Podcasting Tools

PA Academic Standards connection: Researching, writing and producing a short podcast allows students to
meet the requirements of a number of standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening

Go To The Tag Cloud

E-mail comments and suggestions to integratedacademics@hotmail.com

Podcasting Rubric at Rubistar

This is a rubric which was created for group work. Times, number of students, group or individual, and other elements may be adjusted, but it hits most of the basics.

Audio Tools at Cool Tools for Schools Wiki

There are tool links here to record and edit voices or just about any other sound!
Sound Effects, animated audio links, podcasting links, and a variety of other tools are linked from here.

Spoken Word Microphone

Proximity Demonstration

The distance of the user's voice from the microphone is very important!

Equipment used in this demo:
Samson CO1U USB Studio Condenser Microphone


Audacity (Open Source Software) - set for monophonic single track.

All Volume and control panel settings are set at half.
No equalization was used in this recording.
Distance from microphone varies as described in the recording.

Play the sound file on the right. Please try an experiment like this with
your own equipment to find YOUR recording voice!

Audacity - free audio recording and editing software
Get Audacity here!
Zoom H4 - Handy Recorder Easy to use, makes great recordings, very portable!

About The Zoom H4
Zoom H2 - Handy Recorder A How-To video about using the Zoom H-2,
the "little brother" of the Zoom H2 - nice recorder!
Click Here for the Teacher Tube Link!

Blue Microphones - Especially the "Snowball"!
About Blue Mics
Alesis MultiMix 8 USB 2.0 mixer - if you're thinking of an economical studio set-up
About The MultiMix
Also check this link - http://lss.wisc.edu/podcasting/bundles_demystified.pdf

Another advanced set-up HERE

Download iTunes here!
Samson Technologies - The next generation Zoom H4n
external image acrobat_icon.gifDownload the H4n User Manual in PDF format
( 19.71 MB PDF file)


Newest model, built -in reference speaker, many other improved features!

Find Podcasts!

Podcast Alley is the podcast lovers portal. Featuring the best Podcast Directory and the Top 10 podcasts,
as voted on by the listeners.
Podcast Alley
The Education Podcast Network is an effort to bring together into one place, the wide range of podcast
programming that may be helpful to teachers looking for content to teach with and about, and to explore
issues of teaching and learning in the 21st century.
Odeo makes it easy to find, play and enjoy the latest audio & video from around the web.


Cool Tools For Schools Wiki

Music Page

This page has a few great links for public domain music. There are also many other neat music tool links!

Finding podsafe music - music generally accepted

as being in the public domain

D. Keith Robinson's page about finding podsafe music!

Podsafe Music Network
Garage Band
PodSafe Audio (I like this site!)
Freeplay Music (Be sure to read the licensing terms!)

Publishing and Hosting

Podbean.com is an easy and powerful way to start podcasting!
podOmatic.com is a free hosting site with a large collection
of commercial-free podcasts

This collaborative video was made at the Pennsylvania
Governor's Institute for Arts Educators. It is an example of
the use of Audacity open source software with video.

Dalene Wilkins was the creator of this video.
This collaborative video was made at the Pennsylvania
Governor's Institute for Arts Educators. It is an example of
the use of Audacity open source software. The video offers
writing prompts to students.
James Hausman was the creator of this video.

General Links

Mr. A's Podcast Link Collection at Delicious

Podcasting Tips

These tips are presented as a public service. They are not the end-all of podcasting, but have been arrived at through "trial and terror"!
Hopefully, they will keep you from stepping into gopher holes along the path to successful and meaningful recording of the spoken word! Have fun!

Tip #1 - Preparing To Podcast
Start small! After you have assembled the equipment and downloaded the software, check to be sure everything works properly. Then do a "mini project" to test the equipment and experiment with the software interface. You can refer to YouTube, or software help websites to see tutorials and screen shots about Audacity.

I suggest that you become familiar with the capabilities and limits of the software before exploring podcasting with your students! A good way to do this is to record a short article from the newspaper, or a paragraph from a textbook. The material is pre-written, so there's absolutely no research involved! Make mistakes on purpose to practice editing the recording. Experiment with deleting, generating silence, mixing and adjusting music tracks, and exporting files. If you put in a little time, you too can become a podcasting guru!

Tip #2 - The Biggest Obstacle?!
When working with students, the biggest obstacle seems to be the sound of their own voices; students don't like to hear their recorded voices. In fact, there aren't many people who DO like the sound of their own voices.

I simply ask them this question: "When is the last time anybody told you that your voice sounds weird?"
That usually solves the problem.

Tip #3 - Recording Spoken Word
It's a good idea to create a script or storyboard with pauses written in for intro music, transitional music, and ending (or outtro) music before you begin. As you become more comfortable recording, you might be able to "ad-lib" when recording familiar material. This is never suggested for beginners!

Experiment with distance from the microphone for the best recorded sound. If you are too far from the microphone when recording, many of the beautiful, rich overtones in your voice will not be picked up. You might also experiment with different tones (a chest tone, throat tone, or head tone). Be sure you have practiced every word before reading it into Audacity. Editing is possible, but it's much easier to read the script correctly the first time. Practice practice, practice! Read slowly and articulate each syllable.

Be sure you have a good recording of the spoken material before you begin mixing music, or adding graphics. The spoken word is the basic nature of the podcast; it is originally an audio medium.

Tip # 5 - Concise Writing
Define the word "concise" for the students! There are great examples of concise writing available in every major newspaper. Print journalists almost always get right to the point because space in the paper is a premium commodity! Who? What? When? Where? Why? - these are some of the questions to be answered in a podcast. Of course, educational podcasts will sometimes be a bit more informative, but it's still important to conserve words.

At first, beginners are more interested in learning the software than being informative, so a quick start script is necessary. Short filler articles in newspapers actually make great scripts as they appear; just remember to cite sources during the podcast! Simple statements such as "an article from the Associated Press indicated that...." or "a story in the October 15th Daily Planet by Clark Kent suggests that..." will probably suffice as citations for local use.

Here is a journalism page by Laurie Lattimore with some great writing tips!
Laurie also addresses some other topics in Journalism:
web journalism
opinion writing

Visit JPROF - it's well worth the click!

Happy podcasting!

Tip #6 - Ideas for Podcasting Mini-Series
The mini-series can include multiple podcasts done by different class groups. This idea provides unity and a logical sequence to a series of podcasts. The series shows can start with the same theme music, and introductory comments. They might also end with similar music and post cast scripting. Here are a few ideas for a series:

Biology - Biomes and their characteristics, organ systems, animals of (name country, or region)
Arts - Major historical eras and their artistic giants
Reading - Best books of the year! (Check out the "Battle of the Books" video here!
Music - Jazz styles series - Blues, Swing, Bebop, Fusion, etc. and the major artists
Cultural Studies - The art, music, and architecture of (any number of countries)
Math - practical uses for math (geometry, trigonometry, calculus, algebra...)
Reading - The major works of (any author). Can be a series of authors per class
Writing - writing styles (cause/effect, compare/contrast, prose, narration, persuasion, analytical, script...)
Language Arts - Great Authors or Poets Series

I'm sure that you can take this idea and run with it! Have fun and be sure the students remember their citations!