Our lesson this week introduces two ways for you and your students to record news, thoughts, ideas and presentations through audio recording (podcasting) and screen recordings (screencasting).
Give your students a voice! Podcasting tools let them record their thoughts, book reviews, presentations and more. You can use it to share tutorials, homework help, news and more.
Podcasts are recordings that are stored online and can be shared with others via a player on a web page, downloading to a computer or portable device or through an audio file organizing tool like iTunes. There are many tools for creating podcasts ranging from super quick and simple free online tools (like AudioBoo) to free desktop software with lots of editing options (Audacity). And of course, there are lots of apps for tablets and smartphones. All you really need is a computer with an internet connection and a microphone or a smartphone/tablet with an app.
This article, Student-Created Sequoyah Book Reports, AudioBoo, iPads and QR Codes, includes a short video that explains how elementary school students are using AudioBoo to record short book reviews. Make sure you watch the full 4 minutes, the kids do a great job explaining what they’re doing and why they enjoy it.
- Pocasting Examples
- IES – AudioBoos from the Sequoyah Book Reports
- Jan Brett Project – First grade students in Rockland (MA) recording with AudioBoo and uploaded artwork.
- Student Media Examples – Student work made with AudioBoo This site also has examples of student projects using many other media tools.
- Grade 5-105.5 Radio – example of an AudioBoo playlist widget embedded on a web page.
- Isinglass Teen Read Award Nominees Book Talks – Hopkinton (NH) High School. Though this series doesn’t use AudioBoo, they’ve included their ‘how to’ steps on the website.
Ever wanted to show someone how to use the library catalog, how to navigate your web site, use a software program or use a challenging web tool? One way to do it is by screencasting. Screencasting tools record whatever is happening on your computer screen and your mouse movements, clicks and all. Most tools let you record a voice narration as well. When you’re done recording, you end up with a video that can be uploaded to YouTube and embedded on your website. Students can watch the videos whenever they need them. They can also stop the videos so they can experiment with what you’re showing and then return to the video when they’re ready. Handy.
Screenr, Jing and Screencastomatic are three free tools to create screencasts. There are also a number of paid Mac & PC software packages that provide higher-end features. But frankly, for most of our purposes the free online tools are just perfect.
These are terrific tools for students to use as well. Students could use screencasting to demonstrate mastery of tech tools, to create narrated presentations (record a powerpoint slide show), teach skills to others and much more. For more ideas, check out this article: Screencasts Turn Students into Digital Teachers
- Screencasting examples
TOOLS TO EXPLORE
Sign up for a free account and record as many 5 minute audio segments as you like. If you’re working from your computer, you’ll need a microphone. There are also AudioBoo apps for iOS devices and Android. Each recording can be accompanied by an image – an uploaded photo, a scanned drawing or other graphic.
Your recordings can be grouped into boards based on any topic or organization scheme you like. From your settings page on AudioBoo (accessed by clicking on the little gear icon), you can set up connections with other sites (like WordPress.com and Blogger) and post your recordings to those sites.
These two pages have quick introductions to using AudioBoo.
Once you’ve created an AudioBoo, you can embed it on your blog page, like this:
And here’s a screencast of how to find that embedding code for a WordPress.com blog!
This easy to use, free tool, records whatever is taking place on your screen and turns it into a video. A voice-over narration can be added as you record. With the free account, you can create as many screencasts as you like, each can be up to 5 minutes long. Requires Java. Videos are stored on Screenr site, can be downloaded to your local computer or uploaded to YouTube. Embedding is possible from the Screenr and YouTube sites.
This short tutorial covers everything you need to know about using screenr.
Screenr tutorial by Paul Melrose
Two alternative tools are:
- Screencast-o-matic – Very similar to Screenr. Includes more editing tools. Online tool, no download required. Like Screenr, it requires Java.
- Jing – Requires a download of software to your Mac or PC. Also handy for taking static screenshots. Recording limit of 5 minutes.
- Your choice! Choose podcasting or screencasting. Use the recommended tools or explore any other tool that you would like to test.
- Title your blog post for this week: Thing 7
- Share your experiences and ideas about these tools. How might you use them with your students?
1: Record a short podcast with AudioBoo (or any other podcast recording tool you might want to explore)
This free service is so easy to use. Sign up for a free account at AudioBoo.fm. Then decide if you’ll use the web-based recording tool or an app on a smartphone or tablet. If you use the web-based version, you’ll need a microphone attached to your computer and Java installed on your computer.
Either way, you just hit the record button and you’re recording. Do some test runs to make sure your volume is ok. Once you like what you’ve recorded, publish it and embed or link to it from your blog post.
2: Try screencasting with Screenr (or any other screencasting tool you’d like to explore)
Use this free online service to record a short tutorial (called a “screencast”) about your library web site, how to use a database, the catalog or some other tool. It doesn’t need to be long or perfect! This screencasting planning sheet from Greg Notess might be useful in planning your project.
When you’ve finished your screencast, link to it from your blog post.
My two tips for planning a screencast:
- Pick one task to focus on, something that will take less than 5 minutes. Preferably even shorter – no one wants to watch a 20 minute screncast!
- Practice the steps you need to go through to demo it. This will help you record smoothly and quickly.
Credits – Some of the content for this lesson came from these Learning 2.0 projects: