Podcasts have become a popular avenue to share ideas, collaborate, and delve deeper into our interests. While people of all ages regularly use podcasts to learn more about their interests, the relevance of podcasts to formal learning – namely, in school settings – has only recently been understood. The impacts on student engagement, creativity, problem-solving, and equity are well-documented. However, many students and educators are left wondering exactly how to create a student podcast.
When educators provide students with the opportunity to create their own podcasts, students learn to think critically about the topics they’re learning and develop their own perspectives on their real-world applications. Cloud-based podcasting technology equally has the power to transform your students into engaging storytellers and skilled interviewers.
So if you’re a teacher, consider helping your students create their podcast through these five easy steps, and in doing so you’ll be teaching the change-makers of tomorrow on how to have their voices heard today!
Firstly, let’s answer the “why” question:
Currently, over half of Americans listen to podcasts on a regular basis. With such a vast number of podcasts, there’s certainly something out there for everyone, whether you have mainstream tastes or love niche topics. Congruently, students of all ages have exciting, engaging ideas that the world is ready to hear, and a podcast is a perfect way to empower young people with creative and authentic self-expression.
Consequently, let the steps below guide you in helping your students create their own podcast. Leverage intuitive podcasting production software, like Soundtrap for Education, and create something great. Then along the way, please share your story and theirs with us on our Twitter page so we can relish in the amazing things you create with us.
1. Start with the Basics
Many students want to jump into podcasting without any prior knowledge. As an educator, it’s important to help your students understand the fundamentals of podcast production before encouraging them to start their own podcasts.
Although topics and themes are an important part of an engaging podcast, encouraging students to learn about the digital audio workstation (DAW) they’ll be using is essential for any hopeful podcaster.
Structure your lesson plans around fundamentals before jumping into creating a full podcast. This way, these lesson plans can guide and properly support your students on how they can add or edit tracks, adjust volume, insert loops and presets, and even create beats for the podcast intro or outro.
As an instructor, it’s up to you to decide the best way your class can learn, but as you go through lesson plan development, making sure your students fully understand what a podcast is and its intended goal only after teaching the mechanical basics of podcast production. It will ultimately yield better results and final projects.
2. Choose Your Topic
What’s the goal of getting your student into podcasting? Are you trying to teach them a new language, show them how to collaborate, or help them explore their creativity? At this point, you’ve helped your students understand the basics of a DAW, but it’s now time to pick a topic based on your subject’s criteria.
If you’re teaching a language class, you can have your students, individually or in groups, create podcasts teaching basic Spanish, French, or even English. According to the lesson plan, you can encourage students to focus on specific locations and explore the dynamic dialects of each region. Have students talk about the food, the culture, and even the environment on their podcasts. In this way, they’ll better understand the language they explore.
Alternatively, if you’re a history teacher, the same rules apply. You can assign students to develop podcasts that explore a specific period of history, a notable hero, or even how a region has changed over time. The students can be assigned topics, learn the material, build podcast show notes, and discuss them with their fellow podcast co-hosts. Then, as they explore their subject more in-depth, they’ll be encouraging those co-hosting fellow students to engage with their topics much more than if they were each tackling the project on their own. Some AP teachers have even made podcasts a central tenet of their curriculum because of this benefit with very promising results. From this, podcasts are an extremely effective way to help students retain information because they encourage students to learn immersive integration of the subject matter.
3. Encourage Collaboration
Getting students excited about a subject is a challenge in its own right. Fortunately, creating a podcast means that students will be able to work with each other to find creative solutions.
After deciding on your subject, you can divide students into teams or groups and set a timeline for project completion. By having set groups, students can focus less on learning every part of the podcasting process. Instead, they’ll be able to work on individual aspects of the assignment and material that interests them.
Collaboration on the creation of a podcast will also benefit your students. Through the platform, they peer-review assignments, learn teamwork and peer influencing skills. This happens all while suggesting edits for each other, and helping each other work towards something great.
Alternatively, the collaboration and influence others doesn’t have to stop within the classroom or even your own school. Encourage your students to use the hashtag #podcastclassroom to share and collaborate with other students globally on social media.
The final benefit we’ll cover here is the positive aspect of podcasting is that students won’t need to be in the same place to collaborate. It doesn’t matter if classes are hybrid, fully online, or in-person, Soundtrap for Education allows students to collaborate from anywhere and on nearly any device. Want to see this in action? Sign up for a free trial here.
4. Mix Your Podcast
You’ve helped your students understand the mechanics of Soundtrap, assigned a topic, and split them into groups to collaborate. Now, it’s time to put the finished product together. Fortunately, unlike past mixers, students are not required to have extensive technical knowledge of audio production. We have your students covered!
Instead, students can simply import their files, record their sounds on the software, and begin the mixing process. Specifically using Soundtrap for Education, students can:
- Add additional narration
- Rearrange recorded segments
- Remove any mistakes
- Insert effects for voices
- Enhance the mic
- Change presets
- Adjust base
- Fine-tune vocal volume
Mixing is made easy, and students can collaborate with each other in the Studio to see exactly what fits for their podcast theme. As an educator, you’ll also be able to listen to the recording and adjust the aspects you need.
If you’d like students to edit the podcast without listening to it repeatedly, some DAWs can help. Intelligent DAWs give students the ability to transform conversations into spoken-word audio files that can be edited directly on the platform. In doing so, intelligent DAWs save valuable time for the podcasters.
With Soundtrap for Education, students can connect with teachers, faculty members, co-hosts, and guest speakers while recording separate tracks in the Soundtrap Studio. Within the studio, teachers can comment on different parts of the episode and leave constructive feedback for students.
Finally, when the mix is ready to go, Soundtrap for Education enables students to work with their collaborators. They can create a unique podcast jingle that differentiates their podcast and makes it sound professional. Students can use Soundtrap’s built-in sound effects to polish their podcast before releasing it to the world.
Create Your Student Podcast with Soundtrap for Education
While there may be many podcasting platforms available today, none compare to the benefits of Soundtrap. Soundtrap for Education is devised exclusively for students ready to become master storytellers. As an added benefit, Soundtrap helps educators teach students in ways they want to learn.
Soundtrap for Education is the ultimate audio production platform for students and teachers to create and edit audio recordings unlike any other. This innovative platform provides users with automatic transcription tools, interactive editing. Additionally, users can upload their podcast directly to Spotify. Students and teachers can easily tap into their artistic side with this intuitive audio platform. The platform facilitates a creative learning environment for every subject, regardless of the student’s age or experience level.
With Soundtrap for Education, students and teachers can collaborate with advanced cloud technology at any time or place. In addition, the platform comes equipped with a robust resource portal. The resource portal contains tutorials, an external curriculum, and lesson plans to complete the educational experience. Teachers can ensure that student collaboration is safe and secure with invite-only groups in Soundtrap’s versatile digital environment.
If you’re ready to enhance your educational experience with an intuitive cloud-based audio production platform, get started today with Soundtrap for Education! Or if you know a teacher who may benefit from this article please feel free to share it with them.