Thing 7: Audio Tools

INTRODUCTION

microphone
photo credit: Ayton via photopin cc

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.

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

TOOLS TO EXPLORE

  • 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.
  • Anchor – Free iOS and Android app. Record your voice, call someone and record an interview.
  • Spreaker – iOS, Android, Web, Windows, Mac. Free podcasting plan includes unlimited 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. Also serves as a podcast listening tool.
  • 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. 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)
  • FlipGridUPDATE: As of 1/9/17, there is a free, limited version of FlipGrid for educators. YAY!  If you love it, the K12 pricing for an unlimited single-educator account is $65/year. Great for sharing, stories, opinions, ideas and for assessments. Records video and audio.
  • 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. Runs on Windows, Mac, Linux. Lots of options, not the simplest tool to get started with, but very useful.

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. 🙂

LEARNING ACTIVITY

  • 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 the Google Classroom assignment page, 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.

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