It has never been easier to have your students make a podcast and publish it to the Internet.
I’ve been looking for something like ipadio since Utterli discontinued its support for Australian phone numbers around this time last year.
The ipadio service allows a student to pick up any telephone and record their phonecast (or “phlog”) directly to the web. Best of all, its completely free. Even the call is to a freecall 1800 number! (note: 1800 numbers are not free from cellphones). In comparison, even when Utterli was available to Australians, it cost a local phone call and if outside Melbourne or Sydney, users were charged for a long-distance call.
ipadio works seamlessly, too. To test it, I gave my students each a small research task – a question to find an answer to – and asked them to ‘phlog’ their response. If you would like to see the results, have a look at my students’ phlogs.
The best way to set this up is to first create a class blog (I use WordPress – but you could alternatively use Posterous, LiveJournal or Blogger). Then have each of your students point their browser to www.ipadio.com to set up a free ipadio account which takes about 5 minutes (remind them to sign up using their first name only). ipadio will give them a 1800 number to call and a 4-digit PIN number. Once logged in, have your students click the “Social Media” tab, and fill in the details of the class blog site you created earlier.
That’s really all there is to it! Now students just need to pick up a telephone, dial the 1800 number, enter their PIN, wait for the tone and start speaking. Whatever they record is cross-published to your class blog where you and your class can listen to and comment on each.
Obviously there is no easy way to edit your recording or add jingles and sound effects in post production (because there is no post-production!), and the audio quality is limited by the quality of the telephone’s mouthpiece – so I won’t be using ipadio to record Douchy’s Biology Podcast, but when all I need is a simple and elegant way to get my students podcasting from home, or anywhere, ipadio is just what I’ve been looking for. In fact, it feels almost too good to be true, doesn’t it?