What is a Podcast?

In an educational context...

...podcasting can be used by both teachers and pupils and is attracting significant interest from all educational sectors. It is a fast, convenient, and a low cost way to extend lessons both within and beyond the classroom. From simply recording existing lessons to
developing new and extended course material, teachers and pupils alike can take
advantage of the many benefits of downloadable content contained in educational
podcasts. Using podcasting as part of a child’s daily educational routine has many
potential advantages, including:

In the classroom

  • Can be tailored to any curriculum area.
  • Can provide bespoke materials to support any learning situation with audio material for learning "on demand", at anytime and anywhere.

  • Potential to support or extend the work of any pupil with special needs.
  • Useful for children who miss sessions, e.g. due to illness.

At home and in the community

  • Great community/school link potential.
  • Could provide schools with an effective way to communicate with parents on a regular
  • basis, e.g. regularly broadcast instead of / as well as a school newsletter
  • Useful for those with a reading difficulty or for English as a second or third language.
  • Could bring a whole new approach to homework, e.g. audio notes to reinforce learning.
From <http://www.podiumpodcasting.com/whatispodcasting/index.html>

How Do I Get Started??

Recording Software

Recording your own voice is relatively simple, and there are a variety of PC and Mac programs that can do this. One of the most popular programs among podcasters is Audacity, which can record, edit and post-process your audio. It has several advantages: it is multi-platform (Windows 98 and later, Mac OS 9 and X, and Linux), and it’s free. This open-source program has become the standard tool for podcasters who want to record their shows, edit their recordings, and combine other recordings (such as intros, jingles or music, sometimes made with other programs) to create finished shows.
Audacity: Free Sound Editor and Recording Software
Audacity: Free Sound Editor and Recording Software

  1. Audio Recorder- Audacity is a free recorder you can download it here, or you can download it from school in the shared drive.
  2. LAME Converter to create .mp3 file One time download per computer. This file is also available for download and or is in the shared drive.
  3. Podcast Creator
  4. Itunes- if you are taking it to the extent of having an RSS feed. You can simply create an .mp3 file and upload it to your Wiki, blog or webiste.
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Everything you record with Audacity appears on screen as sound waves that you can edit very much like a word processing program: as with a page full of words, you can zoom in and out to see more or less of the audio wave on screen at once, select portions with a cursor, and delete or format those portions as you desire. Many podcasters delete their “ums” and “you knows” wherever they appear, and you can also use the cursor to snip out boring or screwed-up parts of your recording. Audacity also has tools that reduce background noise and static, create echo effects, and increase or decrease the amplitude of your voice. After each recording, save your file in WAV (uncompressed) format - it’ll take up a bit of space on your hard drive, but it’s the best format to guarantee you don’t compromise on sound quality until you’re ready.
Pasted from <http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/beginners-guide-to-podcast-creation>
Then it’s time to choose your compression settings. Open the iTunes preferences (iTunes > Preferences on Mac OS X; Edit > Preferences on Windows), then click the Importing tab. The Import Using menu lets you select the format you convert your file to. You’ll want to choose either AAC or MP3. AAC will only play through iTunes and on iPods; while some other software may support AAC, few other portable music players do, so your best choice is MP3. (If you do choose AAC, you can select Podcast from the settings menu to use a preset podcast bit rate setting.) Select MP3 from the Import Using menu, then select Custom from the Setting menu. Choose a bit rate of 64 kbps; you could go lower or higher, but voice sounds good at that bit rate, and your files won’t be too large. From the Sample Rate menu, select 22.050 kHz; this is high enough for voice. From the Channels menu, select Mono, unless your podcast is mostly music; voice does not need stereo, and this keeps your files small. Click OK.
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Now, find your raw podcast file in your library or playlist, select it, then select Advanced > Convert Selection to [format], where format is AAC or MP3. iTunes will compress your file using your settings, and the resulting file will appear in your library. If you’ve tagged your file before converting it, you’ll find it in the genre you set, or by its title. You can now right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) the file, select Show Song File, and a window will open showing the converted file.

Publishing your Podcast

If you’ve gotten to this stage, you might already know you have to set up a podcast “feed” URL on your website. (If not, this article tells you all about podcasts and RSS feeds. The basic idea is that you need to have a place where your podcast is stored for people to download it, and then create a web link that other people can use to find the file.) Once you have the feed URL, load iTunes, go to the iTunes Music Store, click the Podcasts link in the left-hand column, and look for the Publish a Podcast link on the left of the Podcasts page. Click that link, enter the URL for your podcast, then click Continue.
But at this point, there’s a snag. You’ll have to sign in to your iTunes Music Store account. While you can browse, subscribe to and download podcasts without an iTunes Music Store account, you cannot submit any unless you have an account in the store you want to add them to. So, for example, someone in Australia who wants to add a podcast to the US iTunes Music Store will not be able to do so unless they have a US credit card and billing address.
If you do have an iTunes Music Store account, the rest is simple: iTunes automatically picks up any comments and descriptions you’ve added to your RSS feed; you cannot edit them once the podcast is added to iTunes. To find out about the tags you can use, click the “Learn more about podcasting on iTunes” link when you are on the Publish podcasts to the Music Store page. This will take you to a page with a FAQ, and a downloadable PDF file containing full specifications.
Apple also has a tutorial about creating podcasts using GarageBand, which is part of iLife ‘05. While GarageBand has some limits for creating podcasts - recordings are limited in time, for example - it is a good way for beginners to work with mixing and editing shows.
Links to Additional iLounge Information on Podcasting
Need to know more? Take a look at our past articles on podcasting, and join our Podcasting discussion forum to share experiences and advice with other people. Of course, your comments are always welcome below, as well.
Understanding the Podcasting Revolution
Complete Guide to iTunes’ Podcasts
iLounge Podcasting Discussion Forum
Complete Archive of iLounge Podcast Stories

Kirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage. His blog Kirkville features articles about the iPod, iTunes, Mac OS X and much more. Thanks to Richard Giles, host of The Gadget Show for his input on podcasting tools and techniques.

Information provided from <http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/beginners-guide-to-podcast-creation>

Educational Podcasts- For teachers and students

Resources to understanding Podcasts

ISTE- Overview of Supplemental Resources