This podcast assignment was one I had been looking forward to all semester. It comes as a creative breath of fresh air after working on other research-heavy and writing-centric assignments. Though this assignment did include it’s fair share of research and writing, I found that because I was able to apply myself in a creative way, I actually had fun making these podcasts!
Podcast 1 [transcript]
Podcast 2 [transcript]
Podcast 3 [transcript]
After creating these podcasts, I walked away with a few things:
- In choosing my podcast topics, I simply asked myself, “Is this something I would be interested in learning more about?” Doing this sparked an interest in myself that ended up making the research process enlightening and fun to talk about.
- Before even touching a microphone, I wrote down what I wanted to say. I found that by itself my writing was too scholarly and unnatural sounding if read out loud. In fact, when I read my first podcast script out loud to my boyfriend, I believe his exact words were “You’re using too many big words.” So, when writing the rest of my scripts I focused on finding a balance between language that sounded educational, yet conversational (the key to making a good audio recording, if you ask me).
- I had never used Audacity before this assignment, but me being the cocky digital native I am, I attempted to wing it without any sort of training. Of course, that worked just about as well as you would expect. I finally broke down and watched Tony Vincent’s Audacity tutorial on YouTube. How the heck was I supposed to know an “Envelope Tool” controlled the volume? Needless to say, the process went much smoother after I watched the tutorial. The extent of my Audacity editing consisted of cropping out extra breaths and pauses and mixing/rendering tracks to create one line of dialogue.
- I discovered just how much effort needs to go into recording your voice. Things like vocal inflections, intonation, and phrasing play such a huge part in making a human voice pleasing to listen to. On average, I broke down each script into 1-2 sentence recordings at a time. I would record, then listen. If I felt I sounded too boring or robotic, I would record again, this time while smiling or gesturing (or perhaps I’d even edit the sentence in my script to sound more conversational). The key here was to exaggerate everything!
- Ultimately, I walk away from this assignment with an understanding of how great podcasts can be as both teaching and learning tools. As a teaching tool, podcasts are accessible and compact pieces of information – great for learning on the go. By simply loading the audio file on your mobile device, you can learn from just about anywhere! As a learning tool, podcasts are a unique, creative way to understand a subject. From firsthand experience, the research and effort that go into making a quality podcast is quite significant. By asking students to translate knowledge in their own way, you are giving students creative freedom and allowing students to better prove their understanding.
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