More and more it seems like teachers are finding ways to incorporate audio into their classrooms. I have been using this for years and found a few nuggets of wisdom to pass on:
1) I LOVE TO LEARN VIA AUDIO! I know that’s not really a nugget but one should take note that not ALL people enjoy learning via audio.
2) KIDS TEND TO NOT LIKE LIKE LEARNING THIS WAY. On my previous point, I mentioned some don’t like learning this way. Well, after trying to assign my students listen at home for several years, I learned that most of them did not care for sitting and listening.
3) Since most of them only sat and listened to the computer, I thought “let’s add some visuals!” So I had my senior T.A.’s create “movies” where they would take the snippet of audio, drop it into a video editor, and then add appropriate images. For example during an NPR interview about Karl Marx & the Communist Manifesto, the T.A. added images of Marx, Europe and class struggle during that era. The students reported back they GREATLY appreciated these visuals as opposed to just the audio.
Below are a few examples of what this looks like:
This is an interview from NPR about Karl Mark
This is an edited clip from an audio book titled: 1491
Finally, I want to share a few ways to edit and clip a piece of audio in order to ONLY share the parts you want the students to hear. The primary reason for this is that you know you only have about 15 minutes worth of “attention time” from you students. Add to that, much of what you may want to share with them exceeds those 15 minutes. Another possible reason is that you may find that there are parts throughout a clip which you want to take out.
So, here are several different ways if you would like to take part of a piece of audio (podcast, radio interview, audio book) and share it with your students.
The podcast app called Pocketcasts is the best podcast tool out there in my opinion. One of my favorite features is
“Share at position in podcast”. What this allows you to do is to pause any podcast where you want your students to listen from. Then click SHARE and choose the POSITION IN EPISODE. Then copy this link and share it with your class. This will take anyone who clicks on the link to the spot where you had paused it. This will only take the listeners to a START point, not a stopping one. So, it's a quick a simple way to get your audience to a place to begin their listening.
2) Download and edit
This step is a little bit more advanced and can be done using a variety of different tools. Here are some of the most popular tools for editing audio
Audacity (PC or Mac)
Garage Band (Mac & iOS)
Soundtrap (on the web)
Here are the basic steps you will need to do.
Earlier I talked about how to add images to your audio. There are countless tools out there to do this but some of the easiest are:
iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, WeVideo, Adobe Spark, Adobe Premeire Elements, to name a few.