Topics covered in this chapter include
  • What is a podcast?
  • Clarifying terms
  • Podcasting equipment
  • Educational benefits of podcasting
  • Pedagogy
  • Development of a broad range of skills
  • Research
  • Podcasting projects for your class
  • Informational podcasts
  • Opinion- or ideas-based podcasts
  • Special considerations
  • Conceptualising your podcast
  • Developing a format for your podcast
  • Scripting your podcast
  • Doing interviews for your podcast
  • Recording locations
  • Editing your podcast
  • File formats
  • Choosing music for your podcast
  • Publishing your podcast
  • Podcasting legal issues

For more detail, read Chapter 12 of Using Social Media in the Classroom. A best practice guide.
  • A podcast is commonly understood to mean ‘online audio’ that can be either streamed (listened to in real time, on your computer), downloaded, or subscribed to via a feed.
  • Technically speaking, however, a podcast as properly understood, means digital audio that you can subscribe to via a feed.
  • To make a podcast, you need recording equipment (e.g., laptop computer or digital voice recorder, microphones), editing software (e.g., Audacity or Garageband) and a way of distributing your podcast (e.g., via a blog or website)

There are three ways of accessing audio on the web:
  1. external image ipod-nano-podcast.jpg?w=212&h=203Stream it (i.e., play it on your computer) and listen to it whilst you are online
  2. Download the audio file itself and play it from your hard drive
  3. Subscribe via RSS to the a podcast proper, i.e., a series of audios (such as a Radio National’s Future Tense) and have it directly delivered to your feedreader or iTunes.

Steps to creating online audio or podcasts
1. Record. You have two main options available to you:
  • Record directly into to your computer or laptop via Audacity or Garageband or similar. You can use the inbuilt microphone or a microphone attachment
  • Record into a digital voice recorder (or an iPod or similar with a microphone attachment) and then transfer your audio file (MP3 format or wav format, usually) to your computer for editing
2. Edit the audio on your computer via Audacity or Garageband or similar. Add podsafe music.
3. Publish. Post the audio to your blog or to an audio-sharing site such as Podbean.

If you’re serious about this, you could do worse than check out the How to Podcast website by Jason Van Orden.

Podcasting is suitable for
  • Analysis, synthesis, evaluation
  • Collaboration
  • Communication and knowledge sharing
  • Comprehension and knowledge building
  • Feedback
  • Opinion building and sharing
  • Presentation and dissemination of information

Special considerations
  • See Chapter 12 of Using Social Media in the Classroom for special considerations regarding student podcasting, especially issues relating to conceptualising your podcast, developing a format for your podcast, scripting, interviewing, recording locations, editing, file format, choosing music, publishing your podcast, and podcasting legal issues.

Handouts, checklists, and planning materials
Podcast release and indemnity -- Example only
Example release and indemnity form. Your legal department should draft something like this for you if you want to interview people for your podcast.

Ideas for use with your class
  • Set your class a podcasting project around a class topic
  • Break the work (and the students) up into different areas: researching, technical production, interviewing, recording, finding music, editing, publication.

Sites, applications, and tools

external image Audacity-logo-r_50pct.jpg

external image Jam_Studio_logo.jpg

external image RadioAniLg.gif

Further reading

  • Mathison, C. and Billings, E. (2010) The effect of primary language podcasts on third grade English language learners’ performance in English-only science education contexts, Electronic Journal of Literacy Through Science, 9, 1–30.
  • Montgomery, S. E. (2014) Critical democracy through digital media production in a third-grade classroom, Theory and Research in Social Education, 42(2), pp. 197–227.
  • Smythe, S. and Neufeld, P. (2010) ‘Podcast Time’: negotiating digital literacies and communities of learning in a middle years ELL classroom, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(6), 488–96.