I-Pod.gifPodcasting in the Classroom

What is a podcast?

Podcast is a term that came about because of the popularity of Apple's I-Pods. It is basically a multimedia file that is available in a digital form over the internet that can be downloaded to a portable media device and/or subscribed to using an RSS feed. Most commonly, podcasts are audio files, but they can also contain images and video (sometimes called "Vodcasts"). Search for podcasts on I-tunes to get TONS of examples.

Why podcast?

  • Record part of a lecture or a class discussion for students to review on their own
  • Supplement, enrich, and differentiate your classwork by pointing students to existing podcasts on specific content (for example, check out these podcasts from The History Network.)
  • Have students design their own podcast: to create book or lab reports, to publish personal essays, to explain a concept, to create a radio show or commercial, for a dramatic reading or literary interpretation, etc,etc.

Check out http://www.recap.ltd.uk/podcasting/ for more ideas. Podcasting also helps prepare students for colleges, where many courses include podcasts as a part of their curriculum. This trend is especially popular in medical schools...check out this article about how podcasts are being used at Ohio State.

How do I create a podcast?

A podcast can be created with any audio recording software. On CFF laptops, this can be done using the program called AUDACITY (see instructions below). The basic steps in developing a podcast include:

  • developing a script (unless you are recording a live lecture or discussion, it is important to prepare a script just as you or your students would prepare any other type of writing.)
  • collecting music files to use for intro, outro and segues within the podcast (these are not necessary, but make a podcast more interesting and more professional sounding)
  • REHEARSING script
  • Recording audio (see below)--this can be done right on your computer, with an external mic or with a headset microphone
  • Editing and arranging tracks and music (see below)
  • Finalizing the project and creating an MP3

Step by Step Instructions for Creating a Podcast using Audacity

  • STEP 1: Recording Your Voice

Note: You may want to do this in SECTIONS...especially if you would like to add music in the middle of your podcast (to separate different parts/paragraphs of your review). Option 1--to do this, just record one section, hit stop, then repeat the process. Audacity will automatically create separate tracks for you.
Option 2--Another option is to record a LONG PAUSE between your different parts so you have room to add music. This may simplify things in the end because you will only have one track of narration instead of several.


  • STEP 2: Cutting Excess Audio

You will want to cut out any extra noise or unwanted recording...UNLESS you intentionally recorded pauses for music (see option 2 above).


  • STEP 3: Locating and Inserting Music: Find copyright free music at FREEPLAYMUSIC.COMand drag and drop the file below your voice recording.

  • STEP 4: Editing Music

Podcasts rarely have music under all narration because it can be distracting. So you will need to FADE your music OUT as your NARRATION begins and fade it IN again to separate sections and at the end of your recording.


  • STEP 5: Saving Your Work

You will need to save your Audacity project using the FILE...SAVE key as you go. You will be able to open the project and edit it after you have saved it.

  • STEP 6: Finishing Your Work

The final step is to export your work as an MP3. In order to do this, you will need to see one of your teachers to install LAME ENCODER onto your desktop. Once this is done, you will go to FILE....EXPORT AS MP3. You will then be asked to find the LAME ENCODER...locate this on your desktop. Once you open this, you will be able to save your file as an MP3---make sure to name it with your book title and your name. The Lame Encoder can be downloaded here.

  • STEP 7: Uploading Your Podcast

To upload your podcast to a wiki:

  • Click on Edit This Page tab at the top
  • Select the TREE ICON in the toolbar
  • Click BROWSE button
  • Locate and select your podcast--NOTE: Make sure it is NAMED WITH YOUR BOOK TITLE and NAME.
  • Click open
  • Click UPLOAD
  • Make sure to position the cursor where you want to appear on the page
  • Double click on the file when it appears to insert it on the wikipage