How and Why We Use Audio Recorder
in English III
Academy Laptop School, Suffield, Ct
I use web pages in my class for several reasons:
- I create web pages, instead of handouts, that delineate curriculum and
its various contexts. I post sites with text, links, images, sound, PowerPoint,
- I have students create their own English web page in order to create interdisciplinary
connections as well as personal and cultural connections to our literature.
They also post personal narrative writing samples; we do not post analytical
Let's Start with What Students Know Well: Mp3s, Dude!
|My students know how to analyze poetry; I also want them to appreciate
it. I was pleased last year to see them appreciate a poem more when I asked
them to visualize it through a series of web pages. That success made me
want to reach for more. This year I wanted my students to appreciate the
sound of the poem; I wanted everyone to taste the words more deliberately.
Knowing that students are quite dexterous with recording tunes and managing
Mp3 files, colleagues and I wondered if there were more efficient ways to
incorporate sound in a our multimedia work with poetry. We discovered Audio
Previous Audio Attempts and Problems
||Last year we had set up a pseudo sound studio in a separate
classroom to record student voices. This process was logistically challenging,
tedious and often recording work was interrupted; students also froze with
fear in this environment. In contrast, audio recorder allows students to
record in the comforts of their home or dorm room. We no longer have recordings
of students sounding as if they were choking victims; students take their
time to get it right. The natural readers excel, and the quiet, shy and
international students work without being embarrassed and now have a better
environment to perfect, and more importantly, personalize their poetry selection.
The Tools That You Need
- Audio Recorder or Similar Software;
- Computer With Microphone;
- Web Page Software;
- Web Space on a Server;
- (or CD Burner and/or mp3 Player).
Easy To Use Audio Recorder
- Download Free Software from a site such as Versiontracker;
- Click on Recorder Icon;
- Click on Record;
- Click Stop and the ability to save as an mp3 exits;
- Save it to a web folder on a server and link it to a live page!
Benefits and Unexpected Good Results
It's Fun: Students appreciate their poem
and have fun creating these personal sound prints. The students also appreciate
listening to their own voices as well as their classmates. Because they have fun,
I think that this fun project is a great complement to analytical study of poetry.
In the long term, students may remember these projects and poems more; I think
that they own these poems. In fact, one of my students discusses on his web page
how fun and easy it is to use Audio Recorder; he put a set of directions on his
"Audio Recorder 1.3 is a very useful tool that can help with presentations,
projects, or if you just want to record music or your favorite stories"
Students reread and read more
poetry out loud. Interestingly, this use of technology throws us
back to the oral traditions of poetry, reading it out loud with a performance
in mind. I have observed students read several poems out loud until deciding either
on a poem that they can manage or upon a favorite. Although it is not a live performance,
this software allows students to personalize their audio projects in a easy process
with their own laptop or computer. The finished product becomes a performance.
In many cases, students chose poems in our anthology that we did not read for
homework. Click here for someone who lives in New York City and was determined
to record Whitman's "Crossing
the Brooklyn Ferry."
Fun projects naturally involves parents and
advisors. I had my laptop next to me during the fall parents' weekend and
clicked on each student page during the conference. This helped create a climate
of publishing because parents know to keep checking the page as it grows. This
audio dimension now makes the student pages more personal to the students and
parents. Advisors are also more invested readers and consumers of the web pages;
many times I have caught an advisor in passing and suggested to check out an advisee
page. This follow up happens naturally and does not need paperwork because there
is an air of publication, posting. Overall, sound is a great dimension that adds
personal quality to a page and will help encourage students, parents, advisors,
and schools to begin to realize the potential that we are creating valuable electronic
Gray matter matters. I have learned
from the brain based research that accessing certain pathways in the brian is
essential for long term memory. Noninvasive MRIs and other brain scans allow
scientist to study such pathways and show the results when students personalize
and marinate a piece of curriculum with a meaningful personal experience. The
science today is now confirming some wisdom that master teachers have known:
it's no wonder that we remember our third grade Play-Dough clay model of Mt.
Vesuvius because it was a wonder to us when we created it. As a result of learning
more about this science, I am more aware of the methods and assignments in my
classroom. In some cases, I see that technology can be a natural way for a student
to be absorbed into creating a personal project with a piece of curriculum.
Learning new technology with my students is also a great way for me to role
model healthy habits of a life long learner. I find myself maintaining an interesting
on-going dialogue about keeping a positive mindset with respect to learning
new things in the field of technology.
With the many recordings of these American poems, I am making an archive of
the pomes that we are studying. This audio archive will help that population
of our students who are auditory learners or other learners who benefit from
listening to literature while reading.
for a student who on her own added music in the background to her poetry.
|Click on the conference image to learn more information about the Learning
and the Brain Conference this spring; I find this to be a productive and
Exploring the Multi of future Multimedia
projects. Always upgrading with new software and technology is another
healthy habit of a life long learner. Role modeling this also helps me create
a more student centered class; I'm not exactly sure of what is the next step,
so that we all take turns leading, following, and assessing. These endeavors stretch
us toward to more creative endeavors. Using the I-Book to create multimedia stimulates
the imagination. I am curious to link this audio work with images in I-Movie and
try more profound mixes of images and sound. I have been inspired by similar projects
on the Transom.org web page; it hosts various projects involving basic Mac computers
The Future with audio projects?
- Check out: http://www.transom.org/index.html
"This web site Join this experiment in audio-and-the-internet. We're
looking for new and different voices, for good ideas. Record your stories.
Send them to us. Listen to other people's work and talk about it."
- I meet with six students, a small group from my three sections of junior
English. Some of these students are experienced "techies" and some
of them are new to technology this year. We gather to explore our next steps
with technology such as other possibilities with Audio Recorder and other
general uses of technology.
Small Audio Gallery
A wide range of student examples: