Creating Your Own Podcast: A Guide for Teachers
Written by: Luke Jones
Step 1: Develop a Topic
The first and most important step to creating a podcast is to develop a topic you want to discuss. It is necessary that you choose a topic that you are eager to explore and can find plenty of information on. You should consider a topic that others would be interested in as well. As an educator, your audience could be colleagues, parents or your students. In considering a topic, be aware of what your audience would like to hear you discussing. Once you have developed a topic and feel confident with it, you are then able to begin the second step.
Step 2: Gathering Material
After you have decided what you would like to discuss the next step is finding others that are already discussing the topic. You want your podcast to be unique, however, still relevant to what you and your audience are interested in. Explore other podcasts and see what others may be discussing in your field. Once you have established your niche begin exploring other materials on your topic such as: blogs, articles, newspapers, books, TED talks and websites. These resources will give you material to begin discussing. Through these resources you can begin to build sub-topics that can later be episodes. Attempt to find creative and unique resources so that your audience is entertained and well informed.
Step 3: Recording
There are many ways to go about recording. The best option is obviously with professional microphones and sound equipment. (i.e. headphones, mixing board, mic-stands) However, if none of this is at your disposal, any recording device at all may be used. Using your laptop or computer microphone can work just fine for your podcast. When recording, make sure there are few outside distractions and you speak clearly so that whatever recording device you are using can pick up your voice. This will save time for when you are editing later.
Step 4: Editing
Editing your podcast is an important step. I have found using the program Audacity is the easiest when editing. This is a free program, which you can download from the Internet just by searching. It allows you to splice, cut and give affects to any audio you import. You can even record directly into audacity. Importing audio is easy-just go under the file tab and select import audio and from there you can choose any audio you have saved from your computer (see Figure 1). Not only are you able to clean up your recording by deleting unnecessary parts, you can also add music and make the podcast sound more professional. This can be important when you are considering adding an intro and outro to your podcast. An intro and outro can be as simple as a recording of you explaining what your podcast addresses and information about subscribing with possibly music in the background.
Step 5: Publishing Your Podcast
After you finish editing your recordings and you feel you have a well-polished finish product, it is then time to share your podcast with the world. One way to go about this is through Podomatic.com. This free service allows you to seamlessly upload any audio as a podcast to the web. After creating an account you can easily upload any mp3 file, add a photo, name the podcast and then click publish. The website then gives you a link you can then use to share. After your podcast is published you can copy the link address by right clicking the “download” icon from your podcast page (see Figure 2). With this mp3 link, you can upload this to a blog or website. By uploading your podcast to a blog or website, you are not only using multiple media outlets so that your podcast is heard easier but you also are making your podcast look more professional through a personal blog or website.
Step 6: Uploading Your Podcast to a Website/Blog
It’s best to upload all of your podcasts onto a website or blog to make your podcast look more professional. This will not only make it easier for you to share links to your podcast but also reduces any ads you would like your visitors not to deal with. The best website service I found to use is WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a free website that allows you to create a website or blog and makes it easy to upload any mp3 files. After selecting a theme and design you like, you are ready to upload your link you received from podomatic.com. In your own posting page of wordpress.com, select the “add media” tab. After selecting the media tab select the “insert URL tab.” (see Figure 3) Here is where you can insert the link from podomatic.com. After that click, “insert post” and then “publish.” The media file will appear on your website. From there you can edit your website or blog to your liking. Once your website or blog is finished and you have uploaded your podcast(s), you can then start sending the link to your audience.
Step 7: Marketing Your Podcast
After you have created your podcast, published it and then uploaded it to your website or blog. It is time to market your podcast to your audience. One effective way to go about this is by sharing your website or blog via social media. WordPress.com allows you to share your information directly to facebook or twitter. Another way is by submitting it to iTunes. Through iTunes, people can subscribe and follow your podcast more closely. Focusing on material you believe your audience would be interested in is the biggest marketing tool you can have. The more you cater to you audience the more your podcast’s popularity will grow. Have fun with it-Good Luck!