Tag Archives: Will Richardson

Podcasting: Hark, what voice through yonder computer breaks?

Podcasting reminds me of radio. I listen to podcasts of favourite shows like ‘The Vinyl Café’ on iTunes and on CBC radio online. Still, I had never considered making my own podcasts until reading Will Richardson (2009). Hey, I LOVE the sound of my own voice (say my kids), so this will be great! Podcasting…this should be easy! Will Richardson says so! Is he right? Check out my podcasts below…

As much as I admire and respect you, Will, I have to say that, once again, YouTube tutorials saved my ***. How about you? Are you trying to use Audacity? Have a look at these two:


I had trouble downloading the LAME software so I could export it to an MP3 file. Once again YouTube came to my rescue. A young (really young) man provided step by step instructions.

Finally, the software was saved to my computer. Then came the difficulty of loading the podcast to my WordPress blog. Now, if you want to upgrade for a minimum of $19.95, no problemo. However, if you want to do it for free, you need to host your podcast onto a web server. By this time, I was seriously considering getting out my credit card and going for it. However, I stopped to think about using this in a school district. Free is always better in our school! So, I searched and found Podcastmachine.com. A free account and easy upload made this a great choice. It loaded up on the WordPress blog, however, I just got a link to Podcastmachine, not the actual podcast. Remembering Joanne de Groot’s Trailfire, I decided to try Audioboo. Once again, a free account and easy upload. I was able to record directly onto Audioboo and skip the Audacity step. Hey, I found out I can even use Audioboo with my iPhone and iPad!

Remember, though, that Audioboo is like live radio. You get to record podcasts, but there’s no editing. Audacity will work better if you and your students want to work on those cool effects Will Richardson (2009) talks about.

Screencasting is one step up from podcasting. In screencasting, you can use Jing, a free program, to voiceover an image on the computer screen, save it as a video to Screencast.com and upload it to a blog or access it on your Smartboard or projector directly from Screencast. Will Richardson (2009) suggests using it to explain to students how to do something on the computer (see my explanation of Diigo in the previous post) or for students to share their work. See a demo here.

Personal life:

I love radio. Certain announcers have me hooked just by the sound of their voice. Jurgen Goth and Tom Allen on CBC are two of my absolute favourites. I would smile just by hearing their voice. Stuart MacLean and The Vinyl Café kept my kids from killing each other in the back seat on long road trips. How fantastic that I can download podcasts of their shows and listen to them on my computer or my iPod. Driving to work in the morning has been less relaxing now that CBC has moved to a more mainstream style of music. Now I can listen to podcasts in my car during my daily drive. I can listen to drama, comedy, book reviews, interviews, how-to shows and more, all on demand.

Professional life


To use with students:

Lamb and Johnson (2007) talk about downloading podcasts to the library. I had never really thought about it. Talk about being stuck in the 20thy century vision of a library. I did go out and buy 4 iTouches for our library, how about downloading podcasts as resources? Off I went to iTunes and looked at ‘education’ and wow, what a treasure trove of resources. I always think of those students whose reading skills are far below their ability to understand concepts. Even finding websites and online encyclopedias for them to use is difficult, due to their low reading level. I have the free version of ‘ReadPlease’ on our laptops for them to use, but what about a podcast? ELL students could benefit from podcasts available for them on sites like Podcasts in English,  Many Things,  or how about English Banana?  I also love the idea of linking podcast book review sites like Just One More Book to a school or library blog for students to access and listen to book reviews. What about listening to stories on sites like this one?


Chris Kretz ( 2007) suggests that librarians can create their own booktalks on Podcasts. Check out this booktalk I created using Audacity:

Amulet Booktalk

Compare it to the one I made using Audioboo.

Which is your preference? On the other hand, never mind me creating booktalks, I think that students should be creating their own booktalk podcasts. (Whoever is doing, is learningJ )

Common Craft, in their video, Podcasts in Plain English, say, “Everyone can have a voice that shows their true colours.” Students can use their voice to show their learning, share their work with other students, classes, parents and the world. Students could create a podcast as an assessment of learning at the end of a unit, or as an assessment for learning activity in the middle of one. Why not have students podcast picture books for younger students? It would help older students develop their reading fluency and would create a listening center for younger students using any book in the library. Students can be creating screencasts of stories they have written using pictures they have created or found on the web or podcasts to share their poetry. Consider how it feels to listen to an author read from their own work. Maya Angelou says “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”
Students who have the opportunity to write and create podcasts on a variety of topics are learning to write, to listen, to collaborate, to share and to use technology to express themselves. Garner Campbell (2005) states that ‘there is magic in the human voice, the magic of shared awareness…voice can create a theatre of the mind (and) can connect with the listener on a profound level.” (p. 5). In a world where we worry about people becoming isolated, podcasting offers students that opportunity…to create magic and to connect with others on a personal level.


Angelou, Maya. Retrieved from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/maya_angelou.html on October 15, 2010.

Campbell, G. (2005). There’s something in the air: Podcasting in education. Retrieved from http://www.cblt.soton.ac.uk/multimedia/PDFs08/Podcasting%20in%20education.pdf

Kretz, C. (2007). Podcasting in libraries. In Courtney, N. (Ed.),  Library 2.0 and beyond (pg. 35-47). Westport, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

Lamb, A. & Johnson, L. (2007) Infotech: Podcasting in the library, part 1: Integrating podcasts and vodcasts into teaching and learning. In Rosenfeld, E. & Loertscher, D. (Ed.), Toward a 21st century school library media program (p. 163-170). Lanham, MA: Scarecrow Press.

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts and other powerful web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.




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