- Free audio recording tool; doesn’t require an account. Downside: Too much feedback in the recording but I wonder if that is a product of my particular laptop?
- AudioPal beta
- Free recording tool; requires you to call a phone number and enter a code. Felt like a little too much of a hassle to me, so I did not explore this tool further.
- Animated audio recordings; fun for elementary students and entertaining for all ages! Last time I tried this tool, it worked well with others languages but it had strict time limits (something like 90 seconds).
- Free download; works well. Chrome kept blocking my download, so I would suggest downloading in Explorer or Safari. Recording is much more bufffered and does not have feedback. Just be careful to press the pause button if you need to stop. When you press the stop button and hit record a second time Audacity can lay two tracks on top of each other – creates an interesting audio effect of gibberish!!
- Allows you to display an image and narrate over it. Others in the community can respond to the narrator. There is an edu version that is sheltered so your students don’t receive wide reaching comments that are less productive. However, the free account is limited to 50 student accounts (pay $2 for each additional account).
- Has a clean interface and also allows you to narrate over images. Free but requires you to start an account.
Compare the Results
I created a recording with five instructional ideas for using audio tools with your students. I tested Vocaroo, but was disappointed by the background feedback. When I used Audacity, I did not experience this problem as greatly. Listen to my recording and compare the results for yourself. I’ve also included the text so you can read or listen to the instructional ideas for audio tools in the classroom. Enjoy!
Audacity Audio Clip
WordPress did not allow me to upload this audio file so I had to upload it to Google Drive and store it here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2AVIfnm5MqmRUdrUUFqbG90QVE/edit?usp=sharing It will require you to open the link and download the file. Extra clicks! Bummer!
Vocaroo Audio Clip
Script for both of these clips
4 ways students can use Audio tools in the classroom:
1) Digital storytelling – If students are writing narrative essays or memoirs, ask sthem to record their narrative and drop it into a photo essay on iMovie or Windows Movie Maker.
2) Reviews – Movie reviews, restaurant reviews, product reviews, and book reviews, of course!. It’s important for our students to craft informative texts that help others make decisions.
3) Literary Dissection – Ask students to read a brief excerpt of a passage and analyze the author’s craft. This might include an explanation of theme, descriptive language that evokes strong imagery and mood.
4). Metacognitive Analysis – Have students use an audio tool to analyze their own work as writers. What did they like about their writing? Where did they use descriptive language? What types of revisions did they make? This audio file can accompany their final writing product.
5). Feedback. Record feedback on a class activity such as a science lab, a collaborative group project, or as an exit ticket for the day.