The background story
Not long after I created a post about creating podcasts with Soundtrap, middle school teacher, Steve Lantz, approached me asking for a way for students to not only create podcasts, but have a place to host them. I began building this template as a way to jump start a podcast project in any classroom. I wanted it to be a smooth an convenient way for students and teachers to participate without the hassle of starting from scratch. I hope it does just that.
Why podcast in the classroom?
Podcasts have been around for quite sometime, and is still a very relevant medium for communication today. Students can record their voice and add background music/audio about any subject. It could be as simple as publishing a writing project, telling about the learning in class, or interviewing real/fictional people. The idea behind a podcast is that the students really focus on their words and how they communicate. Students need to plan their radio broadcasts carefully as they will need to clearly convey their thoughts on a topic and keep it entertaining for a broader audience beyond their teacher. With Steve's class, they shared their podcasts through a shared Google Site. This allowed them to have their site linked on the school's main webpage so that their classmates and community members could access the material. The real audience is a huge motivator for creating a quality production.
The podcast template overview
The template I built is created through Google Sites. Your school district will need to have access to Google Apps for Education accounts for you and your students to participate. I also included resources built within the template so that you hit the ground running. Please see the overview video so that you can get started.
Download your own template by visiting here.
I need to create a podcast...what should I use?
There are a ton of resources out there to get started with creating a podcast. It really all depends on what device you and your students are using. At MSD of Steuben County, our students have Chromebooks. There are several different tools I recommend trying and they vary based on the age of the student. Click on the links for more information about these resources available for Chromebooks.
Soundation is another great online resource that I've blogged about int he past. It isn't quite as user-friendly as Soundtrap, but it is COPPA compliant. So users under the age of 13 can use it as long as your school district has acquired parent permission. (MSD of Steuben County already has Soundation as a resource that parents grant permission to use.) It works very similarly to Soundtrap. You can add in your own audio clips and make your own recording.
Audio Recorder is not an item that I have blogged about, but it very simple to use. I almost prefer recording in a separate tool so that I can piece together the audio clips I want in Soundtrap or Soundation. If you prefer to do the same or your students do not have Internet at home and they need a way to record, this is a tool they can use.
Drumbit is a free tool that also works offline on a Chromebook. Users can create great beats and background music for their podcasts. Another great option for your students that do not have Internet at home. There are always portions of projects that can be completed while not online. The audio can be downloaded and edited easily.
YouTube Audio Library is probably my favorite place to go when creating audio or video clips. Users can download royalty free audio files and mix them to their liking in their favorite audio editor. The only catch is that you must have a Google account to do so. The tricky part with that is only users 13 and over can use an actual account. This includes GAFE school districts. YouTube is not under the core services provided within the realm of Google Apps for Education. Therefore, students cannot use their school YouTube account until they are 13 years of age. (I'll be blogging on this topic more in the near future.)