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Podcast Producer
by Jim Lengel, Hunter College School of Education, 09/07/10

The popularity of the podcast as a medium of mass instruction grows steadily. We have covered in this space several different approaches to creating and employing these useful tidbits of technology: iPad Producer,  From PowerPoint to Podcast, Portability and Podcasts, Audio Homework 2).. Many schools have already set up Podcast Producer for their faculty to use; if your school has an Apple server, it's included and simply needs to be switched on.

Podcast Producer provides an additional way for non-technical faculty to create podcasts. The system enables you to sit at your desk (at school or at home), or stand in the classroom, and record voice, video, and screen images as you deliver your presentation. With one click, everything you did is compiled into a podcast and posted on the server. This podcast can then be made available to students or colleagues online. There's no new software to learn, no editing, no post-production, no FTP, no file compression.

What you need

You need a recent Macintosh computer running the latest operating system, 10.6. Most of these include a built-in camera and microphone, which are necessary to make a rich media podcast. And you need something worthwhile to present. Before you capture your hour-and-a-half lecture on Emperor Diocletion, you might want to first try out a short piece for fun, just to see how the system works.

How to use it

1. Ask your server administrator to set you up as a user on the Podcast Producer server. They will give you a username and password for the server. They'll also give you the URL of the server, something like ourserver.school.k12.us.

2. On your Macintosh Computer, launch the Podcast Capture application. This is included with the latest operating system, 10.6. You'll find it in Applications --> Utilities.

3. The Podcast Capture program will ask you for the name of the podcast server. Enter the URL of the server.

4. The Podcast Capture program will ask you for your username and password. Enter the username and password that the server administrator gave you. (One you've done this, you'll never have to do it again.)

5. Choose a podcast type: Video only; Dual: video plus screen; Screen only; or Audio only. Most people are producing dual-mode podcasts, which record voice, video, and the contents of your screen all at once.

6. Get ready. If you are going to show slides, get your Keynote or PowerPoint file ready to go (but don't play it just yet). If you are showing web sites or other items, get them all staged on the screen.

7. Click the record button at the bottom of the Podcast Capture window.

8. Start your slide show or bring up your other displays onto the screen.

9. Look into the camera, speak up, and begin presenting.

10. When you are finished, escape from your slide show or whatever you were doing.

11. In the Podcast Capture window, click the pause button at the bottom.

12. In the Podcast Capture window, click the Publish button at the bottom right.

13. Choose Dual Source as the workflow; enter a name that communicates what the podcast is about; and enter a description that includes your name.

14. Wait as your files are sent to the server. This may take several minutes.

15. Now the server is working on your files, combining the video, audio, and screen capture into a podcast. This will take several more minutes. Go get a cup of coffee...

16. To see your podcast, in Podcast Capture, choose from the menubar Podcast --> Browse My Episodes.

17. If the server has finished with your project, you will see your podcast in the list.

18. Click on the name of the podcast to see and hear it.

If you want to post your podcast your school's learning management system, follow these steps:

  • Copy the URL of your podcast. It will be long a long string of nonsense, but don't worry, it will copy and paste just fine.
  • Connect to your course in the LMS.
  • Go to the Control Panel, and select one of your Content Areas.
  • Add a new External Link.
  • Paste the URL into the box labeled URL.
  • Enter a name for this assignment in the box labeled Name.
  • Enter instructions for using this video in the box labeled Text.
  • Click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

If you want to make your podcast available to students or colleagues, follow these steps:

  • Copy the URL of your podcast. It will be long a long string of nonsense, but don't worry, it will copy and paste just fine.
  • Paste the URL into an email, blog, wiki, or web page that your correspondents will read.

Podcast Producer is the quickest way to get a podcast from your brain (or your student's) and onto the web. The resulting file will play on any computer, and on most mobile devices, including the iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Its quality is high enough to display well on the big screen from the classroom projector.



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