Thing 18 (Week 21): Publish a "Bare Bones" Podcast


PodcastMrBrown.jpgAs you learned in "Thing 17," a podcast consists of an audio file (in mp3 format) published to the web and an RSS feed (an XML file) that allows listeners to subscribe to your podcast using an RSS reader or podcatcher.

Technologically, producing a podcast is actually pretty easy. There are lots of free podcast hosting sites on the web, and many services available to help you host your own podcast and create the appropriate RSS feed. There are "pod-safe" music sites, offering Creative Commons-licensed music to enhance your podcasts. There are scores of recording devices, software options, and production tools to help you create polished, professional-sounding audio. (After you have survived this "Thing," and want to begin making "real" podcasts, with sound effects, multiple segments and background music, visit the Podcasting Resources page to learn about GarageBand, Audacity and other tools for your podcast).

Producing a quality podcast is not so easy. When you are ready to begin podcasting with your students, you will find the real work lies in planning, writing, editing, developing quality content, rehearsing and creating meaningful assessments. Just as blogging begins with reading, podcasting should begin with listening.

That being said, who can expect teachers to invest in all that planning and effort if they don't feel confident that they can actually produce the podcast?

So, let's make a podcast...

Discovery Exercise

Create a brief 1-2 minute podcast using GarageBand (if you are on a Mac) or Audacity (if you use a PC).

This "Thing" asks you to just "dip your toe" into podcasting by using GarageBand to record your voice on your computer. The goal here is for you to produce a legitimate podcast with as few "moving parts" as possible, so don't worry about jingles and background music at this time.

Mac users can use GarageBand for the whole thing. Refer to Nick Filipowski's page for directions- They are Great!

¤ NOTE: If you want to record and produce "real" podcasts, you may continue to use audio recording/editing software such as GarageBand or Audacity, plus a podcast hosting solution of your choice. This is just meant to be a practice experience.

‡ HELP Tip: Be sure to plug in your microphone or headset before you get started.

What should my podcast be about?

Your podcast should be about 3 reasons or ways to use podcasting in the classroom or for professional development.

Here are the steps, followed by both printable and video help resources:
Step 1 - Record a basic audio file using your computer. It's probably easiest to use a Mac with GarageBand (follow this link for instructions), but if you would like to use a PC, feel free to try out Vocaroo or Audacity (see help resources below).

Step 2 - Upload your MP3 file to PodOmatic to create a podcast. - THIS STEP MUST BE COMPLETED REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU USED TO RECORD YOUR PODCAST! Your podcast will be one episode in our class podcast feed on PodOmatic.
  1. Go to and click Log In.
  2. Log in with our group username (eshutters) and password (roycemore).
  3. Click on My Podcast --> Post an Episode. Enter a name and description (optional) for your episode and hit "Save and Continue."
  4. On the next step, click "Upload a file." Click "Select some files" and then navigate to your saved GarageBand file (it should end in .m4a). When the file is finished uploading, close the upload window.
  5. Don't worry about Photos or Tags for now. Just click on the "Review/Publish" tab. Review your info and hit "Save and Continue."
  6. The PodOmatic website will publish the site for you - that's it! Your episode is now part of our group podcast!
Below is the PodOmatic player showing recent class participants' podcasts! (I started with a few 1st grade fairy tale podcasts to get it going.) Please take a few minutes to browse and listen -- you may get a few good ideas! You can also access everyone's podcasts on our 23 Griffin Things Podcast Channel .

‡ HELP Resources
If you'd like to use Vocaroo:
  1. Go to
  2. Glick "click here to record."
  3. Click "allow."
  4. Start talking.
  5. Click stop when you are finished.
  6. Wait for the site to finish "communicating with the server."
  7. Click download message.
  8. You will be taken to another site where you will copy the URL to use for Zamzar.

Many resources for using Audacity can be found here.

PodOmatic has a thorough Help Page (perhaps too thorough?) - try using Ctrl-F (Command-F on a Mac) to find exactly what you're looking for.

‡ HELP Videos:


Write a brief blog post sharing a bit about your podcast-making experience, including at least one idea you have for producing a podcast to support classroom learning (or your professional role). Be sure to include "Thing 18" in the post title.

Stretch Task

Embed the PodOmatic podcast player into your wiki page or in a blog post.
Create more advanced podcasts using GarageBand or Audacity.