Exploring Web 2.0 For The Classroom

Posts Tagged ‘audacity

An enhanced podcast adds images to your audio. You can also make a vodcast, which adds video to you audio. Before we did this project, I had used iMovie to make a movie and I had used Audacity to make a podcast, but I never thought of putting the two together. I hadn’t heard of a enhanced podcast before, even though I had seen them on iTunes. I guess I just didn’t even know what I was looking at. But, I’m glad I have learned about them now. I like them a lot more than a basic podcast. It adds so much more to your production to have images and/or videos included. I find it hard to stay engaged with a podcast, but I am more engaged with an enhanced podcast.

I loved making an enhanced podcast, but it definitely wasn’t the easiest thing to do! I do believe with more practice it would become a lot easier. First, I chose my topic…I decided to do my enhanced podcast about East Tennessee during the Civil War. I chose this topic because I find it very interesting due to much of it being unknown by many people and I believe it is important to make lessons authentic for the students. The Civil War can be boring, so if I’m teaching in Tennessee this topic could be interesting to my students and allow them to find a connection with it. Second, I found my images for it. I used Wikimedia via Wikipedia. Obviously, Wikipedia contains a massive amount of information about history. When I was looking up some information, I realized that it also had great historical pictures, which are located on Wikimedia and are mostly in the public domain. Perfect! The only downside to Wikimedia is that it is hard to search for images. Nothing came up even when I searched “Civil War”! So I would find a page on Wikipedia and see if there was any pictures I wanted to use. But, it ended up working well. I also found a video I wanted to use; it was a reenactment of the Battle of Fort Sanders. I was only able to use about 10 seconds of this video due to copyright but it was just the right amount! Next, I storyboarded my enhanced podcast. This was a very good idea, but it only helped me a little bit. I think it would have helped much more if I had recorded my audio before I did it. I had to change around the order of my picture so many times and had to find more pictures. Recording my audio in Audacity and placing the pictures in iMovie was the easy part. But I did have many issues. The major issue was aligning my pictures, voice track, and audio track how I wanted it. The audio track wouldn’t upload in full to iMovie unless the timing was long enough…so I had to do this about ten times to get the audio perfect. It was very difficult to get the pictures with the audio, but as stated before, I think it would be easier if I recorded my voice and got my music first. I also had a difficult time finding the music I wanted! I may just be picky but it was difficult to find Civil War style music that didn’t have voice along with it. I kept finding instrumental tracks but they were intense battle tracks that you would hear behind a huge battle on TV. But, I finally found a good one and I used a vocal track, actually from the Civil War era, to play with my credits. I really liked this. I also had the same problem that I had last time with Audacity; it took me multiple times to get the music to export with the voice track. It drove me crazy! I spent a very long time on this project but I really liked the end result.

I would definitely use enhanced podcast in the classroom. I think it is more interesting than a podcast for students. I could use it for my flipped classroom idea or as a helpful reminder for students studying at home. I also think it would be good to use to accompany a lecture. Lectures obviously can get very boring and I think an enhanced podcast would help make it more interesting. Also, it might be possible to have students do an enhanced podcast. They would need a lot of guidance and I wouldn’t be able to hold the video/audio quality to very high standards, but I think students would have fun making it and being able to present information in this way. The only problem I see with using it in the classroom is that it is time consuming and can be difficult to use. But, overall I think its a great resource to use.

Below is my enhanced podcast, uploaded to YouTube. Enjoy!



I have officially completed my fist podcast…yay! We uploaded our podcasts to iTunesU and created them with Audacity. We were able to save them as MP3s through Audacity by using LAME. The only one of these programs that I have had any experience with before is iTunesU. I had a teacher last summer in my Geography 101 class that uploaded his lectures to iTunesU as podcasts. This was great to have for studying and catching up if someone missed a class. He used some kind of recorder device. It actually worked very well because it even slightly picked up on questions that other students would ask. I have also downloaded some podcasts on my iPhone that are open to the public, such as TED Talks.

I think podcasts could be very useful in the classroom and for personal use. I downloaded Audacity on my MacBook and was able to record my audio just by speaking into my computer, no headset needed! It was very easy to record this way and I though Audacity was very useful for this aspect. Below is a screenshot of my podcast on audacity.

One idea I recently thought of for podcasts in the classroom is to use them to “flip the classroom.” The idea of flipping the classroom is that students will learn/read/listen to the lecture part of the course at home for homework and while they are in the classroom students will work on projects or worksheets, etc. This is proven to help many students because it allows the teacher to differentiate instruction more efficiently and spend more time helping students in the classroom instead of lecturing.

Links for Flipped Classroom sites:

Huffington Post: Flipped Classroom

Educational Vodcasting

Hannah Dudley