Adventures in Podcasting and Computer Struggles

It’s been a rough week for technology so far, in my world. On Sunday, my new (3 month old) PC stopped on a gray “screen of death” and was unresponsive for hours after an update. I was in the middle of editing and revising an assignment that was due that evening. I spent the day redoing the assignment and in a state of panic as my files were inaccessible. All I could think of was the worst case scenario of being without a computer for the rest of the semester. Two lessons learned: always have a backup and don’t update the computer on assignment due dates! Since then I’ve had issues with uploading multimedia for classes. This is frustrating for someone who considers herself generally tech savvy. I digress…

It was exciting to learn about podcasting in Educational Technologies class. When I received my first iPod in the mid 2000s, I discovered the world of podcasting. I quickly learned that there were podcasts to fit every interest, from history to foreign language podcasts. I have always been curious how to make one. I had always assumed that it required expensive equipment, but discovered that free Audacity software and a cheap headset with microphone seemed to do the trick,

Enter 611 class and a lesson in how to create a podcast. This was a big first for me. I downloaded Audacity and the MP3 encoder. I had never previously used the software, but had heard good reviews of it from the teachers with whom I worked in France, from podcasters, and from my professor. It was a challenge to coordinate the microphone headset and navigate Audacity beyond the basic recording functions. I will have to further explore the editing functions and other capabilities, as there are numerous functions within the software. Below is my first ever podcast. I am always open to any feedback, especially dealing with how to make a clearer recording. I also would like to further explore to create transcripts for audio podcasts, in order to make them accessible listeners with hearing impairments.

Podcasting can be a wonderful tool for educators and students. School media specialists and other classroom teachers can record copies of lessons that students can download if they are absent or need a review of the lesson. Educators can also record supplemental lectures  for students using podcasting. In my mock school library podcast, “Ms. L’s Book Corner”, I imagined a podcast that the librarian creates and posts on the school library website. She contributes to it along with having frequent guest speakers. In this weekly podcast, the school librarian and guest speakers such as teachers and students spotlight a book that they recommend to the student and staff body. Students can get ideas of books to read that trusted authorities within the school suggest. They are not only consumers of the podcast content but also co-creators.

Podcasting also holds a lot of promise for student creation possibilities. Students can create podcast episodes on topics for class or even video tutorial podcasts. When students have the opportunity to interact and create using technology, it engages them in learning. Research has also shown that when a person teaches a concept or topic to another person, they better understand it themselves. Podcasting is a wonderful avenue in which students can teach, learn, and become truly engaged with the material.

                        <font color=”#333333″ size=”-1″><a href=”http://aelafleur.podbean.com/mf/web/3xtk7x/podcast_les_mis.mp3″>Download this episode (right click and save)</a></font>

 

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