Podcasting is a dynamic and engaging communication medium for both consuming digital audio content as well as producing it yourself. In the 21st century, students need to be engaged not only in intentional and reflective practices of multimedia CONSUMPTION, but also in the process of multimedia PRODUCTION. Podcasting has inherent benefits for student motivation (given the existence of a global, authentic audience) and communication skill development. If you want your students to become better writers, authors, and communicators, then they need to be podcasting. If you have a computer connected to the Internet, a microphone is about the only other thing you may need to buy to podcast. The audio editing software is free, the web hosting services are free, the web publishing software tools (for ftp and blogging / publishing) are free, and the techniques are not difficult to learn. What are you waiting for?People use many different methods and models in creating their own podcasts. I favor the structure of podcasts like Room 208, Bob Sprankle’s Bit by Bit, and David Warlick’s Connect Learning podcasts, which utilize short music clips to introduce and transition in between podcast segments. Toward that end, I recommend using Apple’s free Garageband software to have students create their own musical compositions useable in podcasts. Audacity is a free, powerful, cross-platform, multi-track audio editor that also works well for podcasting.Quicklinks:

  1. Curriculum for my workshops on Intro to Podcasting, Intermediate Podcasting, and Digital Storytelling is available.
  2. Podcast for Free is a great webpage, explaining how all you need to podcast (literally) is a computer and a microphone. Everything else is available for free!
  3. Classroom Audio Podcasting is an article providing 10 reasons why teachers should setup and use classroom podcasts to engage learners.
  4. The thing that differentiates audio file links on a website from an actual “podcast” is that the links are saved within an RSS feed. The easiest way to make an RSS feed is to use a free social bookmarking service that supports RSS like del.icio.us. An example is MCREL’s podcast channel.
  5. Feedburner is a free service that provides statistics on podcast subscriptions and usage (for free)
  6. Free Audio sources for podcasts
  7. Getting Started with Garageband
  8. My podcasting social bookmarks (website links)
  9. Podcasting 101 Flowchart
  10. What is RSS? (a 6 minute QuickTime movie animation)

Presentations on Podcasting:

  1. Using iWeb for Blogging and Publishing
  2. Cultivating Digital Literacy Through Blogging and Podcasting was a presentation at TCEA 2006 in Austin, Texas for the CampSIG group.
  3. “Podcasting as Disruptive Transmediation” paper presentation at eLearn2005 World Conference on eLearning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education, October 26, 2005. (podcast available)
  4. “Podcasting as Disruptive Transmediation” keynote at the 2005 TCEA TECSIG conference, October 13, 2005. (podcast available)

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