Category Archives: podcasting

How to improve your podcasting

BBC Click have posted a useful video with tips and advice on improving your podcast.

Watch it here.

I recently posted my own podcasting workflow which covers not just the technical side of my podcasting, but also has some tips and advice too.

Podcast Workflow

I have been asked about my podcasting workflow. This article outlines how and what equipment I use to record the e-Learning Stuff Podcast. This is only one way in which to record a remote panel based podcast, and I am sure there are numerous other ways in which to do this. I have also changed how I have recorded over the two years I have been publishing the podcast due to changes in equipment and software.

Key lesson is that there is more to podcasting than just the technical stuff…

Continue reading Podcast Workflow

GarageBand – iPad App of the Week

GarageBand – iPad App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

This week’s App is GarageBand.

GarageBand turns your iPad into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio — so you can make music anywhere you go. Use Multi-Touch gestures to play pianos, organs, guitars, drums, and basses on your iPad. They sound and play like their counterparts, but let you do things you could never do on a real instrument. Enjoy a full range of Smart Instruments that make you sound like a pro — even if you’ve never played a note before. Plug an electric guitar into your iPad and play through classic amps and stompbox effects. Use the built-in microphone or a guitar to record, or capture any performance. Then mix up to eight tracks to create a song you can share.


This is one of the two new iPad apps Apple have released alongside the new iPad 2, however Garageband is the only one of the two that works on the original iPad. If you want to use iMovie you will need to get the new iPad.

I purchased Garageband in the main to record and edit podcasts when on the road. However the only way I can get recordings (say from an Edirol) will be through iTunes on my computer… which kinda defeats the point of using Garageband on the iPad for editing podcasts, as if I have my computer, I would probably use that…

You can of course record straight into the iPad and though the built-in microphone is okay for somethings, the quality is not brilliant. Testing with my external USB microphone using the USB camera connection kit, I found that Garageband could use that as an input device. This definitely improved the quality of the recording.

As with a lot of Apple apps this one looks gorgeous, great graphics and a nice interface. Of course if you have used Garageband on the Mac then there is an element of familiarity that will ensure using the App is easier than learning another one completely new. As a podcasting app, I don’t think Garageband is quite there, however it is one of the cheapest multi-track recording apps in the App Store, so you can forgive it, its foibles.

Of course the main reason for purchasing Garageband is because you want to use it to record music and it certainly will work for that. There are lots of options and you can also use it with real instruments.

Reviews from across the web indicate from (proper) musicians that the app is certainly useful and practical for recording music.

One reason you might want to use Garageband is to record stuff on the road and then bring it back home to finish it off on your Mac. However songs created in GarageBand for iPad can not be opened in GarageBand for Mac. Projects created in GarageBand for Mac cannot be opened in GarageBand for iPad. According to Apple, a future update of GarageBand for Mac will open songs created in GarageBand for iPad.

Without a file system, it is “challenging” to get stuff into Garageband and out of Garageband. Apple have made some nice apps for the iPad, however the problem of moving files that you’ve created (without using iTunes on your Mac) is still annoyingly complicated or confusing. Not helped (in my opinion) by lack of integration with external third party services such as Dropbox. No if the rumoured MobileMe upgrade happens with a better faster cloud service, then I probably wouldn’t complain so much, but services such as Google Docs and Dropbox are so much faster and smoother than Apple’s MobileMe iDisk service for example.

I do like the Garageband App, not sure if I will be using it to record the e-Learning Stuff Podcast, but at least I now have the possibility when I am out and about to record and edit a podcast using the iPad.

Get Garageband in the App Store.

Podcasting Workshop Reflections

Today I ran our final event for our MoLeNET Academy, a podcasting workshop.

Quite a good turnout and lots of hands-on activity and discussion. We covered a fair amount of ground covering content, audience, tools, techniques and usage of podcasts in teaching and learning.

We used a range of equipment and services including Edirols, video cameras, Audioboo, iPadio and software such as Audacity and Garageband.

It made me reflect, and that people have asked, that it might be helpful to write and post a series of blog articles on podcasting. It would cover not just the technical aspects of podcasting, but also pedagogical aspects, assessment perspectives and opinion on areas such as iTunes U.

Hmmm, that could work.

MoLeNET Podcasting Workshop – 8th December 2010

I am leading a Podcasting Workshop on the 8th December 2010 between 10.00am to 4.00pm at the Gloucestershire College MoLeNET Academy at the Gloucester Campus of Gloucestershire College.

This is a hands on workshop looking at the process of:

  • Planning
  • Recording
  • Editing
  • Publication
  • Distribution
  • Marketing

of Podcasts for teaching and learning.

The workshop will look at:

  • Content of podcasts, what works and what doesn’t.
  • Recording, tools and tips, use of Skype, mp3 recorders, Audioboo, iPadio.
  • Editing podcasts using tools such as Audacity or Garageband.
  • Publishing your podcasts using blogging, FTP.
  • Distribution, looking at creating and using RSS Feeds. Will also look at iTunes, the iTunes Store and iTunes U.
  • Marketing, how you get your learners to listen to your podcast.

The day starts at 10.00am and will finish at 4.00pm, lunch will be provided.

The event will be led by James Clay and will be working with Di Dawson.


Gloucester is well served by rail networks from across the UK and the college is a 15 minute walk from the railway station.

Gloucester is on the M5 and can be accessed from Junction 12 from the South and Junction 11 from the North. Please note that there is NO PARKING available at the college, though pay and display car parks are close by.


Please book online at RSC South West.

The event is FREE to any member of the MoLeNET community, in other words your college has led or been a partner in any MoLeNET project.


Gloucestershire College has a wealth of experience in the use of mobile devices to support assessment. With three successful MoLeNET projects and a MoLeNET Academy, the college is using podcasting, video and audio to support and enhance learning and assessment.

James Clay is an experienced podcaster with a well respected weekly podcast, e-Learning Stuff. James is and has been passionate about the use of learning technologies to enhance and enrich the learning experience since 1991. James has been ILT & Learning Resources Manager at Gloucestershire College since November 2006. He is responsible for the VLE, the use of learning technologies, e-learning, mobile learning, the libraries, digital and online resources and the strategic direction of the college in relation to the use of learning technologies.James has extensive experience of mobile learning and has a vision that goes beyond mobile technologies and focuses on the mobility of the learner, blurring the demarcation between formal and informal learning.

Di Dawson is an LSN MoLeNET Mentor and a gadget lover and she brings expertise to the day in the form of enthusiasm for mobile technologies and as a teacher trainer. She likes to link teaching theories to practice and explains how activities can be designed to make the learners think deeper and therefore broaden their learning. Di loves gaming technologies and she enjoys enthusing teaching staff to look ‘beyond the play’ and see the potential for learning. Di has written various books on the use of computers and handheld technology and delivers online training to education and business establishments. Technology has certainly changed since Di started as an IT tutor 20 years ago.

Photo source.