WEEK 6: Podcasting - Voice tools and recorders
Podcast: A podcast is a kind of digital web where users can record audio and upload videos. Users can also modify what they create in a podcast. They can include new audio and modify background sounds.
Podcast belong to web 2.0 platforms because the owner of the podcast (the web head) and the different users can interact and share information.
Podcasts are divided into audio recorders (audacity) and voice tools (voki, pad-beam com, voxpop, mp3 file hosting sites, chyrfit, among others).
Audacity: Audacity is an audio recorder web page that is very dynamic for the users. We can record voices using this page and we can also add sounds and special effects. This tool is perfect for teachers to make their blogs and wikis more interactive for their students. It is also a good option for students who like to sing and they want to record themselves and pretend to be singer stars. Audacity can be used in face to face projects and on-line projects too.
According to the audacity web page there have been some changes and improvement:
- Control Toolbar renamed to Transport Toolbar. Input/output selection moved from Mixer Toolbar to improved Device Toolbar (on by default).
- New "Sync-Lock Tracks" feature (turned on in the Tracks menu).
- Equalization now supports importing and exporting curves. Noise Removal improvements including new option to isolate noise.
- Improved Automatic Crash Recovery with all project changes autosaved.
- New "Extended Import" Preferences for specifying audio file importers.
- (Windows and Linux) Close button now quits on closing the last window while File > Close clears to a new, empty project.
With these improvements the interaction among students and teacher can be better and knowledge can be learned faster thanks to technology.
Skype: It is a very useful web tool because it combines writing, listening, reading, and speaking. You have a chat where you can write a lot of information there. You can listen to other participants using an earphone. You can upload and download a lot of material that you can read and you can use a microphone to talk to other people. Nowadays the educational field is in a holistic approach. The more teachers apply the four skills in their students, the better readers, listeners, writers and speakers they become. Sky is a good option for students at any level.
Voxopop: I love voxopop because the main idea of this page is to improve communication. We have to remember that nowadays we are working in a communicative approach where students are the principal characters in a class and the teachers or facilitators just guide him/her to the correct way to learn. One of the problems about learning English as a Foreign Language is that we don’t practice our English with other people, not even with native speakers. In order to practice our speaking skills we can use listening tasks when we can imitate real task situations and voxopop provides that kind of bridge to bring social real life situations. Vaxopop is used by teachers all over the world to improve speaking. Voxopop is like message boards, but use voice rather than text and a have a specialized user interface. No longer confined to a physical classroom, teachers and students of different skills can interact from home, or even from opposites sides of the planet.