, a volunteer to make the recordings, a headphone and microphone set, and software to create and save the podcast.

The Plan.

This is vitally important. Why do you want a podcast? Creating one because they are ‘cool’ is not a good option. Some more viable reasons might be:

  • Instructional podcasts for pupils with poor reading abilities
  • Instructional podcasts for those with visual impairments
  • Podcasts for information: author information, overview of a genre of fiction, a book review, and so on
  • Podcasts for entertainment; pupils read their own stories, pupils create news stories, and so on
  • Create a podcast area where you can link to other podcasts of interest on the web, within i-tunes and elsewhere

 

Time & Space

You will need time to create a podcast (a script is essential), a quiet space to actually record it, and a volunteer with a controlled, legible and clear speaking voice.

It is advisable to read a script more than once, as there are many glitches that can ruin a recording (a slip of the tongue, background noise, electrical interference, and so on). If necessary, you can create the final recording with snippets from more than one reading.

If you are unhappy with audio software and editing techniques, ask for technical volunteers from staff or pupils.

Equipment

You will need some hardware to create a podcast, in the form of a headset with microphone. This will cost in the region of £10-£20, and will be your only financial outlay.

Software to create and store a podcast can be found for free on the web (see link below).

Podcasts can be a very useful medium for getting information to staff and pupils, and may be of particular benefit to reluctant readers and the visually handicapped. The most important part of the process is the initial planning process, and if this is carried out thoroughly, paying particular attention to the needs of the end user, and the viability of the project, you will end up with a powerful and impressive tool in your information literacy armoury.

Useful Weblinks:

Beginner’s Guide To Podcast Creation

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/beginners-guide-to-podcast-creation/

Audacity, free sound editor.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Podcasts For Educators, Schools & Colleges

http://recap.ltd.uk/podcasting/schools/index.php

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