Posted on | February 14, 2013 | 1 Comment
I never do or propose anything complicated with technology, not if it's to be used in language teaching, either by teachers or by learners and the following is the easiest way to podcast that I've tried.
It's astonishingly easy to record with Vocaroo: all you need is a headset (earphones and mike) and an internet connection. You don't have to create an account, and it looks like this:
Vocaroo: astonishingly easy to use
Once you've recorded, you can listen to what you sound like, and if you're not happy with it, retry, as shown in the next shot:
Vocaroo: different sharing options — with downloading the file being the best
Once you are happy with the recording, and you click the "Save" link, you get the various "Sharing options".
You could embed (i.e insert) the recording on a blog but Vocaroo has a problem: it doesn't keep the files for you indefinitely, so it's actually better to download the file. Pick MP3 for that.
All you need now is somewhere to share the recording and that's where Edmodo comes in. You'll need to create a group for your class, but after that it's real easy, especially if you're already familiar with Facebook.
Edmodo: attaching an audio file — just like sending an attachment to an email
We need to (1) type our new "note" (a message, that is); (2) click "File" to add our recording; (3) pick who we're sending it to (which of our groups, that is); and then (4) just send. It's no more complicated than sending an email attachment.
In the image, above, you can see that I'm sending it to my "Filmaholics" group and you can see the george.mp3 file sitting there ready to go.
And that's pretty much it. Below, you can see what it looks like on the group, sitting there neatly ready to play and with the possibility of other members of the group replying to it (i.e. commenting on it).
Edmodo: ready to play
Among the nice things about Edmodo is the fact that it's private and that "replying" to the podcast is so easy (that's the "reply" button, circled above). The "replying" is important: it's another way to get our learners to use more language, which is after all what we're really in class for.
Tasks for podcasting
Once you see how easy it is — and do try it for yourself — then all you need are some good tasks (key: creating recordings that people will want to "reply" to).
We'll look at a couple more tools first but note that it's easy to get carried away with the technology: it's not the tools that are important to us as language teachers and learners, it's the tasks and the language learning that they will hopefully produce.
Coming next: Soundcloud and Blogger