Are you using these tools to add audio in your class?

Neon sign that reads "You are what you listen to"
Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

Podcasts for Learning

Last year, I wrote about my Podcast Love and my podcast routines, but this summer, I presented Podcasts for Learning multiple times, so I wanted to share a few additional ideas about using audio and podcasts in the classroom.

Finding Audio

During my sessions, I share two tools to help find podcasts: Listen Notes and ListenWise.

Listen Notes is a search engine for podcasts, plus it allows you to clip podcasts and create podcast playlists. Here's a clip describing what Listen Notes can do (from our @DigLearnRadio podcast!) and here's a playlist of our episodes about coaching. I also just learned that your can add this playlist and all episodes into your podcast player. Use this feature to create a podcast choice board, perhaps?

ListenWise is a tool from NPR that has "curriculum-aligned podcasts with accompanying teacher resources." The audio clips can be filtered for content area and grade level (5 - 12). For the free version, you get the audio clip, listening comprehension questions, and a Socrative import quiz code.

Recording Audio

In my session, I joke that podcasts fall on a continuum from "Kathryn talks to pre-schoolers" --> This American Life. Students (or you) can record quick, unedited audio clips OR you can create full-blown podcasts that can be shared with others.

Creating audio can be as simple as using a recording app on your phone. Getting the recording to the teacher is sometimes a challenge, but educators in my sessions suggested email, Google Classroom, and a shared Google folder. 

I discovered the Online Voice Recorder on this post from Free Tech 4 Teachers, and it's a super simple way to record (and do a bit of editing.) Once you record, you save the file, and you still need to get that "published" in some way. When the Insert --> Audio feature in Google Slides is fully functional (rollout paused on 7/24/19) that may provide an easy way to collaborate and share, but until then... Here's my sample slide with a recording from the Online Voice Recorder inserted into Google Slides. (I have the Insert --> Audio feature in only one of my personal Gmail accounts, but not my Google for Education accounts.)

Synth is a relatively new tool for recording audio, and I've tried it in a few of my sessions with some success. It's still in beta form, and I think it's a bit challenging to get it going, but the teachers in my sessions this week saw a lot of potential. There are a lot of features educators loved about it, such as the time constraints, transcriptions, and the option to include text comments. It also embeds beautifully into a website, its target audience is educators, and you can create "closed" classrooms. The audio below is from our session...all in unedited format, so you get bonus content of all kinds of background noise. 😉

Within this session, I also share Anchor for creating podcasts. I keep trying to get more people to share a recording in Anchor, but its entry point is not quite as simple. For educators who want to create their own podcast, and for teachers whose students are >13 years old, it does seem like the easiest platform to use for creating and publishing to the world.

Using Anchor, I collected all of the audio from this week's sessions and created a new "podcast" of all shared ideas.

Sharing Audio

On the #mfltwitteratipodcast, the hosts shared a hack of how to embed podcast players into a Wakelet collection. Using links from Spotify, you tweak the code to create a collection where the specific episode plays within the Wakelet.

For my recent Podcasts for Learning session, I decided to keep track of what I listened to and learned during a single week, and I added all of my notes to this collection. Here's my Wakelet without the hack (podcasts open in a new tab) and with the hack (players are embedded, also shown at the bottom of the post). The first ISTE Standard for Educators is Learner, and I definitely use podcasts to learn from and improve my practice!

If you want to create a podcast choice board for your students, this trick might be a great way to share the collection. You could also us this hack to create your "Podcast Tasting" PD session, as described by my PLN friend Meredith Akers.

Even More

Within the session, we briefly discussed creating more structured, polished podcasts, and I shared resources from the EduBlogger, ListenWise, and NPR about creating podcasts in classrooms.

Any other tools for recording audio? Any other favorite podcasts? I share my finds using #R10PodPD and would love to have more suggestions!

Listening and learning...

Check out my Wakelet with embedded podcast episodes!