One of my responsibilities here at Academic Technologies is to move our Technology Incentive Grants forward. At this point, my Web 2.0 groups have been formed, met as teams, and are planning their projects. I have created wikis using Google Sites (through our Boise State Google Apps domain) so that we can easily track and share our progress and resources.
This past week, my Blog Project team members have been posting their ideas/plans for how they are going to use blogs in their classes this fall 2008. I am now reading through and responding to these ideas.
As always, I use these challenges to improve my tech skills . . . to come up with the best ways of facilitating and implementing their plans. One of the faculty team members wants to use blogs as a reflective/informative vehicle to write about conducting interviews, the interview process, and a way to invite interviewees to post questions. This would be a great application of blogs, but of course, I can think of how to make this even MORE powerful. Here is my idea:
Since students would also want to conduct interviews, why not use the blog as a place to put these interviews and also to invite comments? You can upload an audio file to an online repository and then link to it in your WordPress blog. (Or if you pay for an upgraded account, you can directly upload mp3 files to WordPress.)
Here are the steps:
- First of all, you’ll need to record your interview. We have great little digital audio recorders here at Academic Technologies to check out (ask for the Zoom H2). These record directly to an mp3 file and you can set this little baby on a table between the two of you and start talking. The quality is great and the file is formatted for upload to your WordPress blog.
- Once you’re done, take that file off of the recorder and put it on your computer. (You can take out the memory card and use a card reader or connect the audio recorder to your computer via the USB cable.)
- Find that file and listen to it. If you want to edit it, you can use Audacity, a free audio editing program that is easy to use and multi-platform. I have Audacity handouts available on the Workshops page of this blog, so take a look and download any that look good to you.
- If you’re happy with the quality, then you will probably want to rename your file. Go to your file, right click it, select rename, and call it something you will recognize.
- Publish your audio file to an online repository, such as blip.tv (You’ll need to create an account, but this is free.) Or, if you have online web space in your department, ask them if you can post audio files to a folder there. After publishing/posting your audio file to an online space, copy the URL location of that file.
- Go to your blog post where you want to insert the file and select where you want the file link to show up.
- Click the HTML tab and paste the URL of your audio file into the code. Your readers will be able to listen to your file. (Hint: Blip.tv provides you with a special code for WordPress blog insertions.) Here’s an audio file I inserted using blip.tv and pasting the code into the HTML of the blog post:
See how easy this is? Try it out if you want to post interviews and other forms of audio files. You might also think about just using blip.tv as an audio blog project for your students. You can post comments about your audio/video files on blip.tv and also receive comments.