ED 431 Assignment: Podcasts

*** Please note that my ED 431 course requires us to post our assignments in draft form for classmates to provide feedback. The following entry is a draft. I encourage all criticisms of content or style. Thank you!***

Assignment: Create 3 brief “podcast” episodes for teachers inspired by specific chapters in the course textbook, The World is Open (Bonk).

My podcast episodes are part of an ongoing series I made up called Tech Ed Tidbit. With the motto, “Helping you teach better with technology,” the series highlights various aspects of technology in education to help busy teachers learn more with very little time commitment. I envision each episode being supplemented on the Tech Ed Tidbit website with a resource list for further reading and exploration if an instructor wishes to pursue a topic further. While the information is relevant to teachers at all levels, I specifically had in mind an audience of college-level course instructors.

Transcript for all episodes.

I created these episodes using Audacity, a free audio-recording and editing program. This was my second experience using the software and my first experience working with multiple tracks to include music and a sound bite. The piece I had previously created in my ED 653 Instructional Design course, linked here, was a simple voice recording. I really enjoyed making the podcasts for this class — everything from my little robotic intro to looking for ways to inject my personality and make them engaging. The one thing I did not enjoy was being sick when I needed to do the recordings. I had to do extra takes and editing because I kept getting hoarse or coughing mid-way through. I’m quite pleased that you can’t obviously hear my sickness in my recorded audio.

I can see using audio recordings for the purpose of providing brief lectures or directions in an online course. I would provide a transcript of the audio recordings for individuals with a disability or who learn better from reading than listening. For those who enjoy it, I like the idea of providing the audio option so that they have some variety in content delivery. I have received compliments on my ability to make my voice sound engaging in recordings, so hopefully some students would find them more pleasant than reading text. I am also quite fond of delivering content via screen-cast video. For lectures that benefit from dynamic or multiple visuals, that remains the best option. However, sometimes you just need to convey information that either does not require a visual or that requires just a single static visual. Audio requires less bandwidth than video, making it easier to access where people have bandwidth issues, such as many locations in rural Alaska.

2 thoughts on “ED 431 Assignment: Podcasts

  1. D’Arcy- your podcasts are entertaining and informative, your transcripts are well written, and your voice expression is admirable. You sound like a natural! I never would have guessed that you were sick. I love the title “Tech Ed Tidbit” and the robot voice at the beginning. I hope you continue to produce episodes in the future. They will be much appreciated by your colleagues and PLN members.

  2. These were fun. Your friends are correct about your ability to create engaging audio–your podcasts are very nicely infected and paced. You also did a very commendable of covering your topics thoroughly and targeting them appropriately for your audience. I like the option you chose to represent all three podcasts as parts of a whole rather than as three separate sound files. I may work this option into next semester’s instructions.

    I agree with your comments about screencasts. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve used screencasts (as opposed to audio files) for the instruction in this course, due precisely to the nature of the content. It’s difficult to imagine what a screen looks like from an audio description. On the other hand, visuals can be distracting or limiting for some content. I think they’re particularly distracting for music (or music appreciation instruction) and visuals do have a tendency to limits one’s imagination in some storytelling situations. And, as you mentioned, audio files are typically smaller in size and can (sometimes) be accessed while doing other things. The key, of course, is to have both the skills and the judgement to chose the right tool for the task at hand.

    Thanks for the transcripts and the references. Some items there I need to check out. This is ready to move to your portfolio.

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