Podcasting in the classroom does not have to be a scary venture! Podcasts are just .mp3 (or sound files) that can be played on any music player such as ITunes or Windows Media. Just double click on the file and it will open and play on your computer! Podcasts can be found free on your Itunes player by clicking on the podcasts link on the top right bar of your ITunes player. You can find a variety of educational podcasts from history to health and everything in between! You can then subscribe to any podcast for free and when a new podcast is uploaded to one that you are subscribed to... you automatically receive it in your podcast tab in Itunes.
Podcasts are not just for listening anymore! There are multiple ways podcasts can be used in your classroom for a more interactive learning time.
There are several programs for the PC and MAC which help you record students to allow them to create their own podcasts! Or record yourself for more personalized lessons, lessons for those who were absent (they can listen online from their home if you upload it to your school website)!
For MAC: The best program that I have used is GarageBand. You can easily cut, paste, alter sounds, add background sound effects and music and much more! I use GarageBand myself but my computers at school are PC and they do not have a PC version of this awesome software! So I tend to use a different program at school for the kids and then I will bring them home to edit and add sound effects at home with my beloved Garageband.
For PC: There are a few options for the PC. Sound Recorder which comes with Windows Vista can be used, Windows Movie Maker can be used to edit sound and video, and Audacity which is a nice free little program.
You will need a microphone as well, so don't forget!
Some classroom ideas:
* Have you or students create a script to teach a lesson:
- interview between reporter and historical figure (George Washington Podcast Package)
- be a local news radio station and present local news such as the effects of the current drought etc...
- upload to school website for absent students to listen to that days lesson
- radio station with news flash of some science breakthrough
Once you have some successful and interesting podcasts, you have the option of publishing them and even submitting them to itunes for free! One program that is free to a point is Podomatic.com
Good luck and happy podcasting!