dan lasota's masters in education portfolio for online innovation and design

onidan

Podcasts

17 August 2012

Duolingo

  • The podcast file
  • Duolingo.com
  • Extended TED talk at Carnegie Mellon University by Luis von Ahn one of the programmers who made CAPTCHA and is working on Duolingo:
  • Khan Academy Knowledge Map showing mathematics skills in a similar manner in which the language levels are displayed in Duolingo.

Freesound Project

MIT OpenCourseWare

Reflection

I enjoyed this assignment. Since GarageBand was already loaded on my Mac, I decided to use it. It was frustrating at first because I was not familiar with the sound board and editing table. But after a few tries and some help from friends who have used GarageBand before, I was able to accomplish what I wanted. On my first few recording attempts I used the built in mic on my computer. This was a mistake. The sound quality was poor. I used a headset with built-in a mic which swings just to the side of my mouth. The sound quality improved greatly.

I thought about the strengths of the audio only format. One advantage is that listeners can take it wherever they might go. If it was part of a regular series, my students would be able to listen as and when they please, probably away from a computer. If I had staged it on iTunes, they would get it when its published, rather like the audio version of an RSS feed. Another advantage is that without having to prepare visuals, it was relatively easy to put the podcast together. I was able to complete my second and third casts in even shorter time. The weakness of an audio podcast is that web links and embedded videos do not come through. I believe I overcame this obstacle by assuring the listeners that the links are on a website they are familiar with and they can find them later, should they desire.

My editing process was interesting. I noted in Tatiana’s blog and Linda’s comments that they found their written words were changed by the time they recorded their final version. I first re-read my script and broke it up sentence by sentence, almost like a television anchor would read from a prompter. I put words that I wanted to emphasize in all caps. Then I read the script aloud and I noticed that certain words and phrases did not work well, so I changed the script. As I read I noticed that I would omit or insert items. I also made the script read as I wanted to speak it. This helped me have a smooth speaking tone.

I learned not to wiggle and creak my chair during the recording and found it best to have a glass of water nearby for drinks between takes. I did make a few mistakes as I recorded. When I mangled a word I just paused and then re-spoke the last sentence. The long pause gave me a chance to roll my script back and also gave me an identifiable place on the GarageBand screen to splice out.

I am also glad I was introduced to Archive.org. The embedding code for my uploaded mp3 file is clean on a desktop machine, a little less so on an iPad (but it does function). The podcast is licensed under Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 which I am happy with.

2 thoughts on “Podcasts

  1. Skip Via says:

    Like Lorinda, I love the integration of hard links in the blog and mentions in the podcasts. It’s always difficult to communicate links verbally.

    Excellent work, and I learned about some valuable resources. Duolingo is amazing.

  2. Fattic says:

    I really liked the idea of including the links that related to your podcasts below the actual podcast. Made it really easy to follow.

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