Publish a "Bare Bones" Podcast using

Sound Recorder, Zamzar, Audacity


photo by David Clow
photo by David Clow

photo by David Clow
A podcast consists of an audio file (in mp3 format) published to the web and an RSS feed (an XML file) that allows listeners to subscribe to your podcast using an RSS reader or podcatcher.

Technologically, producing a podcast is actually pretty easy. There are lots of free podcast hosting sites on the web, and many services available to help you host your own podcast and create the appropriate RSS feed. There are "pod-safe" music sites, offering Creative Commons-licensed music to enhance your podcasts. There are scores of recording devices, software options, and production tools to help you create polished, professional-sounding audio.

Producing a quality podcast is not so easy. When you are ready to begin podcasting with your students, you will find the real work lies in planning, writing, editing, developing quality content, rehearsing and creating meaningful assessments. Just as blogging begins with reading, podcasting should begin with listening.

That being said, who can expect teachers to invest in all that planning and effort if they don't feel confident that they can actually produce the podcast?

So, let's make a podcast...

Discovery Exercise

Create a brief 1-2 minute podcast using BooMp3 and Zamzar.

This "Thing" asks you to just "dip your toe" into podcasting by using a free sound recorder (Windows Sound Recorder) and a free file converter (Zamzar). The goal is for you to produce a legitimate podcast with as few "moving parts" as possible.

¤ NOTE: If you want to record and produce "real" podcasts, you will use audio recording/editing software such as Audacity, plus a podcast hosting solution of your choice. This is just meant to be a practice experience.

‡ HELP Tip: Be sure to plug in your microphone or headset before you get started.

What should my podcast be about?

You can make your podcast about anything you want (as long as it is school appropriate). You can tell a joke, share a story or recipe, provide a summary of a current event, present a book review, explain a concept, ask some questions...

Here are the steps, followed by both printable and video help resources:
Step 1: Record a basic audio file (WAV format) using Sound Recorder in windows.

  1. If you are on a Windows machine, go to: Start > (All) Programs > Accessories > Entertainment > Sound Recorder.
    There, you can easily record and save a WAV file, then follow the directions for Zamzar (Steps 2 below).
  2. Anyone can go to Vocaroo to record a WAV file, then select "Download this message" to save it to your computer.
    Next, follow the directions for Zamzar (Steps 2 below).
Step 2: Convert your audio file to MP3 format using Zamzar.

(NOTE: If your school blocks YouTube, you can also use Zamzar to convert and download YouTube videos for use in the classroom. Here's how.)
Step 3 - Upload your MP3 file to your webpage or moodle

‡ HELP Videos:


Complete the Class Moodle Journal project for this session.