Publish a "Bare Bones" Podcast using

Windows Sound Recorder (or Vocaroo), Zamzar and Gcast.


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 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 Windows Sound Recorder (or Vocaroo), Zamzar and Gcast. You DO NOT have to join or register for anything to complete this activity. (Feel free to create your podcast using Audacity or GarageBand if you know how -- you can still upload to Gcast).

This "Thing" asks you to just "dip your toe" into podcasting by using a free audio recorder that comes on every PC, a free file converter (Zamzar) and a free podcast host (GCast). The goal here is for you to produce a "legitimate" podcast with as few "moving parts" as possible.

¤ NOTE: If you want to record and produce "real" podcasts, you will use audio recording/editing software such as Audacity or GarageBand (for Macs), 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?

You can make your podcast about anything you want (as long as it is school appropriate). You can tell a joke, share a story or recipe, provide a summary of a current event, present a book review, explain a concept, ask some questions...

Here are the steps, followed by both printable and video help resources:

Step 1: Record a basic audio file (WAV format) using Windows Sound Recorder or Vocaroo (pick one of these two ways):
  • RECOMMENDED: If you are on a Windows machine, go to: Start > (All) Programs > Accessories > Entertainment > Sound Recorder. Using Sound Recorder, you can easily record and save a WAV file (here's a HELP video) to your desktop.
  • ALTERNATIVE: Anyone (PC or Mac) can go to Vocaroo to record a WAV file (here's a HELP video), then select "Download this message" to save it to your computer.
Step 2: Convert your audio file to MP3 format using Zamzar.
Step 3 - Upload your MP3 file to GCast to create a podcast. (I have sent the username and password to your Gmail account).

(NOTE: DO NOT create your own GCast account. We will use a shared course account to host all of our podcast episodes. Again -- I have sent the log-in onfo to your Gmail account). CALLIE WE SHOULD PROBABLY DO THIS

‡ HELP Resources (Printable): Zamzar and Gcast.
‡ HELP Videos:

Click on this link showing recent class participants' podcasts! (Click Posts to see a listing of all episodes). Please take a few minutes to browse and listen -- you may get a few good ideas! K12 Learning Podcast-O-Rama


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 "Publish A Podcast" in the post title.

Stretch Task

Embed the Gcast podcast player into your wiki page or in a blog post.

Course used with permission from K – 12 Learning 2.0