The second round of teacher tech trainings introduces educators to sound recording and design for creating audio podcasts as a tool for learning elementary science. Teachers become familiar to different elements of sound, how to record narration, search for sounds online via google searching or downloading mp3 files from YouTube, and then using Audacity as a audio sequencer.
The in-class activity was for each participant to create an "audio postcard" of a natural place that is meaningful to her or him. They were to write a script that includes narration and two sound effects to enhance the podcast.
Here are the results from our participants. Most of them are still works in progress, but you will get an sense of what each educator is aiming to highlight.
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...."
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:
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?