Tuesday, July 24, 2007

History Podcasting - part 1

Last year at the Ontario History and Social Sciences Conference, I spoke with Pat Baker, a teacher at Leaside High School in Toronto. She was working on a couple of great projects, one of which was podcasting war stories.

It's a great project and really gives a sense of how students can create their own podcasts that force them to really engage with history and be creative.

I've been working on some guidelines on how to get started creating podcasts and it goes roughly as follows.

  1. Get a microphone. I bought my own mic from a local computer store. You can get a good quality mic for 25-40$, and probably for less than that. I got a Logitech USB microphone that I find has really good sound quality, and because it is a USB mic it is easy to plug in and get started.
  2. The next step is to get a recording program. I've been using Audacity which is a free open source program. It is pretty straightforward to use (play, record, etc) and you can point and click to move files around, copy and paste, etc. I found it easy to correct mistakes by deleting sections as well.
  3. Once you have a mic and audacity and created a short clip, you will want to save it as an MP3 file which requires one additional download. You need to download the LAME Mp3 Encoder library. Once you have this click on File, Export as MP3, and the once you add a name the program will ask you to find lame_enc.dll. Just make sure you remember where you saved the file. You only have to do this the first time and then you're good! Check out this tip sheet for more info on this step.
  4. The next step is getting your podcast online, and before I can explain that, I have to do it myself. If you have your own website than it is easy enough to just post your podcast and link to it. But since we're doing this on the assumption that you might not have your own site, we're using a few examples from podbean and ownmedia. Check out our sample podcast up at podbean.
So we are up and online, but that's only just the beginning. Check back soon for Podcast part 2.

1 comment:

Benjamin of Tudela said...


I've created a website where I'm putting together all the historical podcasts and organizing them into a useful directory. I'm making pages for specific historical Figures , and putting on each page all of the relevant episodes for that character from the different podcasts. So for example if you searching for podcasts about Napoleon, you will find 10 different podcasts with around 35 episodes about him. Or there is a different page dedicated to podcasts about Alexander the Great.

specifically related to you I have a Henry viii page!

Please check out my page: http://historicalpodcasts.googlepages.com
I'm sure you get many e-mails asking you to link to them. However I'm sure you will see that my page is a high quality site and a useful tool. I started the page a week ago, and I need links to help the site grow.

thanks! let me know what you think!