Topic outline

  • General

    pod           PODCASTING

    What is a Podcast?

    Podcasts are Internet based programs much like shows on traditional radio or television.  The name podcasts uses the ubiquitious iPod from Apple which has come to symbolize this digital revolution.  It also uses cast from broadcast. 

    It is important to note that podcasting does not require the use of an iPod or any other mp3 player.  Anyone with a computer and Internet connection can listen to and create podcasts.

    Podcasts are digital audio and/audio-video files on the Internet. These files can be downloaded from an Internet connection anywhere in the world.  Because they are digital, they offer listeners much more flexibility than tradional radio.

    Podcasts can be dowloaded to a portable audio device like a mp3 player or smart phone.  They can be cataloged and played over and over, whenever the listener wants to listen.

    There are thousands of free podcasts to explore.  Just about anyone can create a podcast and make their voice heard across the Internet. 

    In this Moodle environment you will explore examples of podcasts.  You will learn how to script, record, and edit your voice.  Later you will produce a podcast combining segments from fellow students.

    Your podcast project might:

      • communicate research findings
      • debate an issue
      • share poetry or creative writing
      • review literature
      • apply topics and concepts to the real worls
      • communicate in foreign languages
    This lesson is a course written by Ann Morgan. The content and photographs are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License . That means that you can use it, improve it and share it.

    Download in Moodle format:
    Download the Podcast Unit Zipped file here

    This unit of study was designed for middle school students. It uses both the Audio Recorder and Podcast modules.  It can be adapted for use in lots of ways for students at all grade levels. The end topics still need some content ... perhaps if you add onto this unit you too will share your improvements with me?   Have fun!

    • Topic 1

      listenListen to Podcasts

      Check out Expressions from the Middle podcasts produced by students like you. Use the forum below to discuss these students' work.

      Next, search for some podcasts using iTunes Podcast directory or any other podcast directory. 

      Share one of your favorite podcasts  by providing the name, and link. Explain what the podcast is about and why you enjoy it enough to rank it number 1.

    • Topic 2

      talkout Let's Talk! talktalk

      Think about this scenario:  You are creating a podcast about memories you will take with you as you move on to the next grade.  This will be  part of a school podcast project.  You want to use a song, "I Will Remember You" by Sarah McLachlan - it will make a wonderful background.  You own the CD and the whole track fits perfectly so you put the whole thing behind your voice narration. 

      In the Forum below, discuss with your classmates whether this is Fair Use.

       Please follow the discussion rules as discussed in class and are located on the resource link below. Feel free to enter your opinion and reply to others' as often as you wish.  let's have a lively discusion! t

    • Topic 3

      Code of Ethics

      As a podcaster you have some basic rights and responsibilities.  We will spend some time discussing journalism and ethics. 

      After our class forum discussions you will generate (produce) a Podcater's Code of Ethics document.

      Here is what you will need to consider before creating your document:

        • Responsibility to truth and accuracy
        • Separating Fact from Opinion
        • Balancing Points of View
        • Citing Sources and Giving Credit
        • Plagiarism
        • Sensitivity
        • Responsibility to self, class, and school community
    • Topic 4

      tWhat Makes a Good Podcast?


      Your podcast should NOT be merely an example of performers reading a script. This will sound superficial and will not reflect what you think and feel.  Your listerners need to know that YOU care about the topic and You are expressing YOUR thoughts and ideas ... not someone elses!

      Compelling Stories

      Just telling a story is not just a nice thing to know so your listerners will be entertained.  Storytelling helps us look at ideas we have gathered and give them context - to reconstruct them in a way that will be easy to grasp and will take your audience where you want to take them.  Your narrative should help clarify issues and inspires your listerners to learn more.

      Connecting to Your Audience

      Great podcasts are not about you!  They should be about all of us. Even when the topics are localized, effective podcasters make efforts to reach out to the listener and pull them into the conversation.  Too often podcasters produce content which lacks any sense of connection to the listener.  It is as if they are reading to a microphone and nothing more.

      Keep your audience needs and interests in mind when you plan your show.  Audiences who can see themselves in the discussion will tune in again.  Ask them questions and pull on their experiences by refering to your own.

      Your connection to the audience is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.  You should include statements about the impact you hope to have on them. Is their an action you want your listerners to take after listening to you?

      Seeking the Unique

      Is your podcast predictable with obvious conclusions? Will your podcast get lost in the shuffle of all the ones your peers produced? Capitalize on your special talents, knowledge of a topic, and perspective.  Do something to make your audience rember your podcast!

    • Topic 5

      wScripting a Podcast

      You will be required to script out and upload a MS Word document with your podcast intentions.

      Your script should represent:

        • Accurate and truthful depictions of the subject matter
        • Appropriate and productive content
        • Expressive engaging language and tone
        • Values and ideals consistent with our school's mission
        • Your best work

      You will need to self monitor your work.  If you are working  in a group you should be sure to assign:

        • Fact Checkers
        • Last Chance Group listeners.

      Each member of the podcast group needs to create a DETAILED podscript ... sort of a storyboard of the segment you have been assigned.  You can cut/paste the scripts together and submit one word document.  However, I will need to see evidence that there were no hitch-hikers in this process.


        • Identify yourself and the podcast right away (only first names please)
        • Grab the listeners attention in your introduction
        • Follow copyright laws. Be sure you have permission to use any music or sound files you include.
        • Remember who your target audience is and the purpose of your podcast.
        • Include a clever conclusion
        • Slogans help make your podcast memorable. Look at Sloaganizer!
        • Don't forget to encourage your listeners to leave you a comment. 

    • Topic 6

      hsRecording Your Voice

      The quality of your voice is as important as what you say!  Be sure that your voice is conversational and authentic. The writing and delivery will create an atmosphere that adds credibility and engagement with the content of your finished podcast.

      Your audio should be free of distracting ambient noises, static, and plosive sounds.  Your voice should be clear and maintain a constant strong volume level.  Pronunciation and diction are clear. Above all the tone is conversational. DO NOT READ YOUR SCRIPT WORD BY WORD!

      Remember, you can record your script as many times as you wish.  Delete the ones that don't meet your high standards and re-record.  After multiple practices the flow of your words and tone will improve.

      Watch the video below to learn how to use the Audio Recorder
       within Moodle.

      Direct Links to Audio Recorder Help Videos:

      Video Audio Recorder Part 1     Video Audio Recorder Part 2       Video Audio Recorder Part 3

    • Topic 7

      aEditing Your Audio

      There are times when you will want to edit your sound recording, or you'll want to combine segments and add music. 

      One of the easiest programs to use is Audacity.  It's a free download and it is what we have on our student lab computers.

      Here's a video from Teacher Tube

      There are lots of Audacity tutorials to explore.  Check out some of the links below for some tutorials.

    • Topic 8

      m Enhancing Your Audio with Music

       There are times that you might wish to enhance your audio with music. Podsafe audio can be legally used in a podcast and freely distributed online for others to download. There's actually so much podsafe music online that you can spend hours sifting through it.  Spend all the time you want ... AT HOME ... in class you will only have a limited amount of time.  There are just a few rules that you should be aware of. 

      According to Copyright and Fair Use Laws you may not use music tracks that you are copying from a CD (even if you own it)  You must use Royalty Free Music

      You will find this type of music on the docserver amorgan/Hand-out/Royalty Free Music.  You can also locate Podsafe music.  Podsafe music is a term used to describe a recording (usually musical) that is not governed by copyright restrictions. 

      The Podsafe Music Network ( actively recruit musical recordings artists who want their music shared through podcasting. Naturally, where ever you get music tracks, you should ALWAYS at the end of your podcast show tell your audience where you got the music and who the artist is.

      You can also mix and create  your own music using Audacity.   

    • Topic 9


      Enhancing Your
      Audio with Images

    • This topic

      Topic 10

      mpExporting Your Audio to MP3

      If you are using the program Audacity you will need to export your audio as an MP3.  Watch this video.

    • Topic 11

      Direct link on how to use the Podcast module

      cPodcasts from the Middle School

      • Topic 12

        oLeave a Comment
        About the Podcasts

        Students worked hard to produce audio recordings and converted them into class podcasts. 

        Please listen to all of the podcasts.  Think about what really worked in some podcasts and didn't in others.  Try to remember what was effective the next time you are asked to create audio. 

        After your listening is complete.  Please leave at least one comment (positive of course) for each podcast.  Tell the producers of the podcast what impressed you and what you learned from their presentation.

      • Topic 13

        pSubscribing to  Podcasts

        • Topic 14

          EXTRA!  EXTRA!

          Upload any extra podcast segents or shows that you created here.