Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Using AudioBoom in the Classroom

If you're looking for an audio recording tool to use with your students, there are several to choose from. Audacity is a free software tool that can be downloaded and installed. It will allow you to record from any microphone, or from your computer's sound card. However, it is software that must be downloaded and installed on every machine that uses it, and there is no iPad app version of it. It is purely desktop software. What might be simpler? How about a web tool called AudioBoom? Never heard of it, you say? AudioBoom is an online tool that will allow virtually anyone to record audio and save the files online. 

This article gives a perfect example of how AudioBoom was used in a classroom of 2nd graders to improve reading fluency. To start using AudioBoom, click here and sign up. You will be presented with a typically overwhelming social media-oriented Dashboard. Just click on the red "Record" button in the top right corner. Now you will be in the Recording window. The free account allows unlimited posts at a maximum of 10 minutes in duration. What I like is that you can Upload any audio file and share it with an auto-generated web link and an uploaded picture, or you can click the Record tab and record your audio live with any microphone, and then save and post/share it online. AudioBoom keeps track of your posts on your Dashboard. Here is an example of what my first post looked like:

Here is how the Record screen looks in the web version.

AudioBoom is also an iPad app. Here is what the Recording screen looks like on an iPad. 

You can find the app in the App Store here. To record students, for example, have 
them push the Record button and read the title and author of the book. Then, they can begin reading. The "Record" button turns into "Pause" button, and then you can give students the option to pause after every page, or read the entire book at one time. As mentioned above, the app limits recordings to 10 minutes. For a lengthier recording, you would need to upgrade to the Pro version. But the free AudioBoom provides audio recording on both a computer and a mobile device without having to install any software. For most teachers, this will be perfect, and one online account will allow a teacher to record his or her entire class and store all of the recordings in one place, and then re-visit and re-record those same students at a later time to hear improvements in their reading fluency. The results should speak for themselves, so to speak. 


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