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Teacher Tech Training Workshop 1.2: Podcasts for Science Exploration

| July 12, 2011 | 30 Comments
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Today, we are looking at the affordances of recording and editing sound for science exploration. Sound can be a great way to engage young learners to identify the aural characteristics of an environment to advance their knowledge.

For this workshop, you are asked to design an “audio postcard” of a place of nature that is meaningful to you. The purpose of this assignment is to share a place you love with your students and to descriptively inform them of why this place is so special. These podcasts should include recorded narration of your voice that describes the place along with two to three effect sounds that can enhance the sense of place and time, perhaps. The structure of this piece can be interpretive. It can be poetic, expository, or even in the form of a letter — “Dear students, I am writing to you from….”

Here’s an example that Nancy created about her walks by Lake Merritt.
Nancy’s Lake Merritt by KQEDucation

This project will combine audio that you will record into Audacity along with audio that you will find on the internet. A great way to find audio is through YouTube. There is a special way to download the audio version of the YouTube video. Here’s how…

Downloading sounds (MP3 files) from YouTube

To download sound files from YouTube, you must use Firefox and you will need to download the add-on from Mozilla. Do the following steps:

2. Click on ADD-ONS at the top.
3. Type YouTube MP3 in the search bar.
4. Click on the green button next to YouTube MP3 (second one at the top)

 

5. A new window will open, select INSTALL NOW
6. Another window will open, select RESTART NOW
7. Go to YouTube and find the video that you want to take audio from.
8. Click on the tab Download MP3 on the top of the video.

 

9. A new window will appear. It may take awhile for the video to convert, then click Download. 

 

HOW TO USE AUDACITY
And here’s an educast video that explains how to download Audacity from the Internet as well overviews how to record audio, import audio files, create new tracks, and do basic editing and manipulation of the audio.


 

The flow chart for this process is as follows:

1. Brainstorm and come up with a topic.
2. Write the script – narration & think of two sound effects and music (optional)
3. Record the narration in Audacity.
4. Search for sounds online via Google Search or YouTube MP3.
5. Download each sound file.
6. Import sound files into Audacity.
7. Sequence the sounds in order.
8. Change audio levels as needed to make the sound mix good quality.
9. Export as WAV or AIFF.
10. Serve cold. 

Before you begin your script, please take a few minutes to decide on the topic of your audio postcard. What place will you describe? And, what 2-3 effects will you include?

Good luck!

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Category: K-5 Science, Teacher Trainings

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About the Author ()

Matthew Williams is a filmmaker and media educator who has recently transplanted to Oakland from Los Angeles. He believes that you are what you eat and feels everyone should have a multitude of dietary options for self-realization. Matthew is the Educational Technologist at KQED.
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14990347172983562242 Jake

    The meaningful place I'm thinking of describing is located on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Wai' O' Pae tide pools. I'm planning to include a Hawaiian chant and some ocean wave/snorkeling sounds.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14990347172983562242 Jake

    The meaningful place I'm thinking of describing is located on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Wai' O' Pae tide pools. I'm planning to include a Hawaiian chant and some ocean wave/snorkeling sounds.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05930591321697058048 Lindsay

    For my postcard I will be describing AT&T Park/ a baseball game. Some effects I will include are a bat hitting a baseball, fans cheering/talking, sounds of vendors walking around.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05930591321697058048 Lindsay

    For my postcard I will be describing AT&T Park/ a baseball game. Some effects I will include are a bat hitting a baseball, fans cheering/talking, sounds of vendors walking around.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05805607032549626542 suusang

    Alliance Redwoods, California

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05805607032549626542 suusang

    Alliance Redwoods, California

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00616377388911254047 Unknown

    Like Jake, I will also be describing a tropical island beach with sounds of lapping waves, sea birds and other of my favorite vacation sounds!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00616377388911254047 Unknown

    Like Jake, I will also be describing a tropical island beach with sounds of lapping waves, sea birds and other of my favorite vacation sounds!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03290616670532181096 LQB

    My Audio Postcard will be walking along the Hudson River in New York City – sound effects: bicycles, talking, boat sounds, roller blades

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03290616670532181096 LQB

    My Audio Postcard will be walking along the Hudson River in New York City – sound effects: bicycles, talking, boat sounds, roller blades

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06812199642931186529 Sylvia

    For my podcast I will be describing a walk on the beach by the ocean. Noises of sea gulls, children playing dogs barking and the waves.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06812199642931186529 Sylvia

    For my podcast I will be describing a walk on the beach by the ocean. Noises of sea gulls, children playing dogs barking and the waves.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10454665910473482054 Sol.Senga

    The meaningful place to me that I will be describing is the little park near my house where I take my daily walk. I'll use background sounds like birds chirping, people playing on the grass, etc. The real challenge for me would be to create background for the sunset which I always watch in awe everytime. Any ideas?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10454665910473482054 Sol.Senga

    The meaningful place to me that I will be describing is the little park near my house where I take my daily walk. I'll use background sounds like birds chirping, people playing on the grass, etc. The real challenge for me would be to create background for the sunset which I always watch in awe everytime. Any ideas?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13497359305139550021 Sannie

    I am planning to do an audio postcard on working out in a gym with a topic of "All Work No Play?" I am trying to capture the emotions of a person looking forward to a good workout after a hard day of work. Beginning with parking of the car and quick walking steps to the gym. Banging of the locker door followed by approaching a exercise class with music on. The ending would be the exciting sound of people working out doing belly dance.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13497359305139550021 Sannie

    I am planning to do an audio postcard on working out in a gym with a topic of "All Work No Play?" I am trying to capture the emotions of a person looking forward to a good workout after a hard day of work. Beginning with parking of the car and quick walking steps to the gym. Banging of the locker door followed by approaching a exercise class with music on. The ending would be the exciting sound of people working out doing belly dance.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07623299370950499081 Monina

    My audio postcard will be a letter to my students explaining why our classroom is special to me. sound effects: students laughing, songs we will sing, students collaborating

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07623299370950499081 Monina

    My audio postcard will be a letter to my students explaining why our classroom is special to me. sound effects: students laughing, songs we will sing, students collaborating

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08662722273869026532 JenW

    I recently went to Yosemite National Park. I will be describe my experience of what I saw there. I will include the sounds of waterfalls, a flowing river, possibly sounds of wildlife or footsteps of hikers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08662722273869026532 JenW

    I recently went to Yosemite National Park. I will be describe my experience of what I saw there. I will include the sounds of waterfalls, a flowing river, possibly sounds of wildlife or footsteps of hikers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01188650833689135423 Amy Cottle

    I will be writing a dialogue on the Cape Cod National Seashore. My focus will be on Nauset beach and my previous experiences there. In my description I will include the natural beauty of the beach, sea creatures, beach sounds, etc..Possible Sound Effects:seagullswaves crashingpeople talkingkids playing

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01188650833689135423 Amy Cottle

    I will be writing a dialogue on the Cape Cod National Seashore. My focus will be on Nauset beach and my previous experiences there. In my description I will include the natural beauty of the beach, sea creatures, beach sounds, etc..Possible Sound Effects:seagullswaves crashingpeople talkingkids playing

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06394922078039304854 Jean

    A walk on the beach of Santa Barbara.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06394922078039304854 Jean

    A walk on the beach of Santa Barbara.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10454665910473482054 Sol.Senga

    After much thought, I'm changing the topic of my audio postcard to Azores Islands, Portugal. I'll use sounds of crashing waves, sheerwater bird sounds, cows mooing, wind in the trees, etc.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10454665910473482054 Sol.Senga

    After much thought, I'm changing the topic of my audio postcard to Azores Islands, Portugal. I'll use sounds of crashing waves, sheerwater bird sounds, cows mooing, wind in the trees, etc.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07623299370950499081 Monina

    I decided to write a poem instead of writing a letter.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07623299370950499081 Monina

    I decided to write a poem instead of writing a letter.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13890878298166743314 Joyce

    My audio postcard describes a night camping experience with crickets chirping, an owl hooting, a crackling fire and even a mosquito.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13890878298166743314 Joyce

    My audio postcard describes a night camping experience with crickets chirping, an owl hooting, a crackling fire and even a mosquito.