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Anchor: for painless podcasts

If you’ve been reluctant to attempt podcasting for yourself or for your students, Anchor, just might be your solution. Available free at either the App Store or Google Play or at Anchor.fm, Anchor makes podcasting from your phone or iPad or Chromebook a breeze. It also makes podcasting a social media event.  And there’s virtually no learning curve to move from record to broadcast.

After creating an account, users record voices and sounds around them by simply hitting the record button. Add some goodies (like background music) and you have yourself a podcaScreen Shot 2017-08-07 at 10.17.28 AMst.

Partnerships with Apple Music and Spotify allow for easy music integration.  An interview button allows users to select a contact or to phone any US number directly from the app and record the conversation to add to their podcast station.

The interactive call-in feature makes it possible for others to phone in. Podcasters may choose to add the called-in recording to the station.

To add to the fun and to the professional sound of your podcast, the app contains a library of interludes and background tracks and sound effects (like bleeps, attention signals, a rewind sound and the sound of a window breaking).  You can easily create and reuse previously recorded clips.  Finally, select a title and add an image for your podcast. Voila!  You can easily share your completed podcasts on Twitter, Facebook, publish on iTunes, and/or add the episode to your station. Easily share your completed podcasts on Twitter, Facebook, publish on iTunes, and/or add the episode to your station.

Easily share completed podcasts on Twitter, Facebook, publish on iTunes, and/or add the episode to your station.

Of course, you can also listen to podcast stations created by others arranged in handy categories–news, sports, entertainment, video games.  And you may choose to engage in interacting with the producers of other shows.  Of course, not every station is going to be appropriate for every student.

NOTE: While writing this post, I discovered Soundtrap, a collaborative podcasting/music recording tool that is, perhaps, more useful in younger settings. Look for a review in an upcoming post. It does not appear to be free.

Why podcast?

As a teacher/librarian, you can use podcasts to promote new resources, share a favorite story, make announcements, flip instruction, explain concepts students may not get the first time around.

Consider engaging your learners in

  • conducting research interviews
  • sharing book reviews
  • broadcasting their debates
  • creating on-the-spot roving reports from school events or field trips
  • producing school news
  • reflecting on their learning
  • creating their own radio shows
  • broadcasting presentations
  • exchanging cultural information with other classes
  • practicing fluency in a target language
  • archiving a poetry slam
  • performing soliloquies
  • telling stories
  • connecting with experts, authors and other guests.

Better yet, let your kiddos discover the possibilities for podcasting themselves by suggesting it as one attractive and easy option in a robust communications toolkit.

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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