I used the following YouTube video to inspire my portable DIY sound booth for audio recording in my Learning Commons.
Direct Video Link: $30.00 DIY Sound Booth (6:56) – by Blake’s Garage
Luckily I already had the exact style of container he used. I headed to Walmart for the egg carton style foam and spray adhesive. The project was simple, quick, and effective. The finished product is in the photo below.
As for a microphone that I would want to purchase for this sound booth, I decided to go for the Blue Yeti. There were lots of videos reviewing microphones under $25, under $50, and under $100, but I think I am looking for quality and good reputation. The Blue Yeti is a tried and true microphone about which many YouTubers and Podcasters rave. It has some great feature such as:
- adjusts well to face your mouth
- inside is actually 3 microphones facing different directions
- there is a switch to change between different recording patterns for different uses
- it has a mute switch
- it has a head phone jack
- if it isn’t being used in the DIY sound booth, it can pick up a two way conversation with people talking on either side, but blocking out other noise
- it has a desktop stand
It isn’t cheap, but it isn’t ridiculous either. Currently, it is on amazon.ca for a little less than $145, but can be bought for even less on Black Friday sales.
For this assignment, I used Audacity. I first watched a tutorial, and then began. It was pretty straightforward. I was pleased with its ease of use. I experimented with a bit first, jotted down some speaking points I wanted to address, and then began. My first attempt was nine minutes long. This does not surprise me at all, as being concise is not a strength of mine. I made my notes a little more detailed, so that I couldn’t stray on a tangent, and took out my ‘background story’ opening. The end result was a 3 min 16 second podcast on whether or not you really want your child to join a competitive gymnastics program. My free version of WordPress does not allow me to upload an MP3, so here is a YouTube version of the podcast.
While setting this up, listening to classmates’ podcasts, and thinking about its uses in schools, I was brought back to grade 3 and our classroom’s listening centre. We had one of those boxes that was a cassette player on a table and about 5 sets of headphones. We listened to stories with our friends. I imagined grade 3 students at a listening centre listening to friend’s podcasts. This thinking reminded me of my younger son’s grade 3 class. The teacher let the students take turns being ‘teacher’ for a lesson where they shared their expertise with the class and taught a lesson. My son taught the class how to draw dragons. Students could create podcasts about things that interest them or are a strength for them. Classmates could listen to these. They could be stories, instructions for directed drawing, talking about a time they overcame an obstacle, talking about their experience on a sports team, or giving advice. In the older grades, I imagine a sort of school newspaper crossed with a school audio channel. A club could put together podcasts, or there could be guest pod-casters each week.