Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Teacher TechBitesEpisode 011 - Podcast with Gcast

Podcasting is the hip new thing. OK, it's not really new, but it is fairly new in education. For more on a description of what podcasting is and some other resources you should check out the page from a summer program I ran (it also includes links to information on copyright). One thing to remember is that podcasting is a very specific word that is often used very generally. Don't sweat it. If you want to make audio or video available on the net then just do it and don't worry if it is technically a podcast or not.

Stuff to know about Gcast
  • Gcast is free
  • Students can subscribe to your content as a podcast
  • You can upload audio files from your computer
  • You don't need a computer or an internet connection. You can simply call a toll free number on your phone.
  • If you do call in to record audio you have the option of simply storing it for later or letting it go live right away.
What people can/are doing with it
  • Daily homework. Just set the number on your speed dial. Then with the touch of a button and a few minutes of talking you're done. Much quicker than logging into Edline and typing it in.
  • Put your phone on speaker-phone and conduct interviews.
  • Have foreign language students call in and speak in the language. This gives you a chance to listen to how each and every student you have sounds, but you can do it when you have time rather than loosing several teaching days.
  • Current events news reporting. A different student could be assigned to summarize current events each day/week.
How do I do it?
  • In order to record audio on your computer all you need is a microphone (most laptops have one built in) and some software to do the recording/editing. I recommend Audacity, it's free and easy to use (we'll cover it in a future session).
  • If you're using your phone then all you need to do is call 1-888-65-GCAST. If you have your actual phone number entered then all you'll need to do is type in the 4 digit pin number. If you're having students call in then I'd make up a phone number. Students will need the 10 digit phone number and the 4 digit pin.

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