How to Record Podcasts
About This Tip
Why Use This Tip
Podcasts are audio recordings that tell stories, talk about current events, or encourage people to do something. Anyone can record and publish a podcast. Once a podcast is online, people can download and listen to it on a computer or an MP3 player, like an iPod.
Teens can share their ideas and opinions with a wide audience by recording podcasts. Just like writing a paper, creating a podcast gives teens a chance to communicate with others. The skills teens learn in this process can help them become better writers and better public speakers.
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What To Do
- Choose a podcasting site. You can publish podcasts using iTunes or you can use a blogging site, like Blogger, which allows you to upload audio files. The sites explain how to upload files. Teens will probably need an e-mail address to set up a podcasting account. Sign up for a free account on Gmail if teens do not already have one.
- Pick out some podcasts to listen to together. Search through the educational podcasts on a site like iTunes or choose something from the list of Podcasts Suitable for Educators, Schools and Colleges.
- Talk to teens about the kind of podcasts they will produce. Some possibilities include:
- fictional stories
- audio diary entries
- family stories
- commentary on current events
- reviews of books, television shows, movies, or music recordings
- reports on school projects (like a book report)
- Have teens choose a kind of podcast and then make a list of several possible episodes.
- Review the Audio Dramatization Process together, and discuss how to adjust the process to fit teens's podcasts.
- Have teens write a script. Use any writing resources that match the kind of podcast the teens are writing. For instance, a teen writing an argument in support of an issue in the news can use the Persuasion Map.
- Gather recording equipment. You'll need a computer with audio recording software and a microphone, or a digital audio recorder with a microphone. Many cell phones can also record audio files.
- Have teens record their podcasts in short sections. If someone makes a mistake, just rerecord the section instead of the entire podcast.
- Transfer the files to the computer and have teens edit the recording using software like GarageBand for Macintosh or Audacity for Windows. Instructions and online help for the software are available on the websites.
- Discuss background music and sound effects that teens can use. Teens should use podsafe music. That's music that is made to be shared freely and legally online. It can violate copyright to use someone else's music or sound effects without permission. Have teens look for podsafe music on Creative Commons and FreeSound.
- Publish finished podcasts online, using the instructions on the site you have chosen.
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