Podcasting

What is It?

Podcasting means creating a media file that can be distributed to others over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. Podcasts provide students with flexibility in terms of where and when they can listen to a recording. Podcasts are easy to create and share and they are frequently used in academia to record lectures or provide remedial information or tutorials. Podcasts can also be used as an instructional device by asking students to record interviews, create tutorials, deliver movie reviews, compile research logs, or complete other assignments. Podcasts can serve as an audio version of the standard short paper assignment or can provide a creative alternative that engages students in constructing a resource that presents content that they have learned.

How Can I Use It in Teaching?

Instructors can use Podcasting to:

  • Record their lectures
  • Provide tutorials
  • Record interviews
  • Compile research logs

Where Can I Get Support?

Click here to visit the Tufts support site page on podcasting.

Recommended Products

SparkPodcasts

SparkPodcasts is supported by Tufts and provides a simple tool for creating and housing podcasts. The steps involved include creating an audio file, creating a new title for the podcast on Spark, uploading the media file to Spark and then providing students with the address of the file. Housing podcasts on Tufts servers provides a stable environment for continued student access.

Links:
Quickstart to SparkPodcasts

Audacity

Audacity is a free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac, Microsoft Windows, and other operating systems. Audacity provides a simple interface for recording live audio, coverting tapes and records into digital recordings, editing MP3 or other types of sound files, and cutting, copying, or splicing mix sounds together. Audacity also allows the creator and listener to change the speed or pitch of a recording.

Links:
Audacity Short Online Manual
Audacity Tutorial (video)

AudioFlash

AudioFlash is free and enables users to add audio to a website by creating MP3 compressed audio files and a set of “play,” “pause” and “stop” buttons, enabling visitors to have complete control over the audio. Once the audio and buttons have been created, the HTML code can be copied and pasted into a web page or the built-in FTP client can be used to upload everything as-is to a server. AudioFlash is simple to use and the download includes comprehensive help files and video tutorials.

Help files and tutorials are available as part of the software download.

iTunes

ITunes cannot be used to create podcasts, but once podcasts are created, links can be made available over iTunes so that students can easily access them.

Links:
FAQs for PodCast Makers

GarageBand (Mac only)

GarageBand provides tools for creating and customizing professional-sounding podcasts. GarageBand enables users to add illustrations or images or links to their podcasts and suggests including chapter markers with longer podcasts.

Links:
GarageBand Support

Comparative Matrix of Products

Technology Tufts Supported Learning Curve Costs Associated Requirements to Run
SparkPodcasts Y Easy 0 for those with Tufts affiliation Computer with Internet Connection
Audacity N Easy 0 Computer with Internet Connection
iTunes N Easy 0 Computer with Internet connection
GarageBand N Moderate Available on most newer mac computers Computer with Internet Connection
 
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