MP3 Players, Podcasting and Online Audio Materials in Education

presented by Sean FitzGerald

As part of the Casting the Net LearnScope Project

Audio from the presentation delivered on 26/07/05 (27.1 MB, 116 mins)


This presentation will introduce you to:

  1. MP3 players and how they can be used in education
  2. What podcasts are and how to subscribe to them
  3. How to find podcasts of interest
  4. Types of audio materials that are available online and where to find them
  5. Ideas for using podcasts and audio material in education

Background: Marc Prensky - What Can You Learn From A Cell Phone? - Almost Anything! (55.6kb PDF)

Portable Media Devices

Note: You can also download MP3 files to your computer and play them using Windows Media Player, Winamp etc.

What is Audioblogging?

Audioblogging is recording a blog or diary entry as an audio file and posting it to a blog.

How to Record an Audioblog

  1. Record the audio directly into the computer using a microphone and headphones (a $20 microphone headset will do) and a computer with sound recording software - e.g. Audacity (screenshots) - free open source audio recorder and editor or
  2. A recording MP3 player - e.g. iRiver IFP-700 Series or Funtwist D-Chord 240 or (you can edit and process the audio later in Audacity if you choose).

Ways to Post Audioblogs Online

  • Upload audio file to a server and post a link from your blog

What is RSS?

RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. RSS is a method for distributing and syndicating content from websites, news sources and blogs.

More about RSS - All About RSS || Fagan Finder

What is a News Reader (aka RSS Aggregator or Feed Reader)?

A news reader is a tool for aggregating RSS feeds from multiple sources and displaying them in one place.

More info: News aggregator - Wikipedia

Types of News Readers

Types of RSS Feeds

What is Podcasting?

Podcasting is a way of delivering audio content (typically in MP3 format) over the Internet. Listeners subscribe to the podcast using "podcatching" software which retrieves the latest podcasts and automatically downloads them to the listener's computer or portable music player.

Although podcasts were originally named after the iPod, they can be listened to on any MP3 player or MP3-enabled device (such as the new range of MP3 phones).

More info: Podcasting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Podcatching Software

Popular podcatching software used to subscribe to podcasts:

What's so Great about Podcasting?

Podcasting allows you to listen to audio content at a time and place of your choosing (commuting, jogging, gym, cleaning, beach).

Podcasting puts the listener in control of their listening. It has been described as "radio-on-demand" or "time-shifted radio".

What's more, a podcast is relatively easy to create, and requires only minimal equipment at low cost, giving anyone the power to make their own audio programs available to a global audience.

Types of Podcasts

See also an: Extended list of Uses of Podcasts.

Finding Podcasts

Podcasting Directories

Syndicated Services

Educational Uses of Podcasting

See an Extended list of Educational Uses of Podcasting.

Why Use Audio Lessons and Podcasts in Education?

  • By capitalising on the popularity of MP3 players such as iPods and up-and-coming MP3 phones, podcasting can provide an easy and accessible entry into e-learning and mLearning.
  • Support for students with low literacy skills, reading or other learning difficulties
  • Caters for students with auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles
  • Can provide extra material for motivated learners and be used to facilitate self-paced learning
  • Material for vision impaired learners
  • Can be used in distance education
  • Empowers students by allowing them to distribute their musical creations or poetry to the world and create their own radio programs

How do I Create a Podcast?

Method One - DIY

  1. Record the audio directly into the computer using a microphone and headphones (a $20 microphone headset will do) and a computer with sound recording software (e.g. Audacity - screenshots or podcasting software such as CastBlaster - screencast or PodProducer) or a recording MP3 player (example podcast setup screenshot). Save the file in MP3 format.
  2. Upload the MP3 file to a web host (e.g. Ourmedia)
  3. Create a link to the MP3 file in a blog post.
  4. Create a special podcast RSS feed either a) by hand, b) by using a third party service (e.g. FeedBurner) or c) by using blogging software that creates podcast feeds automatically (e.g. WordPress - instructions).

Method Two - Web-based Services and Hosts

  • - Blogger's free phone-it-in service (you still have to create an RSS feed)
  • Audlink - another free phone-it-in service (you still have to create an RSS feed)

Getting Creative with Podcasts

Resources for creating your own audio programs:

Other Sources for Audio Material Online

Legal & Copyright Issues

  • Copyrighted music
  • Podsafe music & sound effects
  • Privacy & safety

Casting the Net Learnscope Project

Other Stuff

Wiki Warning

This presentation was created using a wiki. Due to the very nature of wikis this presentation is ever evolving and always under development - this is the "wiki-way" - so if you see a resource here that you like grab it now - it may not be here when you return!

Copyright Info


This presentation is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 2.5 License. This means you can use and repurpose this resource as long as you credit the source and don't use it for commercial purposes (unless given permission by the author).

More Other Stuff

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