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Podcasting for Beginners


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Creating podcasts and using them in the classroom for beginners

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Podcasting for Beginners

  1. 1. Podcasting for Beginners Staci Trekles Clinical Asst. Professor Purdue University Calumet [email_address]
  2. 2. Objectives: You will learn… <ul><li>What a podcast is </li></ul><ul><li>What podcasts can be used for </li></ul><ul><li>How to find useful and fun educational podcasts created by others </li></ul><ul><li>How to bring podcasting into your own classroom lessons </li></ul><ul><li>How to record and edit an audio podcast with Audacity </li></ul><ul><li>How to publish your podcast files for others to download </li></ul>
  3. 3. What the heck is a “podcast”? <ul><li>Simply stated, a podcast is a digital media file that one can play on a computer or any personal MP3 player (iPod TM not required) </li></ul><ul><li>Can be audio only or video and audio </li></ul><ul><li>People can often subscribe to any series of posted podcasts through “feeds” accessible over the Internet through any program that can interpret and “catch” them </li></ul>
  4. 4. What kinds of podcasts are people creating? <ul><li>The podcast phenomenon is roughly 3 years old so there are LOTS of different podcasts out there </li></ul><ul><li>Media companies like TV networks, NPR, and other radio stations are now posting their content on podcasts so that people from any region can enjoy them </li></ul><ul><li>Thousands of “indie” podcasts are produced daily by people all over the world in all topics from business and world current events to music and pop culture </li></ul>
  5. 5. Educational uses of podcasting <ul><li>Today, lots of schools and universities are publishing some lectures or other learning materials as podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Students can subscribe via iTunes or another program and listen and re-listen any time they want to, as many times as they want </li></ul><ul><li>Research has shown that podcasting class sessions does not negatively impact class attendance or engagement (see Podcast YourLectures2.pdf ) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Educational uses of podcasting <ul><li>There are also ton of great podcasts for students and teachers out there already that can add excitement to just about any class. Try some of these: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grammar Girl: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JustVocabulary: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poem of the Day: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evansville iCATS Pod Academy: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listing of many university and other educational podcast feeds: </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. OK, I want to get involved! How do I get started? <ul><li>Putting together your own podcast is easy! </li></ul><ul><li>All you need is a computer with a microphone (cheap is fine) and a quiet place to record </li></ul><ul><li>Whether you are running Mac, Windows, or Linux, many tools are available to create podcasts </li></ul>
  8. 8. Audio and Video File formats <ul><li>It helps to understand a little about the common podcast file formats </li></ul><ul><li>MP3 - the most common audio format; provides good quality and relatively good compression so that files are not too big </li></ul><ul><li>MP4 - common video format that provides reasonable quality and compression </li></ul><ul><li>WAV- native Windows audio type; quality is not bad but produces large files sizes </li></ul>
  9. 9. Audio and Video File Formats <ul><li>OGG - open source audio or video file format often found on Linux-based computers </li></ul><ul><li>WMV - Windows Media format, supports audio and video, often produces lower quality but higher compression </li></ul><ul><li>MOV - QuickTime format, supports audio or video and is capable or very high quality if needed (but, you’ll have a bigger file size) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Audio and Video File Formats <ul><li>The format you choose depends a lot on your recording program and how worried you are about file sizes </li></ul><ul><li>In many cases, MP3/MP4 is the best choice because almost every computer and player program will work with them </li></ul><ul><li>However, you have more control over file size with QuickTime or Windows Media </li></ul><ul><li>Higher file sizes = higher quality and vice-versa; if quality is not so much of a problem then opt for more compression </li></ul>
  11. 11. Audio Podcasting with Audacity <ul><li>The free audio recording tool for all platforms (Mac, Linux, and Windows) </li></ul><ul><li>Available for download: </li></ul><ul><li>Allows you to record multitrack projects and export as WAV or MP3 </li></ul><ul><li>You can also import audio files to edit or add them to your project </li></ul>
  12. 12. Starting with Audacity <ul><li>You begin with a player bar with play, stop, record, pause features </li></ul><ul><li>As soon as you start recording, a new track will appear </li></ul><ul><li>Each time you stop and start recording again, a new track will start </li></ul><ul><li>To avoid this, press PAUSE instead of STOP while recording </li></ul>
  13. 13. Player Bar RWD, Play, Record, Pause, Stop, FFWD Tools Left and right audio input and output meters Cut, copy trim, and zoom tools Tracks appear here Project info bar
  14. 14. Recording and Editing <ul><li>Once you have something recorded, you can see the waveforms and move, splice, delete, copy, paste, and transform </li></ul><ul><li>Click and drag over waveforms to select them before choosing a function to perform </li></ul>
  15. 15. Use the I-Beam to drag over and select and part of the track Upper Left-Hand Corner - Control Tools The envelope lets you select the entire content of a track The pencil (Draw) lets you edit a track level (zoom in first) The zoom tool lets you zoom in (Click) or out (shift+Click) on a place in your track Time shift lets you drag and move waveforms Multimode tool - lets you access any of the other tools at once with different shortcuts
  16. 16. Editing Toolbar <ul><li>Cut </li></ul><ul><li>Copy </li></ul><ul><li>Paste </li></ul><ul><li>Trim away the audio outside the selection </li></ul><ul><li>Silence the selected audio </li></ul><ul><li>Undo </li></ul><ul><li>Redo </li></ul><ul><li>Zoom In </li></ul><ul><li>Zoom Out </li></ul><ul><li>Fit selection in window - zooms until the selection just fits inside the window. </li></ul><ul><li>Fit project in window - zooms until all of the audio just fits inside the window. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Project Editing Menus <ul><li>The Project Menu imports audio, adds and removes tracks, and adds labels so you can keep “track” of your tracks </li></ul><ul><li>The Generate menu produces like tones and white noise </li></ul><ul><li>The Effect menu is where all the filters, like fades, compression, pitch and speed changes, happen </li></ul>
  18. 18. Analyze Menu <ul><li>Performs silence, beat, spectrum analysis to see where your peak and low frequencies are </li></ul><ul><li>Helps to determine where quiet spots or very loud spots are </li></ul>
  19. 19. Track Info <ul><li>All tracks have their own info bar, where you can raise or lower the gain to make it louder or softer, or mute the track or make it the only track playing for the time you specify </li></ul>
  20. 20. Tips for Great Podcasts… <ul><li>With editing tools, recording a great-sounding podcast is easy! </li></ul><ul><li>Adjust gain and use fade-in and fade-out effects to adjust imported music/sound effects </li></ul><ul><li>Raise gain on soft voices; lower it on louder ones </li></ul><ul><li>Use the trimming options to remove pauses and “um’s” to sound more professional </li></ul>
  21. 21. More Tips… <ul><li>Try to be in a quiet room when you record; the mic will pick up ambient noise and put it into your track </li></ul><ul><li>You can use the Pencil (Draw tool) to get some of the sound “spikes” out of your audio, but it can be time-consuming </li></ul><ul><li>Find royalty-free soundtracks and effects to add spice to your podcasts (see Resources section for some starters) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Exporting and Publishing <ul><li>Click the File menu to export as WAV or MP3 (requires the LAME plugin - ) </li></ul><ul><li>MP3 is more common and best for sharing with iPod users, and makes smaller files </li></ul><ul><li>Many people publish by posting podcasts on websites with RSS (Really Simple Syndication) </li></ul><ul><li>Your can use a service like , then post on your server with your MP3 files </li></ul>
  23. 23. Easy Podcast Publishing <ul><li>Blog sites and many other social sites automatically create feeds </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other sites are dedicated to podcast publishing </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> (outside storage space required) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Recommended Free Media Resources <ul><li>Flashkit: </li></ul><ul><li>Pics4Learning: </li></ul><ul><li>Wikimedia: </li></ul>
  25. 25. More Resources and Free Stuff <ul><li>Recommended free podcast and blog publishing sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http :// </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This article has advice on choosing a good service: </li></ul><ul><li>Also look at </li></ul>
  26. 26. More Audacity Help <ul><li>User’s guides for Audacity: </li></ul><ul><li>Audacity team wiki with lots of tips, tricks, and technical advice: </li></ul><ul><li>Great website with a full online workshop for educational podcasting: </li></ul>
  27. 27. Resources for iTunes/iPod Users <ul><li>Tips for finding and using podcasts: </li></ul><ul><li>Apple iLife tutorials for podcasts and more: </li></ul><ul><li>iWeb blog/podcast publisher tutorials: </li></ul><ul><li>Tech specs for creating podcasts that can be caught through iTunes: </li></ul>
  28. 28. Even More Great Resources <ul><li>Also, Staci has a feed at where even more useful info on a variety of topics will be posted </li></ul><ul><li>Stop on in and share your own resources or experiences, and download these slides as well as lots of other good stuff! </li></ul>
  29. 29. Thank you! <ul><li>Thanks for the opportunity to explore podcasts with you today! </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to contact us anytime with questions, feedback, comments, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Staci Trekles </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>