I’ve had the chance recently to have a little play with Podium from Lightbox. Podium is a PC based podcasting software which enables users to create, edit and publish audio and video podcasts from a simple interface, meaning that pupils do not have to work with a number of different software packages in order to podcast in lessons.
Podcasting with Podium is very easy, pupils are able to create, edit and publish their audio or video podcasts all during one lesson! Podium has a handy scripting tool which allows for group working as pupils can create scripts together and assign dialogue to different members of the group. When they begin recording, they each know whose turn it is to speak.
The Podium interface should look pretty straightforward to anyone used to software such as MovieMaker or Audacity. There’s not too many buttons to confuse and provide too much choice.
Recording audio and video is a very simple process. Click the red record button, and if your webcam or microphone is set up, off you go!
There’s no way of changing the settings within the main piece of software. You need to run an additional application called Podium Options that installs at the same time. Make sure you keep the manual nearby as it has initial password to get into this area (You can change the password once in).
I found this a little confusing at first (as someone who rarely reads the manual first and just dives straight in), but I can see why it’s done as pupils should not need to ever go near these. If you make changes to the settings, you need to exit Podium and go back in to get them to take effect – as I found when trying to modify ftp information and select which folder to upload into.
I had a little difficulty getting my FTP settings correct, I wanted to put my podcasts into a podcast folder – which causes some confusion. But once it was sorted the software would automatically upload an audio and video podcast to the designated folder. I found that if you add a podcast folder into the settings, you also need to add it to the web address, I assumed it would do that automatically.
Once recorded, and edited – it only takes one click to upload the podcast to your ftp site. You can if you wish purchase hosting space from Lightbox, or use your own school space. You can set a password for uploading so that pupils can be restricted from uploading before the teacher has had a chance to approve the finished product. Podium will then produce the rss feeds that your visitors can subscribe to:
So…. by of way of testing the whole thing out, here is my quick video podcast feed produced by Podium automatically as an mp4 file:
In all the process was very simple and once you’d got to grips with the interface for Podium the whole thing was very easy to do. Apologies for the quiet audio, I think that’s more down to my own audio settings on my system. I did this in a hurry!
If you like the sound of Podium, you can download a trial version from the Podium website.
Also, if you come to TeachMeet Essex, there will be a copy of the Podium Audio version in the charity raffle, so someone will go away with a copy!
For more ideas, Podium have produced a free booklet ‘Top tips – 50 podcasting ideas for the classroom’ which is well worth downloading, even if you don’t use Podium.
My presentation on Podcasting can be found on SlideShare here.