We have a number of new exciting podcasting initiatives in process. In one way, I feel like we are joining the podcasting party a year after everyone else, but in another way, this work didn’t seem quite this easy until now. It also takes time for anyone to warm up to actually using a new innovation in the classroom.
The first is podcast by phone, which I have written about before as a proof of concept. I first offered this to the upper school students and teachers as an open resource, but adoption has been slow. The middle school was the first to try it with a class activity. Twenty middle school students and three teachers take an annual trip to Costa Rica to perform service work and meet students at a peer school there. This year, one of the trip leaders is putting in a call to our podcast channel every few days. This has proven a great way to keep parents and the rest of the middle school body in the loop on the group’s progress in Costa Rica.
The other groundbreaker has been really small podcast recording devices. We have acquired a few Olympus audio recorders. They are really small, record in WMV format, and have built-in USB support, so you just connect one to a computer to copy audio files to your computer. The device controls are pretty easy to use to record, play back and file new recordings. Connect a small lapel mic to the recorder to avoid the device slipping inside the speaker’s sportcoat! We also got a higher-fidelity Edirol recording device, but the practicality of the tiny Olympus devices have made them the popular choice for spoken presentations. Try free Switch to batch convert WMV to MP3 files.
These two means of recording podcasts have practically removed the possibility of technology being the obstacle to successful podcasting. I have high hopes for continued success as we roll out additional ways to podcast: Moodle plug-ins, and the “old-fashioned” built in computer mic and Audacity!