The process of creating a ColeyCast is
divided into four stages: preproduction,
Before any recording takes place, students first plan and write
out what they are going to say. For some broadcasts,
students pair up or form small groups. Working together,
each pair or group writes a script for its segment (one section
of a broadcast) and selects a broadcaster (the person who will
do the actual talking during the recording phase). For
other broadcasts, students work individually to write their
scripts and later on record their segments. Depending on
what the broadcast covers, students sometimes use
planning sheets to help organize their thoughts.
We try to keep the length of each
ColeyCast under 10 minutes. That way,
listeners won't lose interest before the broadcast is completed.
We do our best to stick to this, but occasionally the 10-minute
mark is exceeded due to large amounts of material, as was the
case in ColeyCast #36 - "Amazing
Although some broadcasts contain a
limited number of speakers, the goal is to have every student
involved in preproduction. While every student may not
lend his or her voice to a broadcast, everyone does have a hand
in contributing content to ColeyCasts. Students are
assured that if they don't get the chance to be the broadcaster
on a current production, they will definitely get the chance to
speak in a future broadcast.
Once students have finished writing their scripts, they move on
to the recording phase of creating a ColeyCast. But before
students record, they practice reading their scripts out loud,
paying special attention to speaking loudly, clearly, and slowly
(it's common for students to speak quickly when they get
Logitech headset microphone and audio recording software, Mr. Coley records students as they read their
segments. Mr. Coley occasionally uses the voice recorder
on his iPhone when needing to record
multiple students at the same time. For the first three broadcasts, Mr. Coley used the free audio mixing software Audacity to record the students
(Audacity is available for both Windows and Mac). He has since
switched to a Mac for his podcasting needs and uses
to record broadcasts.
Both Audacity and GarageBand are very
easy to use and don't require extensive time to learn. To
help you get started, Mr. Coley has created a collection of
videos for both Audacity and GarageBand. If you're a PC user and
haven't yet installed Audacity on your computer, here's a
list of steps
you'll need to take to get everything up and running.
After all the students have recorded their segments, Mr. Coley
edits the audio. This involves putting the segments in the
proper order (as we don't always record them sequentially),
adjusting the volume, eliminating background noise, and adding
The nice thing about using
GarageBand is that the software has hundreds of music samples and loops built right into the program. So instead of having to go to the Internet to look for music, it's all right at your fingertips.
Music from outside sources can be uploaded to GarageBand as
well. Occasionally, we use additional music for our
broadcasts that we acquire from these three sources:
incompetech.com -- a fantastic collection of royalty-free
music by Kevin MacLeod
SoundSnap -- a great website offering free music
loops and sound effects
Partners in Rhyme
-- another site offering free music loops and
JewelBeat -- more royalty-free music & sound effects
The great thing about the
musical pieces obtained from these sites is that they
are "podsafe." This means podcasters can
freely use them in
their podcasts without having to pay any royalty fees or worry
about breaking any copyright laws.
For the first 13 ColeyCasts, Mr. Coley
took the finished product and used iTunes
to convert the sound file to .mp3 format (files created
with Audacity can be converted to .mp3 format within the program
itself). Using Apple's
GarageBand, we now create what are called enhanced
podcasts (in .m4a format). An enhanced podcast contains
chapter markers and artwork. Enhanced podcasts are similar
to DVD's, in that listeners can skip to the next chapter of the
broadcast, instead of having to fast forward, guessing where to
The final step has Mr. Coley publish the ColeyCast to
mrcoley.com for the world to hear. Listeners can then
visit our website and listen to broadcasts right
in their web browsers, or if they prefer,
subscribe in iTunes and have
broadcasts automatically downloaded to their computers.
Subscribing is a great idea because it eliminates the need to
check the website to see if new broadcasts have been posted
(although we love it when people frequently visit our site).
Plus, once broadcasts have been downloaded, they can then be
transferred to your
iPod and listened to while you're on the go!
If you don't
have a website and need a place to host your podcast, there are
several free or inexpensive options out there. Check out this
podcast hosting chart for some ideas.
Already have an Internet broadcast?
Want to create an RSS feed so listeners can subscribe to
it? Click here to find out
Back to ColeyCast