As described in Wikipedia, a podcast is a series of digital media files that can either be audio or video that is delivered to your computer. Once you subscribe to the podcast of your choice which can be downloaded through the internet, you will be notified of any new updates right away. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting).
PodCasting involves audio which works with software that automatically identifies new files and can be accessed through subscription. Once you have subscribed to what you want, you do not have to worry about manually having to check for any updates, which is convenient because a majority of people do not have the time to always check. Technology has given us multiple ways of viewing/hearing a podcast. A podcast can be downloaded to your phone, laptop, desktop, or a handheld device that has access to the web. It is not necessary to have an iPod to reap the benefits of podcasting because podcast can be heard right from the internet. “A podcast has a news feed (known as RSS) that allows it to be cataloged in various podcasting directories like iTunes and Podcast Pickle” (http://learninginhand.com/podcasting/).
There are three types of podcasts. The most frequent type of podcast is audio which is generally in an MP3 file. There are also podcasts that include images with the audio. “[The second type is] enhanced podcasts [which] are an AAC file and are not supported by all devices” (http://learninginhand.com/podcasting/). The third type is a video podcast which include movies with sound. “Video podcasts can be in a variety of formats, but MPEG-4 is the most popular” (http://learninginhand.com/podcasting/). Podcasting can be beneficial to teachers when they find interesting and relevant podcast episodes to show their students. If a teacher is lucky enough, his/her school district may have the proper equipment for each student to use in a classroom.
Making a podcast has advantages for both students and teachers. When podcasts are made they can be viewed by a number of different people all across the globe. When a student or a teacher creates a podcast and makes it available for people to view.
To create a podcast consists of four parts which include: preproduction, recording, postproduction, and publishing.
In the preproduction stage, the person making the podcast, whether it is the student, teacher, or an individual with a creative idea needs to brainstorm what they want to make before they begin talking into a microphone. This stage is also known as the planning stage and is the most time consuming stage because it requires thinking. You have to keep in mind who your audience will be, that way you can be on track. In addition, another thing to think about is how you want to format your podcast. This means who you want speaking in it such as a host or other people that you may want to get involved, needs to be planned in advance. Once you have that set up, you want the speakers to practice speaking out loud. Practice helps the speaker(s) to sound natural and allows them to adjust their volume and speed.
The second part is recording. This part is somewhat easy if the individuals have had some practice. You can record using the built in microphone on your laptop.
However, it is preferred to use a USB head set microphone because they do not have to worry about how far they are from their computer when they read from their notes. It is also suggested to record audio in short sections because there is a less likely chance of them messing up. In addition, the audience will not notice that the audio is broken up into parts if they are played right after one another.
“If you use Macintosh, I suggest using the included GarageBand software for recording and postproduction. If you use Windows, I suggest using the free software Audacity for recording and postproduction. For making music, I suggest using Sony's free ACID XPress. Visit ACIDplanet.com each week for free musical loops for ACID Xpress. It might sound counterintuitive, but I suggest recording the introduction last for a couple of reasons. First, recording last allows you to introduce exactly what will be in the podcast because it has already been recorded. Second, students have had practice in front of the microphone and are more comfortable. They'll record a much better introduction, and after all, the introduction should hook the listeners! (http://learninginhand.com/podcasting/create.html)”
The third step is post production which is also known as the editing stage. Your first goal is to make sure that your audio is in the order you want it to appear. If not, this is the time to fix it. You can also delete any pauses, interruptions, or any “ums” and “you knows” that you do want included. You also have the option of including music and sound effects during this stage.
“If you're using a Mac and GarageBand, it's easy for student[s] to mix loops of music. Audacity users cannot compose music within the software” (http://learninginhand.com/podcasting/create.html). “[Although audacity] 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. 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.” (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/beginners-guide-to-podcast-creation/)
“If you use music, be sure it is "podsafe." Podsafe music is the term for music that 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. Here are some sites for podsafe music:
• The Free Sound Project
• Royalty Free Music
• Flash Kit - Sound FX
• Podcast Bumper Music
• fOUR bEES Free Media
• Podsafe Audio
• ACIDplanet offers a free 8-pack of loops each Friday.”
If you do decided to include music, please give credit to the artist, if possible. “To easily fix volume levels that are too high and too low, use the free Levelator” (http://learninginhand.com/podcasting/create.html).
“Once the podcast sounds just the way you want it, it's time to send it to iTunes. You can do this from the File menu in GarageBand, or you can export to an AIFF or MP3 in Audacity and then open the exported file in iTunes. Now you select the file you imported in iTunes and select Get Info from the File menu. Complete the fields. It's best to make sure this information is consistent in each podcast produced” (http://learninginhand.com/podcasting/create.html).
“After you’ve completed editing of your recordings and interviews, you can export your finished podcast in several formats, including MP3, AIFF and WAV. If you want to export your podcast as an MP3 file, you’ll need to download the LAME MP3 encoder as a helper for Audacity. But if you use AIFF or WAV, iTunes can handle the MP3 compression for you; this latter option is probably best, because you’ll have more flexibility in how you compress the file.” (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/beginners-guide-to-podcast-creation/).
“Once you have the fields completed the way you want them, then click OK. Next, choose "Convert Selection to MP3" from the Advanced menu. Finally, select the file in the iTunes list and drag and drop it onto the computer's desktop. Now your MP3 file is there, ready for publishing!” (http://learninginhand.com/podcasting/create.html)
Lastly, the final step in creating a podcast is publishing. This step may sound and look difficult but there are available tutorials on how to go about publishing. This is one of many that I found on youtube:
I thought it may be somewhat helpful; it is similar to what Professor Bigsby creates when we are having difficulty on how to go about doing a tech lab assignment.
“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” (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/beginners-guide-to-podcast-creation/).
“You need access to a web server. You'll copy the MP3 file to the server. Also, a podcast needs a web page and an RSS feed. For the web page, use your favorite HTML editor (like Dreamweaver or FrontPage) or put the podcast information into a blog posting.
You might need software that creates the RSS feed if your web server doesn't create on for you. Feeder ($29.95) for Macintosh and FeedForAll ($39.95) for Mac and Windows are great pieces of software for making the RSS feed. It's somewhat complicated, so be sure to use the help menus or read the user manual. Once you input the information for your podcast into one of these software applications, it will have you upload the RSS feed to a web server. A free alternative for the RSS feed is to use the Blogger and Feedburner method for publishing the web page and RSS feed for a podcast
Submit the web address of your RSS feed to podcast directories, including iTunes, to tell the world about the podcast!
Learn how to link to your podcast in iTunes so web visitors can easily subscribe” (http://learninginhand.com/podcasting/create.html).
These websites were helpful to me when I was describing how to create a podcast:
Another website that I came across that I thought was helpful is:
I couldn’t decide which podcast to choose so I chose two that I thought would be useful and helpful in an art classroom.
Click listen to podcast
The first one would be geared towards middle and high schools students it was a podcast about art history.
The strengths of this podcast include giving valuable information about the specific work of art. In addition, I think this podcast would be beneficial to students for when they are studying for a test or quiz because they can listen to the podcast as part of their review.
The weaknesses of this podcast is that it does not show you the artwork they are describe, it is simply audio. I think it would be more beneficial if students would be able to see the art work while listening to the information about it.
The other podcast is: http://mabryonline.org/podcasts/archives/student_podcasts/art/index.html
This podcast is more visual than the first.
The strength of this is that it allows students to share their artwork with others in their community and the World Wide Web. I this was a great idea because it makes the students art work last longer and give them a wider audience.
The weakness of this podcast is that it does not allow the viewer to hear what the artist has to say about their own work. I think it is important to know what a student has to say about their work because the viewer may not know what the meaning the artist is trying to portray.