I have recorded my podcast using Audacity and I think it’s one of the easiest applications I have ever had to learn.
It’s quite straight-forward and once you think of the sound wave(s) as a ‘visual’ map, the editing processes make perfect sense.
I have also used Audacity to record my interview for TW5212 and had no problems with it whatsoever. Of course, there has been one issue…

One problem I have had, is inserting more ‘time’ into the podcast. I was under the impression that placing the cursor at the point you wish to create (extra) time, and hitting record, this would ‘push over’ the subsequent recording and make room for the new one. I tried this, but all that happened was a new (3rd) soundwave/file was created SIMULTANEOUS to what was there already. For example, I want to create a few more seconds of time in between bits of my recording, but any further recording just adds another file that plays over the initial recording.
I know that placing more time at the beginning or end of the file is easily done but the same method doesn’t seem to apply to WITHIN the file.

Does anyone know where I’m going wrong?


How Do You Prepare For And Structure Podcasts?

I have been researching guidelines and tips on how to create effective podcasts. A lot of the information emphasises the importance of preparation before any recording or editing is done, which makes a lot of sense. As I have started to script mine, I do wonder about things like, do you ‘welcome’ the listener? explain what the content will be and the sequence of it? It seems straightforward but once you get into the detail there does seem to be a lot of planning involved in terms of structure, ‘chunking’ information, timing everything similarly and how to use your voice to emphasise and clarify more important points. I have also found that practising reciting your content is really helpful – the more I have practised the more natural I sound and mistakes are lessened.

I found a helpful youtube video (below) on how to prepare for a podcast, and what makes a good podcast. Though the advise is not geared specifically towards educational podcasts, it seems the guidelines are relevant no matter what the nature of the podcast is;
How To Make A Podcast Part 1: Planning And Preparation

Podcasts As Educational Tools

The podcasts assignment for TW5212 is actually something I am looking forward to. Unlike other assignments, it seems very achievable, non-scary (technology-wise) and I love that we can choose our own non-course-related topic which makes a refreshing change.

I had never really known much about podcasts before. I was aware of them, but I never really considered them in terms of what they are used for or how they would benefit anyone. Now that I have become a lot more familiar with them, it seems like they are completely invaluable tools particularly in the educational sphere.
The fact that the software is free and relatively easy to use is also a major bonus. I found a paper describing the benefits of podcasts in educational institutions and particularly from the perspective of language students, it’s a fantastic tool. The paper mentions one school that actually has recording equipment in its assembley hall, and creates and uploads podcasts of every talk, regardless of attendance numbers. This seems to be something that will get more and more popular.

Another great aspect of podcasts is the amount of creativity that is induced in creating them. An excellent example of the creativity that is developed during a podcast creation can be seen in the work being
done at a San Diego County elementary school, as mentioned in the above paper. There, a music teacher is having his students develop podcasts based on their studies of Africa. The presentations, which were originally slated to be regular oral presentations, were rethought by the instructor, after he took a course explaining the benefits of the technology, and its usefulness in the classroom environment. The students are honing their vocabulary, writing, editing, public speaking and presentation skills. The prospect of adding dynamic elements and audio/visual clips greatly enhances the creativity and individuality of the assignments while engaging with the software itself adds yet another learning outcome.