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POT Cert Week 14: audio and video

Creating Class Elements Part 2: Audio and Video

This week, continuing with the topic of creating class elements for online learning, leads the POT Cert course to an exploration of audio and video. Earlier in the course I mentioned that I wasn’t great at utilising video for teaching and/or learning, mainly because it’s so time consuming searching for relevant quality content, unless of course it’s been signposted for you by others. Since then though, I’ve been making a concerted effort to find, evaluate, bookmark and share good video content, so what really interested me this week was the consideration of audio within online teaching and learning.

wire for sound in the online classroom
Wire for sound in the online learning environment

Ko and Rossen state that “sound is a much-overlooked element in courses” (p.257), and I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree. It seems that audio applications, as well as providing variety and engagement, might help to assuage text dependency within the online environment and help to alleviate any associated eye strain. Ko and Rossen go on to provide an extensive list of uses for audio (see appendage below), however I’d like to share here a practical example that I discovered recently of how an audio application can be used to support an online course such as POT Cert.

SoundGecko turns any article into mp3, including RSS feeds, which means that instead of just reading the POT Cert blog roll each week, you can also listen to it as well. Not only does this give your eyes a rest, but it also means that, like the company says, you can catch up with these posts while you ‘drive to work, ride public transport, have a coffee, take a run, exercise at the gym, wait in queue or enjoy the sunset’ (nice marketing with the last one SoundGecko people, but I live in Ireland). Any how, the sound quality is good and what’s more, it’s available as a mobile app and you have the option of scheduling delivery of a digest of content. I can recommend giving SoundGecko a try.

As well as reading the book chapter, we were also tasked with exploring and trying out a few applications, with the final directive being to post a short video of our reflections using Eyejot (a video/email application) and then to embed it in our blog post. Well, here I hit a technical snag, not with Eyejot, as I found that to be a straightforward and handy application, but rather I was unable to embed it into this post because of restrictions caused by using rather than a self-hosted option. Consequently, I decided to review, and embed, audioboo for my review instead.



You can listen to my ‘boo’ here.

[gigya src=”” flashvars=”” width=”400″ height=”160″ allowFullScreen=”true” wmode=”transparent”]

Appendage: Ko and Rossen list of uses for audio in online learning environment

  • To introduce yourself to the class in a personalized manner
  • To record lectures (note that the idea here is rather than trying to capture the recording of a face-to-face lecture, but to record a lecture or commentary specially prepared for online learners)
  • To narrate a slide show
  • To facilitate role playing and/or debates
  • To record an interview with a colleague and/or bring guest speakers into the class
  • To provide feedback on assignments (for example, Adobe Acrobat PDF can convert students’ Word documents into PDF where you can record and insert short audio clips. The audio clip is directly inserted  at the relevant point in the paper and that the student only needs Adobe PDF Reader to listen to the clip)

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Published inProgramme for Online Teaching


  1. Thank you for your post and reiterating the list of audio recording uses in an online course. I feel that sound so very important. Voice inflections are key to the energy and life of a lecture. Being able to add audio aspects to an online course could allow for more focused attention and learning. I am very excited to try soundgecko!

  2. Also, Mac users can configure their device to read to them. Anything that can be highlighted can be heard. On Macbook configuration steps are,

    System Preferences–Speech (Microphone)–Text to Speech.

    With iphone the Speak option is given when a word(s) are highlighted.

    I also have a Kindle that offers Text to Speech function. That is how I read all my Ko and Rossen assignments.

  3. Thanks for your post. I agree that voice adds a more personal element, especially to the online environment. I enjoyed your Audioboo and I like the idea of using this tool to record different opinions – since the energy of the different voices would certainly add another dimension than just the written word.

    SoundGecko sounds like an interesting and useful tool. Thanks for sharing that – It would be great to listen to all the posts from my classes while commuting. I look forward to checking it out.

  4. Thanks for your comments, it looks like we have a few audio junkies amongst us. I’d forgotten that my Kindle has a text to speech function, so I’ll have to start using it from now on.

  5. Loved your blog! I checked out Audio Boo – very user friendly and simple! Love those types of tools! I also tried out the SoundGecko. It seems cool but I was a little bit disappointed it didn’t read an article I wrote…. Thanks for sharing!!!

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