What are podcasts and vidcasts?
A podcast is a series of audio or video digital media files which is distributed over the Internet by syndicated download, through Web feeds, to portable media players and personal computers. Though the same content may also be made available by direct download or streaming, a podcast is distinguished from most other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added. Like the term broadcast, podcast can refer either to the series of content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. You don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to listen to podcasts. You can listen to them right on your PC or Mac. You'll need headphones or a speaker and the ability/permission to download.

Watch the short video to get an overview of podcasting.


Discovery Exercise

1. Take a listen at one or two of the podcast directories listed below and see if you can find a podcast that interests you.
  1. Listen to one (or more) podcast that you find.
Libby Middle School Podcasts

Create a Podcast
  1. Create a Podcast. We will be using podOmatic or podbean to post your podcast. You will need a microphone, and or a recorder, Goldwave gwave508.exe or Audacity audacity-win-unicode-1.3.3.exe (Lame, needed to save as mp3 Lame_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_Windows.exe ) and your imagination. And if you are real fortunate, access to a Mac which all this is built in.
  2. After writing a script or as you lecture, record yourself with Audacity or Goldwave.
  3. Edit your errors.
  4. Insert music and sounds to enhance your podcast.
    1. A_Hoot.wave
    2. Speed_Kills_1.wav
Links for sound files and music:
  1. Save it as an MP3.
  2. Create an account on podOmatic.com or podbean.com
  3. Upload your post to your new account following the online suggestions.
  4. Invite people to hear your very important voice.

If this is really important information you can upload your podcast to iTunes for anyone to download.

If you find a podcast you enjoy, you might want to subscribe to it, so that you don't miss an episode. Use RSS or one of the podcast subscription services software services listed above to subscribe.

Podcasting Ideas:

Current events, with student commentary
School news
Sports news
Booktalks by teachers, librarians, students
Interviews with teachers and administrators
Advertise fundraisers
Readers Theater productions
“Interviews” with historic figures
Career week interviews
Upcoming classroom projects
“Mystery” students

Enhanced Podcasting Ideas:

Tour of the school
A Day in the Life of Our Classroom
School programs
Music Class / Art Class / P.E. class, etc
Field trips
Student-written and student-illustrated stories (scan pics)
Author talks (include pic of author and scans of book covers)
Science experiments, step-by-step
Science Fair projects
Interviews with ESL students about their home countries (include pics
of home countries)

Why should you know about podcasts and vidcasts?

With the introduction of mobile devices like the iPod, mp3 player and phones like the iPhone and Blackberry the world of the web is becoming more and more portable. People want:
  • Opt-in
  • Mobile
  • On demand

Podcasts fit the bill perfectly!
  • I subscribe to what I want (opt-in)
  • I can take it with me (mobile)
  • I get updates automatically through a subscription, or grab off the web 24/7/365 (on demand)

Think about it! Students could subscribe to a podcast about your lectures that comes out once a week or every day. They can get the podcast automatically through software specially designed for this and they can listen to it on the go.