Topics covered in this lesson*:
- Tools and apps for easily recording audio
- Ideas for using audio in the classroom
* Remember you don’t have to explore everything in this lesson. Pick what interests you most.
Give your students a voice!
Audio tools help students record their thoughts, share book reviews, give presentations, gain confidence and more.
Using audio recording tools, your students could create a podcast series sharing book reviews on a weekly basis.
With the StoryCorps app students learn more about effective storytelling and can share family memories with the world.
Use voice typing in Google Docs to record thoughts faster than many students can type, particularly helpful for younger students.
Create audio blog posts, record presentations, practice vocabulary, share reflections and thoughts, and so much more.
For this lesson, get out your microphones, your laptops with built in microphone or your mobile devices and have some fun testing out audio tools. And remember, no one likes to hear their own voice, we just don’t sound right to ourselves do we. But the rest of us know what your voice really sounds like, so don’t be shy!
Articles, Resources, Examples
- Project Audio: Teaching Students How to Produce Their Own Podcasts – New York Times step by step guide to creating student podcasts. Great guide. (Note that the contest they mention has ended.)
- Preparing and Reflecting on Our Immigration Simulation Via Flipgrid – Andy Plemmons explains how his elementary school students used Flipgrid to reflect on an immigration project.
- Anchor for Painless Podcasts – Article covers getting started with the Anchor podcasting app. Also includes a great list of ideas for audio projects with students.
- 8 Great Educational Podcasts for Kids – some of these have kids as the host. Maybe some inspiration for your students to try podcasting!
- Clyp & Beautiful Audio Editor – Amy Carpenter, a Cool Tools participant, discusses her tests of these two audio recording tools.
- Add Voice Notes to Pictures in Google Keep – Using Google Keep with your students? They can add voice notes too.
- Edshelf collection of Audio Creation Tools – Use filters and options to sort by most popular, free vs fee, select platform compatibility.
- Overview of Audio Editing and Recording Apps for Mobile Devices – lots of apps!
- Audio QR Codes. Making Paper Talk! – fun idea for recording student book talks and putting QR codes in books to connect others with the audio review.
- 6 Storytelling Apps That Get English Language Learners Talking
- Student-Created Sequoyah Book Reports, AudioBoom, iPads and QR Codes, includes a short video that explains how elementary school students are using AudioBoom to record short book reviews. Make sure you watch the full 4 minutes, the kids do a great job explaining what they’re doing and why they enjoy it. Audioboom is no longer free, but you could do this sort of project with other tools like Flipgrid, Padlet, etc.
TOOLS TO EXPLORE
- Mobile apps – if you’re using android or iOS devices, check out their native voice recording options and apps.
- Vocaroo – Very simple tool, with limited features. Just click and record. No account or login needed. No editing options. Recordings are stored online, but not forever. Download for safekeeping or upload to other audio storage sites. Great for short recordings. Simple interface makes it easy to use with younger students. I often use it as a super simple test of any audio recording equipment setup.
- ChatterPix App – iOS only. Great for the little ones. Take a photo or snap a photo of a drawing, draw a line to indicate where the mouth should be and record your audio. Video plays back with the mouth opening and closing and playing your audio. Fun and easy. Cute examples here from Mrs. Mac’s Kinders Kindergarten class:
- Anchor – Free and easy to use app to record audio and create podcasts. iOS, Android and web. All podcasts are public, students must be 13 or older to have their own accounts. Podcasting with someone else is as easy as having a phone conversation. Listeners can leave voice messages, which can be added to your next podcast episode. Tips on getting started. Shukes and Giff is a fun edtech podcast using Anchor.
- SpeakPipe – Free, online voice recorder. No registration needed. Record up to 5 minutes of audio. Save to your computer and/or store online. SpeakPipe gives you a link to your recording. Recordings are stored for three months since the last playback. Audio file can be downloaded to save elsewhere. Great for students since they don’t need an email address to record and files are only accessible by the link you’re given. Recorded files aren’t added to a public stream of recordings, as they are on some free tools. Reported to work on Android and iOS through a regular mobile browser. (Nathan Hall’s guide to using SpeakPipe)
- Synth – Record short audio & video segments, up to 256 seconds long. When audio is played back, a transcript of the words scrolls by on the screen. Other users can respond to your synth with their own recording.
- Podcasting in the Classroom? Here’s a Byte-Sized Option – this post discusses how to use Synth in the classroom with students of all ages. Includes a video from Synth on use in education.
- FlipGrid – Now 100% free for educators. Great for sharing, stories, opinions, ideas and for assessments. Records video and audio up to 5 minutes. start by setting up “grid” and add individual “topics” to that grid. Teachers might set up separate grids for each of their classes, then add topics for different activities throughout the year. The topics are where students record their audio/video responses to questions. In a workshop setting, I might set up a separate grid for each workshop and then add topics for participants to respond to throughout the day.
- Catch the Flipgrid fever! 15+ ways to use Flipgrid in your class
- Want to try out recording something? Say hello and introduce yourself on this Cool Tools Topic
- Great getting started guides for teachers and students.
- Google Docs Voice Typing – Speak into microphone and google docs will transcribe your speech. Great for students who struggle with typing, takes that barrier away.
- Kaizena – The latest version of this requires a more complex setup than previously, but worth it for the ease with which you can leave audio notes on student papers.
- Audacity – Free, open-source recording and editing software to download and run on Windows, Mac, Linux. Lots of options, not the simplest tool to get started with, but very useful.
- Spreaker – iOS, Android, Web, Windows, Mac. Free podcasting plan includes recordings up to 15 minutes in length and up to 5 hours of recording storage. Has multiple options for recording including: desktop interface, online recorder, apps and more.
And 2 bonus tools that can be used to record audio and to create music. (I’m not at all musically talented, so didn’t thoroughly test these!)
- Soundation – Can be used to record audio through your microphone and also has lots of music creation options. Record and edit multiple tracks as well. Looks pretty powerful and could provide some really creative options for students. No login needed to get started. Create and download files without a login.
- Soundtrap – Very similar sorts of features, but requires login. Also has options to create collaboratively in realtime. Pretty cool. 🙂
MORE TO EXPLORE
- ADDITIONAL RESOURCES – Ongoing list of additional resources on this topic.
- Your choice! Choose one of the recommended tools or explore any other audio tool/app that you would like to test.
- Create some audio content.
- Consider how you could use audio with students.
- Your blog post:
- Embed or link to your audio content.
- Share your experience testing out a new tool.
- Discuss how might you use audio tools with your students?
- Or how you could you use audio tools yourself?
*TURNING IN YOUR ASSIGNMENT
- Write & publish your blog post.
- Copy the URL (webpage address) for your post.
- Return to your Google Classroom, find the assignment page for the lesson you just completed and follow the directions for turning in and sharing your work.
*Only for students participating in the workshop for PD credit hours through the Google Classroom.