How We Created Our Education and Technology Podcast Series
Richard A. Smith University of Houston-Clear Lake
Caroline M. Crawford University of Houston-Clear Lake
Smith defined a podcast as an old thing a radio broadcast with the difference being that the broadcast is distributed over the Internet. The history of radio and education goes back. In the 1920s – 40s instructional radio was the new thing. In 1930s there was even an instructional radio program to teach gymnastics.
Creating a podcast has more to do with creative ability rather than technical ability. Podcasts help students focus on written and spoken language. It is important to have students write it first. Check out this elementary school website WillowWeb - http://www.mpsomaha.org/willow/radio/index.html
Ideas for podcasts include:
News and sports program and other types of reports
Posting announcements and recording lectures but he is not too keen on recording lectures.
Presenters have a show called Education and Technology Today
Show has 3 formats:
Discussion between hosts
Hosts interview a guest
Guest serves as a third host/discussant
Their early podcasts were a bit slow, wordy and stilted.
They tried vodcast – video added to podcast but that added too much work so they stopped doing it. If you have a production crew it makes it more possible. They use an old laptop to record and edit their audio.
A headset is important to create a podcast. Omni-directional microphones record too much background noise. He recommends Audacity. Open source and converts audio to mp3.
Acting and speaking slowly is good. It is important to rehearse. Pay attention to the quality of your voice. Focus on speaking clearly, slowly and distinctly. Reading questions sounds stilted so be familiar with the questions if you are doing an interview and let the guest know the questions in advance.
Keep in mind that radio and TV productions have set the bar high for podcasting. Listen to radio shows like those on NPR to get an idea of how to do a show.
They recommended a limit of about 20 minutes for a podcast.
Web site considerations:
Web page identifies the people involved in the podcast and links to iTunes and ipodder. Need to set up a RSS file so that people can subscribe to it.
Education Podcast Network, http://epnweb.org/, is a good resource. David Warlick set up this site.