Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Using Audio to Enhance Your Flipped Website

This is the third part in a brief series on strategies to create/improve your flipped class website (or course management system, ex. Edmodo).  

Although creating screencast videos is part of the flipped class model (although far from the only key component!), I think creating audio files is an easy and efficient way to make your online learning environment even more engaging.  

For example, you may want to provide a quick overview of a unit or assignment, but do not necessarily want to go throughout the process of scripting, recording, and publishing an entire screencast video.  A quick and relatively simple solution is to create an audio file.   For example, Mr. Rose and I (Mr. Driscoll) created very brief audio introductions to accompany our profiles on the "About" page of our website.   We recorded the MP3 file using Audacity (freeware).  Here are the links if interested:

Mr. Rose Intro

Mr. Driscoll Intro 

Another option is to use SoundCloud.  This web-based application is very easy to use and embed into an existing website or course management system.  One of my grad school professors used soundcloud to create brief audio intros for each week.    It may not sound like much, but this adds a personal touch to the online learning environment that students really do appreciate.

Although MP3 files are pretty simply to make, SoundCloud may be your best bet if your do not have much experience with creating audio files or if you are simply pressed for time.   Also, invest in a USB mic!  It will only cost about $20 and will sound 1000x times better than a $7 analog mic that sounds like you are recording under water...