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Pros: There's tons of content to explore, and kids will love creating their own podcasts.
Cons: Limited search features and privacy controls might frustrate users, and teachers will have to dive deep to find relevant, appropriate content.
Bottom Line: With teacher guidance, students can access and create innovative audio files that cross a wide range of topics.
For a flipped classroom, create per-topic educational playlists that connect real-world issues with academic disciplines, then post these playlists to your class website as resources. Let students chronicle their class experience by embedding these found or self-created podcasts to personal websites or their own playlists.
Let students use the site to gather related podcasts into playlists and then create their own podcast to describe how and why those podcasts relate to one another. Let them create their own radio show that draws together stories from many different sources.
audioBoom is a tool for accessing and creating podcasts. Users can generate their own podcasts (by uploading an existing recording or using the site's own recording tool) or search a host of resources from media and education outlets. From Shakespeare to the science of sound, listeners can explore informative, up-to-date stories about a range of topics that range across all academic disciplines. While the site isn't geared specifically toward educators or kids, high school teachers and students can use audioBoom podcasts to supplement instruction in class or augment out-of-class learning for homework or a flipped classroom.
After creating a free account (which can be linked with a social media account), users can navigate through nine categories of topics such as culture, knowledge, and current affairs. Each podcast can be added to the user’s feed as posts, playlists, and likes. In addition to accessing the podcasts through the site, teachers and students can embed the sound files elsewhere (on personal websites and social media) or share the QR code and RSS feed associated with each podcast.
There's some great content here, but you'll have to dig: The tiled images that appear on launch can be lurid and tabloid-like, and aren't always classroom-ready or clearly relevant to learning. That being said, teachers who do some digging will be rewarded with some thoughtful, well-produced content that covers a wide range of subjects. It's also great that kids can create and submit their own podcasts, both through the site itself and through using another device to capture their recording. Though teachers and students should be wary of posting their work publicly on the site, this is a neat opportunity for searching and synthesizing others' creations into a coherent, thoughtful narrative about a topic. Overall, this is a neat tool to introduce kids to the world of podcasting, but proceed with caution through some uneven user-generated content.
Editor's Note: audioBoom has moved out of the education market and now provides a platform for professional broadcasters to distribute podcasts.