Saturday, August 31, 2013

Give Students a Voice by Audioboo

As I said in my boo above, Audioboo is a free tool that allows users to create podcasts or audio files up to 3 minutes in length using the website directly or the mobile app. There are a lot of features that make me choose this tool to use with my students:

1. It is simple and easy to use:

You don't need to create an account to start recording, but I recommend to do so in order to save, organize and track your boos. Once you create your account, you can create your first boo by clicking the "Record/Upload Boo" button in the top right corner of the page.

The second step is to select your way of recording. You can record directly using your microphone or upload a file from your computer. Audioboo supports AIFF, WAVE, FLAC, OGG, MP3, AAC files, as well as a few more.  

The second way is very easy. You are going to upload an existing file, but the first one allows you to record your voice directly and create many drafts before publishing. You can preview your work, resume and restart recording many times until you feel satisfied.

Once you feel happy with your recording, the next step is to add a title, description and hashtags, select a category, upload an image that describes your topic, and add your location if you would like. Then, click publish to share it with the whole world.

The website will upload your file and generate a link to your boo. Click this link to listen, edit or share it with others.

2. It is easy to be shared and embedded:
One of the most wonderful features of this tool is that you can share your work via a variety of social networks, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and many more. Moreover, Audioboo can link to your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress, and Blogger accounts and automatically post to them when you publish a new boo. You can also embed your boos into your websites and blogs by copying and pasting the HTML codes.

3. It provides an organized space:

Audioboo allows students to be self-organized learners through the use of the boards to categorize their boos. This makes it easy to find and listen to their work by their teachers or other people who are interested in the same topics. 

4. It encourages communication and extended interaction:

The commenting feature is what I liked the most about this tool. It provides students with two ways to leave comments. They can write or record their responses. Really, it is a two-way communication tool that can improve students' speaking skills. In addition, students can  listen to featured, followed, popular, recent, nearby and favorite boos, then interact with their authors in an authentic way. Foreign language learners badly need this kind of rich and authentic input to enhance their learning and find a source for intrinsic motivation.

10 Ideas for using
Audioboo in English language classrooms:
  1. Teachers can ask students to create their own boos talking about the most interesting things they have learned during the lesson or summing up the main points of the topic provided.
  2. Teachers can recommend some boos for students to listen and start interacting with them online using their microphones. The authors can also involve in this online discussion that makes it a valuable experience.
  3. Teachers can invite students to "ask and answer" sessions in which students can ask questions about their projects for example and the teachers respond to them using microphone or writing in the comment box.
  4. Teachers can record some short speeches or stories for students as a model. Listening to these boos will help them to correct themselves and improve their listening skills.
  5. Teachers can record the tasks that students will do during the lesson and post them to the classroom wiki or blog before meeting them. Students can listen and prepare themselves before discussion.
  6. Students can create introductory boos at the beginning of a new semester to introduce themselves to their teachers and colleagues.
  7. Students can use Audioboo as an audio-portfolio in which they put all their boos throughout the year. Of course, this will help them track their progress and speaking performance.
  8. Students working in groups can create a play or a story, then each member records his or her role using Audioboo and embed their boos into the classroom wiki or blog. 
  9. Students can use Audioboo as a presentation tool. They can work in groups of three completing a speaking task, then each one records a part of the whole work. This activity can be done in the classroom using the mobile app.
  10. Students can interview other colleagues from other corners of the world asking them questions about their countries and cultures.

Leave you with this video!

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