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Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

Tag Archives: Voice Recording

QR Codes, Voice Recording, and Google Docs

This is a great project for elementary and beyond. Report/bio/non-fiction writing in a Google Doc with an embedded QR code that links to the student reading excepts from their research. You may print out book style when complete, or create on online flip book using sites such as Issuu, Youblisher or Flipsnack.

Learn how to easily record your voice, generate a corresponding QR code and make your Google Doc come alive!

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Poetry VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a site that allows you to upload images or video, and comment on the images via voice recording, text, images, or webcam. Here’s a recent project (still a work in progress) one of my 5th grade classes did using poems they wrote, and pictures they drew which were inspired by the poems. After everyone had uploaded their pictures and recorded their poems, each student viewed all of their classmates’ poems and left a comment of either text or voice. In the embedded version below, you can navigate through using the play button and the left and right arrows. If the text comments are a little too small, you can see the full version here. Feel free to leave a comment to any of the poems.


EdTechIdeas: Voicethread is a great platform for publishing student work and enabling others to view and comment on it. Students love hearing their peers’ thoughts and critiques. Once complete, a Voicethread can be shared around the world and comments can come from family members and friends living thousands of miles away.

The Secret to Student Podcasting

Is podcasting something you’ve wanted to do for a while, but have just never set aside the time to get it going? Podcasting enables students a tool to publish what they are learning, and also, it allows parents and family members to be able to not only hear their loved ones via the internet, but also to subscribe to a podcast via iTunes.

Setting the Stage

The first hurdle is finding a site to host our recordings, as iTunes does not host directly. There are many pod-hosters out there. One I recommend is called Podbean (http://www.podbean.com). Podbean is easy to set up a free account (100mb storage space is pretty limiting, so if and when things grow, I may decide to upgrade to a paid subscription), and the layout is similar to other blog sites, so the learning curve is fairly easy. Once you have your account at podbean set up and your first podcast recorded, you can submit your feed to iTunes (go to this page for the step-by-step procedures within iTunes). It took about 24 hours for iTunes to review my feed and accept it (I’m not really sure how critical they are with the review procedure as my only podcast at the time was me saying, “This is a test.”).  Once accepted, you have a direct iTunes link you can send out so parents, grandparents, teachers and students can subscribe to your podcast and then whenever you add a new recording, iTunes will alert the subscribers. Cool!

Nuts and Bolts

Now that the foundation is laid, it’s time to add the excitement – students’ voices! I’m using Audacity (free download) to record and convert to MP3s as it’s an easy program and the recordings come across crisp and clean. The microphones we use in my lab are Audio Spec C-100m, which are basic, middle-of-the-line mikes. We’ve rubber-banded a piece of Kleenex over the tops of the microphones to act as wind screens and this low-tech fix really does the trick in reducing the loud gusts of winds that students somehow always seem to produce while recording.  After the recording is to the student’s liking, they “export as MP3” to a shared folder. From there, after checking the recordings for quality and ensuring they didn’t give away any personal information (last name, address, phone number, etc) I upload the files to my podbean account. From there, iTunes updates the new recordings automatically in a matter of a few hours.

Give it a Listen

If you’re curious, the next time your in the iTunes Store, do a search for “SAS Geckos” and you’ll find us. You can also check us out on Podbean: http://sasgeckos.podbean.com

Got some other ideas about podcasting in the elementary classroom? Leave us a comment.

Morse Code – Turning 4th Graders into Telegraphs

morse_code_alphabetOne of my 4th grade classes is learning about electricity and magnetism in one of their Foss Science units and they are getting into Morse Code. I thought we’d get a first-hand feel of how the Morse Code alphabet works so here’s what I did. I first played them the Morse Code alphabet video (which you can find in my Vodpod section on the left side of this page) and then had each of them do a search to find the Morse Code alphabet (you can also print it out to save time – my way saved paperJ).  They then each opened up Audacity and recorded either their name or a question, using their voices for the dots and dashes. They then exported the sound as a WAV and brought it into PowerPoint to make a finished product that they can share with their classmates.  The classroom teacher is obviously teaching them more about the history of how Morse Code was developed and the students all know that the code was not created by human voices being recorded onto computers.

My lab was filled with sounds of beep, beeeeeeeep, beep, but they really took to the project and have a better understanding of the way the Morse Code works.

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