I had my first experience with podcasting and I have to admit I did not enjoy it as much as I did taking pictures and editing them. Maybe because it was a new experience. Maybe because I was not familiar with Audacity, the program I used. Wait, who am I kidding? I am not familiar with any audio programs. Maybe it was because I tend to be perfectionist and I couldn’t be…at least not on my first try.
So here is my experience: I knew what story I wanted to use to tell about me and that is the story of when I received the phone call the night my mom ended up passing away. I ended up rewriting 4 times?? I would record it, then not like how something sounded so I would change the wording and rerecord and then I wouldn’t like it and then end up rerecording the whole thing instead of bits of it. I think it was because my voice would sound different in the different recordings so I would just do it all again so my voice would be the same. Have I mentioned I can be a perfectionist and sometimes the little things make me crazy?I still kept trying to change things as I added sound effects and the background music.
Sound effects: 3 am. Not really much I could think of outside of snoring and my phone ringing, which is what woke me. I found these sounds at freesound.org. I did play with this, with fading in and out, and increasing/decreasing the loudness in order to get them to blend better. But of course, just when I think I have it…I change the effect. I decided, at the last minute, I did not like the sound effect I had chosen (a phone vibrating) so I changed it. Ugh.
Background music: I think this was probably the hardest for me to find. I wanted something mellow, because it was at 3am yet something that said there was a little worry going on…I think what attracted me to my final song was the title “One Hour Before”. The title said a lot to me. It is hard to explain but it was like all this happened one hour before (ok more like 2) my mom passed away. I did try to play with this a bit and get it lined up with quiet moments, where I added silence, during my speaking so the music was a little more “there” and quiet it when I wanted my talking to be more prominent. I actually ended up playing with it and messing it so much that I ended up cutting off the music before I was done speaking. Then I listened to it and I decided I liked how the music ended and I kept talking. Like, what I had to say was so profound that there shouldn’t be music.
What did I learn through this project: How to find videos on Youtube on how to use Audacity. There is a lot on there. I did get to play with sounds and music and recording. It is a harder skill than I thought. It takes time. And patience. And the willingness to make mistakes. And I don’t like the sound of my voice on recordings. Oh! and having a mic besides the one on the computer does make a huge difference in sound quality.
I can see how using podcasts could be beneficial in a classroom for both teachers and students.I do, however, see students taking a lot of time to create one. I think about the amount of time it took me…but they are more tech-savy so maybe it wouldn’t take them as long.
As for teachers, if you taught the same content, such as a math class, year after year, I can see how creating podcasts would be beneficial. You could use these if there were a sub or to create a classroom where students could work at their own pace by moving through the podcasts as skills were acquired. I don’t feel, with my content changing daily/weekly based on student needs and the support they need from me for their content classes, I don’t think I could do it. I do see how I could create podcasts to help them with grammar aspects. This is something I think I could manage…something without sound effects and music that would consume my time trying to figure out 🙂