HOW TO – Podcasting for educators

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Steve writes in –

I am a high school teacher considering making an application for a technology $1,500 grant. I have this crazy idea that since kids are constantly on their iPods, etc. the best way we could reach them is with pod casting Everyday we just put the assignments, helps, homework. Etc. on the podcast and students should have fewer excuses about why they did not get their homework in on time. I’m not sure how to go about setting up podcasting and what equipment I will need… I would appreciate any directions you may be able to given me.

Here are some resources, links and ideas to check out Steve, Makers post in the comments too…

Bre (former school teacher, now MAKE media) says – I did this with http://room132.com. For me, it let me showcase their work to a wider audience and it let parents see their children’s work. It’s a lot of fun too! Once a week works well.

In MAKE 02 we go over the basics – Podcasting 101. Produce and syndicate audio interviews you record online, on the phone, and on the road. MAKE 02 – Page 86. Subscribers–read this article now in your digital edition. or download the PDF. The article is over a year old, but for the most part it has a lot of what you need to get started.

Dr. Carlson posted up a great presentation on using podcasts to educate, definitely read this – Link.

Examples and more:

  • Dr. Carlson’s Science Theater – downloadable science … Matt is a High School Chemistry and Physics teacher in Lafayette, IN – he makes these great video podcasts for his students / anyone who wants to view them of topics include: Thermodynamics and Temperature, Newton’s Third Law, Freezing by Boiling and more.. – Link.
  • UVA Virtual Lab podcasts from Professor John C. Bean from The University of Virginia Virtual Lab – Link.
  • Free downloads at the Stanford version of iTunes – Link.
  • iTunes U from Apple – Link.

You can also try ODEO – it’s browser based and can do most of the recording / distribution in one spot.

Last up, we send out PDFs on our RSS 2.0/iTunes feed – that’s another way you could send out information, but for now it would need to be read on a PC/Mac and not an iPod.

10 thoughts on “HOW TO – Podcasting for educators

  1. I’m a teacher and I’ve thought of that too. However I think if you have the tech, vodcasts (video podcasts) would be even more effective. You can check out the Science Theater link, but a 4 minute video lesson on something REALLY important would be great. Especially since our school has a program for students to tutor each other, it would be a great way for the students to brush up on things quickly before they start the tutorial.

  2. Steve,

    Your instincts about student use of iPodcasts are dead on. I developed the “UVA Virtual Lab” science education website under NSF funding. Last March, Phillip Torrone of MAKE asked me to convert some of the site’s webpage presentations to iPodcasts (his exact words were something like “here at MAKE we believe podcasts should be used for something more than reruns of “Desperate Houswieves”).

    Over the last nine months I responded by converting 5 of the sites 50+ presentations to iPodcasts. But those 5 iPodcasts now draw as much traffic as the 50+ HTML presentations!!

    To learn how to convert my Quicktime movies to podcasts, I used Apple’s two tutorial pages:

    Their instructions on creating the xml feed:

    http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/techspecs.html

    Their FAQS:

    http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/faq.html

    To prepare the actual segments, I recorded and edited narration using the shareware program “Audacity,” saving the voice overs as mp3 files (I just used a Logitech noise canceling PC microphone).

    I then pasted the mp3 sound tracks into the Quciktime movies using Quicktime Pro, and used its export function to create the final m4v files.

    Good Luck

    John Bean
    University of Virginia

  3. There are a lot of classrooms also doing podcasts or teachers doing podcasts for students. I would check out BobSprankle.com, GuyInATie.com, and I do a podcast about education and media literacy for teachers at TeachingfortheFuture.com. There should be an interview I did with Bre a while back right before he started working with Make.

  4. I’m a graduate student at the University of Hawaii. Yesterday I went to a talk given by the course coordinator for ICS101: Tools for the Information Age. It’s basically a required freshman course on computer and internet usage, which means that they typically have around 600 students enrolled per semester and a lot of them are taking the course remotely. Anyway, they’re basically working on moving completely away from the lecture format towards having almost all of the material delivered by podcast.

    http://learnu.ics.hawaii.edu/tftia/Orientation.html

  5. If you are looking to get some quick equipment cost estimates for your grant application, many of the major pro-audio distributers like BSW and Sweetwater offer podcasting bundles these days. Mic, preamp, interface, and software. They usually offer several bundles depending on how fancy/expensive you want to get.

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