USB microphones, digital voice recorders and mobile phones make recording audio in the classroom a straightforward plug and play process which pupils like and find engaging. Digital audio formats are far more flexible than traditional analogue cassette tape and can be used in a variety of multimedia projects to promote oral/aural skills, record speaking assessments and improve pronunciation. Podcasting spoken work can also offer personalised distance learning opportunities, celebrate pupils' achievements and allow for peer assessment.
Now that language departments are expected to submit their GCSE, AS and A2 speaking assessments as mp3 files, the need to find out how to record good quality audio reliably and effectively has become more pressing. I hope this post provides some 'sound' advice in this respect and shows how some teachers are already using audio creatively to produce exciting outcomes for their pupils.
Geoff Freymuth from Jefferson Middle School has put together a comprehensive guide for getting started with podcasting. Designed for teachers, the presentation explains what are podcasts, how to use them in education and how to create them with Audacity.
- The Audacity Interface
- Sound settings in Vista
- Basic editing
- More advanced editing
- Adding music
- Creating an intro
- Creating an outro
- Converting to mp3
For more ideas on educational podcasting have a look too at 10 great ways of using Audacity with your students, tips on recording good audio, microphone techniques, creating and publishing podcasts and How to use podcasts in the classroom
A number of trailblazing language teachers have also been exploring the use of audio in the MFL classroom and how it can offer a new approach to language learning. Isabelle Jones spoke on the topic at the recent TeachMeetNW and subsequently created a wonderful slidecast to illustrate her ideas.
At TeachMeetNE2, Helena Butterfield gave an inspiring talk on Top tools to get pupils talking which you can listen to below and check out the links she refers to on her Langwitch Chronicles blog as well.
Lisa Stevens gave an excellent virtual presentation during last week's EdTechRoundup TeachMeet about how she has been using digital audio in her primary Spanish classes to promote speaking skills. Thanks to Lisa, her school now has their own podcast and pupils have also had the chance of creating Vokis and VoiceThreads too. Listen to the audio of her talk here.
Samantha Lunn recently published Tom Barrett's presentation Twenty Three interesting Ways to use Audio in your Classroom which gives lots of food for thought about the potential of using digital audio.
Esther Hardman ran some training on Easi-speak microphones, Audacity and podcasting recently to support local primary colleagues and judging by the Wallwisher she published it was certainly effective!
Last, but not least Suzi Bewell wrote a great article for the Sec Ed magazine in October about podcasting and in particular Mark Pentleton's Verbcast. Suzi has also been experimenting with iPadio and AudioBoo as a way of practising French songs, pronunciation and phonics.