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Tuesday
Jun282011

2011 TechDayPlus: Chris Brizzard

The following is a summary of the presentation by Chris Brizzard

Creating Podcasts with Audacity

Audacity is a free audio program that I have been using to create student podcasts in my Media English classes. In doing these projects, students learn multiple tech skills including voice recording, track importing and audio editing. 

I first introduced the goal of the presentation: for participants to recreate a multi-layered* podcast that I had created in order to introduce basic skills needed to use Audacity. This is the same procedure that I take students through in my classes.

  1. I showed participants a video I had made using Windows Movie Maker, the audio component of which I made using Audacity. This is the first project that I do in my classes and the topic is “Your Favorite Musician.” You can see the example at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jPDyl90Kc4
  2. Participants then downloaded the files necessary to re-create my podcast. I posted the files on sharesend.com, a free site that allows you to upload and download files of up to 100MB in size. There were four files to download: two songs and two voiceovers.
  3. I then introduced Audacity by showing participants how to do basic tasks such as importing audio, deleting, fading out, sound amplification and exporting audio. Through guided instruction, all participants were successfully able to recreate my podcast.
  4. I then introduced an extension of this podcasting idea, creating a short movie in Windows Movie Maker, and showed a student example from one of my classes. Participants also had additional ideas, such as posting student videos on a class blog and having students choose the best videos through using a poll widget.
  5. Some participants asked how much time is needed to do a project like this. In my experience, you will need at least four 90-minute classes to successfully complete this project.

* By multi-layered, I mean that the podcast consists of several tracks that are mixed and edited to produce a final product. It is not just students recording their own voices in a single track.

Chris Brizzard is an Assistant Professor at Kansai Gaidai University. He has taught English in Japan, Taiwan and the U.S. and is in his tenth year of teaching EFL.