PC Pod

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Thank you for visiting PC Pod’s Teachers’ Guide to Blogging and Podcasting. This guide aims to help educators unravel the mysteries of blogging and podcasting. But……what is a blog? How do I podcast? PC Pod is here to help….

Blogging – a blog is an online journal, which can be accessed worldwide, and allows people to publish and share their thoughts, ideas and work. The beauty of blogging is that your audience can respond through comments on your blog.

According to blog hosting service ‘Blogger’:

A blog is whatever you want it to be – a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.

Podcasting – create your own radio station! Podcasting is when you upload an audio file – any audio file – to the internet, which can then be downloaded to your computer and, if you wish, to any mp3 player – no iPod required.

So, why blog?
· Provides the children with a real audience for their work.
· Motivates children to produce their best work.
· Allows interaction and meaningful feedback through comments – from around the world! Check out:

http://www.sandaigprimary.co.uk/pivot/archives/poetsarchive_2005-m10.php
· Allows opportunity for reflection.
· Enhances home-school links.

How to blog

You need: A computer; an internet connection; an email address. That’s it!

What to do: First of all, find a blog hosting site, such as:

· http://www.blogger.com/
· http://www.livejournal.com/
· http://www.edublogs.org/ (specifically designed for educators).

On the main page of your chosen site, there will be a button to let you create your blog.

In Blogger, it looks like this:

blogger grab1.JPG
On Livejournal, it looks like this:
livejournal grab1.JPG

And on Edublogs, it looks like this:

edublogs grab2.JPG

In each case, follow the simple onscreen instructions – you will be asked for your email address, so make sure you are able to check your mail from where you are. You will be sent a copy of your username and password.

Once you have set up your account, go to the main page of your blog host, sign in, and start blogging!At some point in the creation process, you will be told the address of your blog, such as:

where ‘myblog’ is the name you have given your blog. If you want people to look at your blog, this is the address you will give them.

The level of security your blog has is up to you – most hosts will allow you to specify who sees your blog, from a select few, to the entire world.If you want to look at other people’s blogs and comment on them, most blog hosts will provide a search field on the main page, from where you can explore other blogs.

Check out these blogs for inspiration!

Now that you have successfully ‘blogged’ you are ready to graduate to the next level – time for podcasting!

Why podcast?

· Podcasting adds another dimension to schoolwork – makes learning exciting and

purposeful.
· Gives children a voice – publishing to a wider audience.
· Flexible learning – take it anywhere!
· Motivational – a whole new style of learning, where children can take ownership of
the learning process.
· Cutting edge technology for the ‘digital native’.
· Reinforcement of learning – learning in a real and modern context.

How to podcast.

When you podcast you need: a computer; an internet connection; an email address; a microphone; recording software, such as audacity, which is free to download here: .If you intend to include sound effects or music, have these saved on your computer first (remember copyright laws!)If you have problems connecting your microphone, speak to your AV technician or equivalent expert!

When you open Audacity, it looks like this:

audacity11.JPG
To create a voice recording:
· Click the red record button when you are ready to record.
· Click the stop button when you want to stop – it’s that simple!
· The recorded track will now appear, like so:

audacity21.JPG

· To add additional tracks, such as backing music and sound effects, repeat the process

To add a pre-existing music or effects file:

· Click the project menu
· Go to ‘import audio’
· Browse for your file.
Copyright free music is available at:
http://music.podshow.com/index.php (you will need to create a free account)
Save files to your computer; mp3 only.

Here, we added an mp3 file – there are two tracks, because the track was recorded in stereo:

audacity 3.JPG

Once all your tracks are recorded, you can edit them to suit your requirements. To do this, you should:
· Drag and highlight the area of the recording you wish to edit.
· Use the tools at the top left of the screen,
or
· Use the tools in the effects menu to do this.
· You can also cut and copy areas of the recording.Play about with it until you get the hang of it! Remember to use the ‘help’ menu if you need to.Before you can podcast your file, you must export the recording as an mp3 file. To do this, go to the file menu, and select ‘export as MP3’.

At this point, you may find that you are prompted to download a lame_enc.dll file.

Don’t Panic!
· Go to this site – http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~raa110/audacity/lame.html
· Pick any link and download the file to your computer – it will save to your desktop.
· Open it, and extract it.
· Go back to Audacity, try exporting your file again.
· When the program opens a window, select ‘desktop’.
· Open the ‘lame’ folder.
· Double click the ‘lame’ icon. Your file will now save!
· Give it a name, and you’re done – your file will now be in the ‘my music’ folder.

Take a break. You’ll need it!

coffee.gif

When you are suitably refreshed, you will need to find a place to store your mp3 online, to allow people to access it.

If you have your own webspace, you can host it there.

If you don’t have webspace, you should use a hosting site. A good place to do this is http://ourmedia.org/ . You will need to create a free account.

The main page, once you are logged in, looks like this:

ourmedia grab1.JPG

To upload your file:

· Go to My Controls on the left hand sidebar.
· Click ‘publish my media’
· Click the ‘audio’ icon.
· ‘Submit audio’ page comes up.
· Enter the title of your file.
· Browse for the file.
· Enter a name for the author/artist (you!)
· Enter a description of the work (at least 5 words long).
· Scroll to the bottom of the page.
· Click submit.
· A page will appear saying ‘your audio was created’.
· There will be a link to your file – copy it (write it down to be on the safe side)
· Your file is now online!

Still awake? Good – now to the final step (hooray!)

· Go back to your blog (remember the blog?)
· Open a new post
· Type a short introduction to your podcast, then paste the link to your podcast. It will automatically become a hyperlink to your file.

To check that it has uploaded successfully:
· View your blog
· Click the link
· When prompted to save the file, do so
· Enjoy your podcast!

Here’s one we made earlier!

This podcast was created for a Higher English class, (pupils aged 16-18) to help them to learn Romeo and Juliet quotes for their exam. Using audio base resources accommodates those pupils whose preferred learning style is auditory:

http://www.archive.org/download/Balcony_Scene_Excerpt_1/balcony.mp3

As far as using podcasting to create radio-style shows, check out this fabulous site:

http://www.sandaigprimary.co.uk/radio_sandaig/index.php

An MS Word version of this document is also available here:

http://snipurl.com/o2yk

… and you can see this set of instructions on a wiki – http://pc-pod.wikispaces.com/

13 thoughts on “PC Pod

  1. James Farmer on said:

    Wow! What a great resource!

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  3. Maggie B on said:

    Hi group

    Well done!

    This is very good considering the festivities I know you are all enjoying! (Just jealous!)

    I really like the screen shots which are a great boon to a newbie like me. This has inspired me to create my own blog around my attempt to run the London marathon next year. I feel this is a worthy addition to the list of idiot guides to… something I tend to need a lot lately.

    Good luck with your presentation

    Maggieb

  4. Great work guys – I will definately be able to use this East Lothian.

  5. Hi guys!
    I’ve tried adding internal links, but the html keeps doing strange things … the named anchors disappear and the links to the anchors point towards the admin tools. So I’ve given up. Anyone knows how to divide up a blog with headings so that you can jump to the relevant section?
    Cheers!
    Ruby

  6. Bob Hill on said:

    I am so glad to see that your time at Stirling was not given over completely to riotous living!!!

  7. Hi folks. I’ve been trying to correct the formatting; not being WYSIWYG this has proved somewhat frustrating. I’ve left it in an ‘improved’ state but not perfect!

    To give a single line break enter three carriage returns whilst holding down the shift key.

    Beware that getting one line right can cause other to loose their format(s).

    Andy

  8. Graham on said:

    Hi Fellow Podforcers

    What’s happened to our sidebar? There also seem to be bits of text jumping about everywhere.
    Let’s hope PC Pod can solve the case of the missing side bar and errant text!
    Was a good few days, wasn’t it?
    Graham

  9. Graham(again) on said:

    Sorry… ignore comments about sidebars… have been up since 4:45. That on top of my exploding head from the past few days… well!
    Have a great weekend!
    Graham

  10. Lelsey on said:

    Just sat down at the computer to try and type up some notes from the course to give to colleague who was unable to attend. Read your blog and now I don’t have to! Brilliant instructions and much appreciated.
    Thanks
    Lesley

  11. Noooice! :o)

    Have pointed teachers in our PD workshops to this post to get them inspired to start their own blgos and podcasting! Great resource folks, well done!

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