Are you itching to embark on a new podcast adventure? Check out this introduction to this exciting medium, from Mark Anderson.

Defined as “a digital audio file made available on the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new instalments of which can be received by subscribers automatically,” there’s no getting away from it, podcasts are exceedingly popular.
Audio is a great medium that can be listened to almost anywhere whilst you are undertaking many kinds of activities. From walking the dog to doing the washing up, taking a bath, out on a run or commuting to work, the locations from where you can engage with a podcast are many and varied, which is why I would suggest, for the most part, it is a hugely popular medium.

Why create a podcast?

Having your own podcast is great fun. Certainly, over the years, I’ve curated lots and lots of content in a variety of ways. I’ve been both a guest and the creator and host on many a podcast. From this experience, I thought a little introduction to getting started with your own and sharing a few tools might help you along your way.

The best bet for a decent podcast is to be able to follow these simple rules:

  1. Share regularly
  2. Share great content and ideas, and feature different guests/points of view
  3. Share at a regular time/day

If you can get this part nailed, then you are on to a sure-fire winner, no matter the techniques.

What should your podcast be about?

Many people choose to create their podcasts about areas they’re interested in. Craig Barton, for example – highlighted in this month’s ‘Recommended podcast, book and app article’ – started his podcast to learn from others and share the conversations. Others, such as Ian Rockey, Headteacher at Westwood with Ilford Primary School, started his podcast as a school radio station with the fabulous Russell Prue to share about the day-to-day life in the school. The best podcast you can create is one that you will enjoy doing and be able to continue doing. The minute it begins to feel like a job and something that you must do, I would suggest you won’t want to do it anymore. So, if you’re keen, choose something that will inspire you as much as it will inspire your listeners.

How do you get your first podcast out there?

My best advice would be to start simple. Before going out and buying lots of expensive equipment, why not see what you can do with what you’ve already got.

A great starting point (and tool) to support you with creating your podcast is the nifty little app and website, Anchor.fm by Spotify. With features designed to get you up and running quickly, Anchor will allow you to record, create and share your podcast quickly and effectively. It will give you the chance to get to grips with recording your voice and become happy with sharing your voice in the real world. To build your confidence, get some feedback on what you’re doing from a target audience by sharing your episodes with family, friends and colleagues before you make that big splash and take things further.

What next?

Well… if the podcasting bug has hit you, then why not consider recording outside of the Anchor app? You can easily upload your edited audio files onto Anchor for sharing as your podcast – and there are plenty of other platforms too, such as the popular tools Buzzsprout, Podbean and many more. If you’re looking for an audio recording tool and you’re a Windows user, Audacity is a free and firm favourite with many podcast creators. If you’re a Mac user, then you have GarageBand available to you as part of macOS.

There are lots of techniques that will make your podcast sound amazing. From learning about ducking (the process whereby you reduce the sound of background music when people speak so you can hear them clearly over it), to which microphone is best to use, to what platform to share it on and what apps to use to record it, you will soon become well-versed in these important areas of podcast production.

On the microphone front, many rave about the Yeti microphones, whilst I use the RØDE Podcaster mic for recordings from home and the RØDE Wireless Go II mics for recordings on the road. The truth is though, whilst you can spend a lot of money on good quality microphones such as these, most budget microphones will still give you a better quality audio recording than by using the standard built-in microphone that comes with your laptop or phone.

To sum up

Something you might want to do before you get cracking is to get yourself onto Apple Podcasts (or whichever tool you use) and have a listen to some good ones before you embark. Market research is always important and, in doing so, I’m willing to bet you’ll come up with some great ideas and tips too, just from listening to others. Here are some good examples to get you started: The Edtech Podcast, NetSupport Radio, Mr Barton Maths and Edufuturists.

In the meantime, please do reach out to us and share your podcast once you’ve got it up and running – we’d love to hear from you and hear you too!

Author

  • Mark Anderson

    Mark is a global speaker, EdTech expert, trainer, blogger, author and key note speaker, known as the ICT Evangelist. He has over 20 years of experience in the classroom. Mark is the head of education at NetSupport, an Independent Thinking associate, an MIE Expert and fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. His latest book can be found at edtechplaybook.com.
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