One of our school librarians asked me how to create a podcast of a student reading a book review, which she then wanted to post online and create a QR code to. I will cover creating and posting the podcast in this post, then write a separate post about the QR code.
How to: Record a podcast
First, download your software and create your online account.
- Download & install Audacity at http://audacity.googlecode.com/files/audacity-win-2.0.5.exe
- Download & install the LAME encoder at http://lame1.buanzo.com.ar/Lame_v3.99.3_for_Windows.exe
- Create a (free) Podbean account at www.podbean.com for your school using your work email address.
One more “ahead of time” touch:
- Personalize your podcast – It is very easy to add a podcast opening and closing to your file. Create a new file and record a podcast opening that announces your school or podcast (for example, students saying “Bulldogs Podcast!”) and save it as “podcast_open”. Then create a podcast closing that thanks the listener and tells them where to get more information (for example, “Thank you for listening to the Bulldogs Podcast. For more information about our school, visit our website at ___________,”) as save this file as “podcast_close.” I also add soft, copyright-free music behind the voices on my open and close to give it a nice touch.
Now you are ready to create your podcast! I always recommend doing a test project first (from beginning to end) before you use it in a class time to make sure everything goes smoothly. (Or if you have a tech-savvy student, left them try it to work out the kinks.)
- Record a podcast – Open Audacity and “record” a podcast. I call Audacity the “Microsoft Word” of audio. There are TONS of features you can use, but I mostly just record audio, do quick edits, and save the files. There are lots of nice tutorials on YouTube, but here is one called “Using Audacity” by Tony Vincent. When done, save the file.
- Edit & add your open & close – just “open” and add the open and close to your podcast, “drag” them where you want them, and save the file.
- Export as an MP3 – In Audacity, go to “File -> Export” then make sure to change the file type to MP3. If you don’t have that option, then reinstall the LAME Encoder (step 2).
- Upload your podcast – login to your Podbean account, and “Publish a new podcast”. Make sure to give your podcast a brief (but good title) – ex. “Book Review: Charlotte’s Web” – and a brief description.
Once you have uploaded your podcast, you’ll now have a URL (website address) for the podcast episode that you can share with others, post to a website, or link to a QR code. You will also have an RSS feed for people to subscribe to, if they are into that type of thing. (But more on that later!) In the meantime, happy podcasting!