Podcasts are a modern adaptation of the classic radio broadcast, but have a HUGE variety of potential uses in classrooms even in the elementary school classroom. In terms of 21st Century Skills, communicating ideas in a clear, engaging way is critical, and podcasting incorporates so many other 21st century skills in addition to communication: flexibility, technology literacy, media literacy, information literacy, creativity, collaboration, social skills. I would argue it hits every 21st Century Skill. Creating student podcasts may sound like a daunting task. It’s easy and HYPER-engaging, as you’ll see below. Here I’m going to lay out how you and your students can get started with podcasting on an iPad!
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What You Need:
iPads have a built-in microphone. But as my students and I tested out recording our voices with the built-in microphone, we got a lot of backgorund noise and a hollow, echoey type sound. I researched a bunch of different USB microphones. Let me tell you there are a LOT of options for a USB microphone! The one that I bought for my class was the Blue Snowball iCE. It was one of the cheapest options, so that made me really happy. It was also one of the highest reviewed USB microphones.
With an iPad, as with all things Apple you need to get the USB to Lightning adapter to be able to use the microphone. Apple calls it a camera adapter, but trust me, it works just the same with a microphone as I’m sure it does with a camera. (Note: the links are affiliate links and I may receive some benefit if you choose to purchase through the links.)
If you’d rather get something smaller and also doesn’t require an adapter, another microphone that I’ve been using and has worked really well for a variety of applications in addition to a podcast is a this lavalier microphone that plugs into the headphone jack of any device. It comes with 2 microphones that could be used separately and also comes with an adapter that allows you to connect them so that 2 people can be using them at the same time. It also comes with extension cords to make the cords 13 feet long each.
GarageBand App Setup
Most times when you think of GarageBand you think of music and instruments, but the Audio Recorder is perfect for recording voice. In fact, most of the big time podcasters use GarageBand to record their podcasts.
Here I have a video showing how to setup GarageBand, but if you’d prefer to read I have instructions below.
Settings on GarageBand:
-Voice Recorder – Narrator
-Tap the + sign and change from 8-bars to Automatic
-Tap the wrench, then tap Metronome and Count-in and turn off Count-In and tap “No Sound”
-On the main Audio Recorder screen, test the audio level by looking at the bar on the left side that moves up and down. You want the levels to stay “green.” Red on the sound level bar shows that it is too loud. You can change this by moving the slider up and down.
That is all you need to know to start having students recording their voices doing podcasts. In another segment, I’m going to go over pre-production and planning and also editing and publishing.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments!