How can audio be used for education?

Audio can be used to:

  • introduce instructors to the class
  • test listening comprehension or foster discussion with news and entertainment clips
  • allow students to listen to lectures outside of class
  • record interviews

Example Uses of Audio for Education

Selecting a Microphone

Some laptops already have microphones built in, while most desktop computers do not. Here are a few microphones that should serve instructors well: 

If you want to record in-class lectures, it's best if the microphone can be attached to the instructor as he or she moves around the room. Similarly, if you want to record an interview or audio in a remote location, it's best to have a small, portable recording device with no wires to trip over. For these recording situations, you'll need a device that contains both a microphone and memory to store the recordings such as the one listed here: 

Although the Sansa is marketed as an MP3 player, it is also a voice recorder. While the audio quality won't be quite as high as audio recorded with one of the microphones above, it should be fine for most projects where the subject is moving or where you don't want to carry a microphone to capture the sound and a laptop to save the audio file.

Recommended Audio-Recording Tool: Audacity

Audacity is a free audio recording and editing program that can be used for a variety of needs, from recording audio narration for PowerPoint presentations to creating high-quality podcasts. (Please note that Audacity is a piece of software you must download and install on your computer. It is not a web-browser-based tool like many of the other tools featured on this site.)

Audacity Help

Creating a Podcast

Podcasts are audio files that users can subscribe to through an audio player like iTunes. Most podcasts are designed as a series with new recordings released on a regular schedule. It is possible to create a podcast that only contains a single file, but there's not much point in setting up a podcast if you only want to share one audio file. Instead, it usually makes more sense to simply share the file by email or by posting it somewhere on the web and sending others a link to the file.

There are many ways to create a podcast. You can use a program like Audacity to record, edit, and save audio files on your computer. Then, you can take your audio files and upload them to a service like iTunes University to share them with students. However, if you don't have access to an iTunes University account, getting audio files moved from your computer to the web and formatting them as a podcast can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are websites that can help with this process. One popular option is podOmatic.com.

Recommended Podcasting Tool: podOmatic

PodOmatic allows users to upload audio files from their computers and convert them into podcasts that can be embedded in other webpages or downloaded to iTunes. PodOmatic also allows users to record video and audio through their web browser, which eliminates the hassles of saving and managing files on your hard drive. 

PodOmatic Issues to Consider

  • Free accounts can contain only one podcast. Your podcast can have many separate "episodes," but all of your recordings will be grouped under a single podcast.
  • Free accounts include ads. These ads are only visible when viewing the podcast on podOmatic.com. They do not appear when the podcast player is embedded on another webpage.

PodOmatic Help