Vocaroo -This site is truly simple to use. All you need is the Internet and a microphone. You click to record and click to stop and select either embed or save. I am very familiar with Vocaroo because the Foreign Language teachers at my previous school used this web tool on a daily basis. The teachers would record their voice and embed the link into Schoology (a Learning Management System) or save the file as an mp3 or wav and insert it on to their class page. They also used this for testing. The teacher would record their voice and students would have to translate the word to written english. Sometimes students were required to translate something and turn the file in as well.
Voki – This tool was fairly easy to use. You can choose a character, change the hair, mouth, eye color, skin color, and clothing. There are multiple options to add your voice. You can record by phone, use the text to speech feature, your microphone, or even upload a file. There are limitations when using the free version for sharing. I wanted to be able to embed the Voki on my blog and that simply wasn’t an option but, the image worked. I had to get creative and I decided to screen shot the image from my Voki creation page and then I linked the Voki url to the picture. When you click the picture below it will open in the Voki screen and you must press that play button.
Blabberize – This site was great once I got the hang of it. I initially clicked create on the right hand side instead of the top and all the sudden it took me to some website creating tool. When I went back to Blabberize I realized that it was an advertisement. After that it wasn’t difficult to use. I added a picture of my dog, played around with the mouth, and added my voice using the microphone. I did create one using my dog – Maizey. There is also the feature to record your voice using the microphone, a phone call in, or a file. Overall it was easy but, if I had to choose I prefer Voki. My Blabberize took a long time to save an I definitely see that to be an issue if you had numerous students working with time constraints. I actually left my computer after a few minutes because I got impatient.
I went through many of the podcasting sites to try and find one that appealed to me using this site – http://gettingsmart.com/2015/02/60-podcasts-check/. I wanted to listen to one related to technology so I started with those and struggled to find one that I liked in all honesty. I then looked through many others and found a library one that is great! The Let’s Get Busy Podcast – http://lgbpodcast.blogspot.com/. This podcast is by Matthew Winner and his interviews of authors, illustrators, and book reviews would all be very beneficial to use in the library or in classroom. You could certainly choose from a very large variety of authors and incorporate it into the lesson by reading the book and learning more about the author or illustrator. Out of all the podcast sites I visited this is by FAR the best layout. You can easily click through and listen to whatever author you would like. My only gripes about the podcast is that sometimes the music in between the sponsor advertisement and the beginning of the actual podcast was way too long. I also didn’t like that there was no minimize button. Any time I clicked aways from the podcast window it closed which is very irritating for those of us that like to listen and work at the same time.
You could also have students create their very own podcasts. I really like the idea of having them record book reviews and turn them in to QR codes. The QR codes could be printed, laminated, and neatly attached to either the library shelf or the back of the book. Students could use iPads (if available) or their own personal device (if that’s allowed) and as long as a QR reader has been installed they could listen to the book review.