A podcast is "a digital media file, or a series of such files, that is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers."  Basically, a podcast is a way to "follow" multimedia content streams that you find interesting. In some ways it's the 21st century equivalent of programming your VCR to record your favorite network tv show.
Mobile devices make it relatively easy to subscribe to a podcast so that the audio or video content is available for listening/viewing from just about anywhere. The ability to download podcasts for offline review makes them functional even in environments where internet connection is not possible.
Some audio considerations are applicable regardless of whether you are creating audio or video podcasts.
- For collecting audio of people speaking be sure to utilize a voice recorder and test out recording quality prior to conducting interviews.
- Always record a short amount of ambient sound that you can insert in your timeline when you wish to create a pause but don't want the space filled with complete silence. This will help with recording continuity.
- In most cases be sure only one person is speaking at a time.
- If you have scripted your text, practice reading the text several times so that your tone is conversational and animated.
- Script text should be written for the ear. Make sure it sounds natural, and your points are clear.
- Take the time to collect the best raw media possible. The best editing cannot overcome a poor recording.
Please note that the links below will access Lynda.com tutorials and will require that you enter your Middlebury College username and password.
To deliver podcasts to subscribers you will need a way to distribute an RSS feed. At Middlebury you can do this by embedding your audio and video files in a WordPress blog post. This will allow your subscribers to subscribe to updates from your blog and receive notifications whenever a new podcast is available.
If you'd like to discuss using podcasts in your classroom, please contact a member of the Curricular Technology team. We would be happy to assist with your project!
- Podcast, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting