Before reading this, you should have gone through the steps indicated in these two posts:
In this last part of the Podcasting guide, we’re going to convert our audio masterpiece to a format suitable for mobile audio players and the Internet, and make it available as a podcast! This will involve 3 steps:
1. Converting your audio to MP3
2. Sending your MP3 file to your blog
3. Getting your students/colleagues to subscribe to your podcast
To get started, follow the guide below! 🙂
Read/act on this first: Podcasting: Step 1 – RSS and setting up a teacher blog
In the last session we set up a blog and learned what RSS was. Let’s just remind ourselves of what podcasting is, shall we?
So podcasting is when you deliver audio files to ‘subscribers’ automatically using an RSS feed. This RSS feed is generated automatically by the Posterous-powered blog you set up in Step 1. 🙂
In this session we’re going to be using a program called Audacity. This is available for all platforms – Windows, Mac and Linux. It is free and Open Source software. Audacity is already installed on the computers we shall be using at school, but if you need to download it at home, you can find it here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net
Note: we will need a ‘plugin’ for Audacity to be able to export to MP3 format, but we’ll leave that for next session!
Instead of re-inventing the wheel, we’ll be making use of the excellent video guides to using Audacity that can be found here: http://www.how-to-podcast-tutorial.com/17-audacity-tutorial.htm
These are the ones you should focus on today:
- The editing tools
- Basic editing and trimming your audio
- Importing audio and adding music to your podcast
When you save your audio, just save it as a WAV file. We’ll work on exporting to MP3 next time. If you’re looking for music that you can legally and safely use in your podcasts, check out the links at the bottom of the Wikipedia page for ‘Podsafe’.
Over the next three weeks, staff e-learning sessions will focus on getting started with podcasting. This first session starts off with the basics you will need as a teacher before even pressing that ‘record’ button:
- An understanding of what RSS is.
- A blog onto which to put MP3 files.
The easiest way to get your head around what RSS is and how it means that audio files can be delivered to interested parties automatically is by watching this excellent explanatory video prepared by CommonCraft:
A podcast differs from simply placing an audio file on the Internet because of RSS. It means that new content can be ‘pushed’ to interested parties rather than them having to manually check for updates. The process of interested parties requesting that podcasts are delivered automatically is known as ‘subscribing’.
Now that you know what RSS is, you need to have a mechanism by which you can generate one. In our case, this is going to be a blog. Anything that you add to a blog post will be automagically turned into a subscribable podcast.
To learn how to set up a blog, check out the elearnr guide entitled:
Creating a homework blog in 3 simple steps using email
If you want to jump ahead and have a go podcasting before the next session, you should visit the Box of Tricks website where José Picardo has put together an excellent short presentation entitled Podcasting in Five Easy Steps. 😀