Podcasts and Guidelines
A podcast is, simply, an audio story or essay. Click here for samples on youngwritersproject.org.
One of the great features of this site is the ability to easily post audio with a blog entry, wiki or exercise to complement the writing. Sometimes just the act of recording a piece helps the student add great dimension to the writing -- or discover some flaws. Revise and record again!
Once you've created your recording, uploading it easy. You will see in your blog, exercise or wiki content type an upload box for "podcast;" click that, browse your desktop for the .mp3 file, click it and then click "upload." BINGO! it is now on your blog, all you now have to do is put in text, choose a tag (and a classroom if you're in more than one) and save.
HOW TO CREATE A PODCAST -- CONTENT
What is podcasting? Essentially it is writing something -- an essay, poem, story, speech -- or saying something which you record into a digital recorder and then upload that audio file to the Web. In order to do an audio story, you need to approach it as you would any story or poem or essay.
Here is an idea for a podcast that helps you understand how to do it. The idea is A Memorable Moment:
- 1. Brainstorm. Think of an emotional moment in your life; it could be an event, something that happened to you or something you witnessed; it could be something that you remember clearly about something you're passionate about -- a great play on a soccer field, or stepping onto the stage in a play. What happened? What was the drama? Why was it so memorable? What details do you remember? How do you tell the story? How do you start?
- 2. The Idea. Jot down your story idea. One graph or two. Just get down the elements to the story.
- 3. First draft. Write the story of your moment.
- 4. Revision. Read it aloud. Any place your tongue trips up, smooth out the words.
- 5. Final read. Read the second version aloud. Like it? Is it your natural voice? Any words sound unwieldy, like something you wouldn't speak? Change them.
HOW TO CREATE A PODCAST -- TECHNICAL STUFF
There are several ways to do this: We have added a "direct record" function so that you can use your computer's microphone to record right into your blog; using a telephone or using a microphone; both are easy and both are described below.
Direct Record: to use this function, find the link that reads "Audio Recorder" when you open a new blog entry. Click that link and a red "REC" circle will appear. Click record, and start talking into your computer's mic. When you are finished, make sure to stop the recording, and then click "upload." Add your desired info into the blog form and SAVE.
Creating a Podcast using a microphone and an audio recording program. If you have equipment -- an inexpensive microphone, or the one that came on your computer is fine -- record yourself and save as a mp3 file and upload to the "podcast" field on your blog, journal or exercise entry form.
The simplest way to create a "podcast" is to read your piece into a microphone or digital recorder or into the built-in microphone on your computer. Details:
- If your computer doesn't have audio software, Audacity, is an easy, free program that can be downloaded by clicking here. This will allow you to do all sorts of editing to your piece to make sure it sounds just right, if you want. One tricky part is that you also have to download something called a lame.dll file: don't sweat the details, just download here (choose the version that fits your machine, i.e., a Windows PC or a Mac) and put it in the Audacity program folder! This file is necessary to export your recording as an mp3; the first time you do it, you'll be asked to locate the lame.dll file which you can do by pointing the program to the lame.dll file you dutifully put in your Audacity folder. (It will never ask you to do this again and you will never have to think about it again!)
Creating a podcast without a microphone. If you don't have a microphone, that's fine. You can create podcasts using only a computer that has an Internet connection and a telephone by going to ipadio.com, a free service. Details:
- ipadio.com account. Go to ipadio.com and create a FREE account. (you must have a working email address to do this. If you are under 13, you'll need parental permission to do this. IDEA: Create one account for the class and use the teacher's phone in the classroom.) (NOTE: Your school may have this site blocked; have your teacher go to the IT folks to see if can be unblocked.)
- Record. With your piece ready, or your thoughts collected, call the TOLLFREE number that is provided by ipadio.com. Follow the prompts and then record your piece. When done, hang up.
- Download. Return to ipadio.com, sign in and you'll see the most recent "phonecast" and a little button to "Download mp3." Click it. It will download to the folder you have set in your browser preferences, or you can choose a folder.
- Upload The mp3 file to your blog, journal or exercise in the podcast field. Scroll down and click "save" at the bottom. You did it!