Monday, April 16, 2018

Podcast Recording and Editing Tips

Podcasting has made a resurgence in recent years. Many teachers are now including podcasting projects in their classrooms. Edublogs recently published a great guide to help you get your classroom podcast started. Editing a podcast before publication can often be the most tedious part of the podcasting process. Dennis Grice has a tip that can make editing a little bit a easier. In his video published on Next Vista for Learning Dennis shares two easy-to-follow tips to make your recording sound better and make your editing a little easier.

In his video Dennis mentions using Audacity to edit the podcast. If you have never tried Audacity, Mike Russell has a great set of tutorial videos right here.

How to Create a Custom Google Forms Theme

A couple of years ago I published a video tutorial on how to create a custom Google Forms theme. More than 10,000 people have since used that video tutorial to customize the appearance of their Google Forms. One of the criticisms of that video that I have heard from some viewers is that it goes too quickly so they have to rewind it a few times. To remedy that problem I put together a set of annotated screenshots that illustrate each of the main steps in the process. Those screenshots can be seen in the slideshow that is embedded below.

And here's the video for those that prefer a video explanation.

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Find the Features of Digital Vaults in DocsTeach

The U.S. National Archives used to have a great feature called the National Archives Digital Vaults. The Digital Vaults site offered great tools for teaching with primary sources from the National Archives. One of the aspects that I particularly liked was called "pathways challenges" which allowed students to see the connections between events and primary sources.

Unfortunately, the National Archives discontinued the Digital Vaults service within the last year and let the domain fall into the control of someone who now uses it to sell a "stop snoring" product. The good news is that offers many of the features that Digital Vaults used to offer.

Applications for Education
If you previously used the "pathways challenges" in the Digital Vaults, the following two activity templates on can be used for similar purposes.

Making Connections is a template that you can use to create an activity in which your students analyze two or more primary source artifacts to find the connections between them. Students also have to identify the connection between the the primary sources and an event or theme.

Seeing the Big Picture is a template that you can follow to create an activity in which your students will match excerpts from primary source documents to events, people, or themes.

Both templates are accompanied by detailed directions. And if you want to see examples of the templates in action, you will find these templates used in the activities published by DocsTeach staff and other teachers who use DocsTeach.

DocsTeach is one of the many resources that I feature in my Teaching History With Technology course that is on sale today and tomorrow

2000+ Recordings of Poets and Fiction Writers Reading and Discussing Their Work

A few years ago the Library of Congress published an online collection of audio recordings of poets and fiction writers reading and discussing their works. At the time of its launch the collection contain 124 recordings. Since then the collection has grown to include more than 2,000 recordings.

The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature contains recordings of writers reading some of their poems and other works. Many of the recordings are long interviews with the writers during which they read some of their works. The audio can be heard on the LOC website and or embedded into blog posts as I've done here. Below you will find the recordings of Ray Bradbury and Robert Frost.

Applications for Education
The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature could be a good resource to use during National Poetry Month. You could have students search for and listen to recordings of the authors of a favorite poem. Or you could select a recording yourself for your students to listen to a writer's explanation of his or her thoughts on what makes a good poem.

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