Sunday, 13 July 2008

Make podcasting easy for learners and customers (user generated content), plus free guide

There are three aspects about making podcasting easy for learning
1) Technical aspect - “How to” do a podcast
2) Consider how podcasting fits into the learning (ie. the pedagogy in official speak!)
3) Create the right environment (or community of practice) so that learners want to share and can see the benefit.
In this blog, I’m going to take the first aspect (let me know if you would like me to cover the other aspects?)

For a definition of podcasting see

Podcasting made difficult! The standard steps are:
1) Buy an audio recorder. Learn how to use it!
2) Buy a microphone for the audio recorder. Learn how to use it! And where to place it for the best sound recording
3) Record the podcast (there are many different styles of a podcast from an interview style or just recording someone’s thoughts on a subject. You don‘t want it too boring, or to long or too many “hhmms“! etc). You might want to use a podcast for formal assessment as part of an e-Portfolio.
4) Use a USB cable to connect the audio recorder to your laptop. Transfer the file over (learn how to do this first!)
5) You may want to edit the podcast using great free software like Audacity (so you need to download the software from the web and learn how to use it!)
6) Many websites want a compressed MP3 file - so you need to learn how to convert the file to the right format (fairly easy to do, but still a learning process!)
7) Upload it to the website/LMS/social networking site/community of practice/your blog. Many sites are quite difficult. Unfortunately, too often it is not 1 button to upload, then a quick message to say it has been successful! (You may also want to share the podcast more widely. Then there are also is the learning curve around distributing the podcast via iTunes or RSS feeds).

You can combine some of the above steps by recording on a mobile phone or a camera, but you still have to work out how to connect it to your laptop and how to download it (on a mobile phone you often need to download the mobile phone own software in order to do this).

If you are not used to the web or don’t have the time, I would give up the will to live! Let’s make it easy for learners or tutors to share and collaborate.

Podcasting made easy - two ways:

Mobile Podcasting - see Gcast (or other similar sites). You use your mobile phone, call a number; you speak and your podcast is automatically recorded; it is automatically uploaded on the relevant website.

Podcasting via Skype - cut out many of the above steps by simply recording a Skype call via a free recorder widget. Then upload to the relevant site (make sure your site makes it possible to upload really easily though!). See

For a free guide about podcasting produced by my company, Ufi learndirect, with Kineo, please see (it’s a great guide particularly around the different styles of podcasts eg. Interview style podcast, but doesn‘t cover “how to make podcasting easy“)

There’s also a good podcast from Donald Clarke (a Ufi Board member)

Be great to hear from you if you have tips on “how to make podcasting easy for learners, teachers or customers”

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