Monday, February 2, 2009

Phonecasting: Easy Podcasting Creation and Delivery for Students

I have been investigating a resource called Phonecasting. Phonecasting is created by the same group that developed Podlinez. I posted last year about Podlinez. Podlinez has the ability to turn any RSS feed (audio or text) into a podcast you can hear on the phone. Phonecasting offers a similar function with a bonus. Like Podlinez, Phonecasting is a free resource which allows you to listen to any podcast via landlines or cell phone. Phonecasting gives you a unique phone number to give out to all your listeners who would prefer to listen via cell phone or landlines. Besides the accessibility and convenience that Phonecasting offers with unique phone numbers, it also allows anyone to create their own phonecast via phone. I love this option!!! So many students do not have access to the Internet or software to create their own podcast outside of school. In addition some students do not have their own cell phones, so Phonecasting uses a toll-free number to record podcasts via phone. This means that any student can use landlines to record the podcast!!

Classroom Integration Ideas:
Since Phonecasting is uber-podcasting, there are a wide variety of projects one can do in K-12 classrooms. Below I highlight a few options that are unique to Phonecasting.

1) Museum Tours
Students can work with local museums to develop audio tours. This is an opportunity for students to learn about the artifacts in the museum and create an authentic tool for the museum.

2) Local Walking Tours
Students can create a virtual audio walking tour (no need for the Internet) about content from the class curricula. For example, students in a science class could create a scientific species walking tour for visitor of the city. Students could scout out local places where particular species are found, and then create an audible call-in walking tour with directions and scientific information.

3) Geography/Mathematics
Students studying geography and way-finding could create audio tours giving directions on how to get to popular local destinations. Such as the favorite local deli or a monument. They could have a call-in number associated with the directions.

4) Business Marketing
Students in a business, economics or journalism class could team with a local business and create audible coupons using Phonecasting. Students could create short audio advertisements that include the latest coupon deals. At the end of the advertisement the students could tell the listener the coupon code to use when they purchase the product.

5) School Radio On-Demand
While many schools have weekly radio broadcasts or podcasts, they are often broadcast live. When they are achieved it is usually to a website, where listeners would need Internet access in order to download and listen to the podcast. Using Phonecasting, weekly podcasts can be created and heard via cell phone or landlines on-demand rather than at a designated time or using Internet access.


Wesley Fryer said...

How does the Phonecasting service stack up against Gabcast and Gcast in terms of features and functionality, Liz? Thanks for sharing this link. I'll pass it along at our Oklahoma state edtech conference next week in a session I'm prepping called "Cool Digital Magic Tricks."

Do you know of any other sites besides these three which permit people to use their cell phones to directly record to the web?

Anonymous said...

Wesley - Our company released a suite of tools several years ago that provides the same call-in to listen/call-in to record features as well as provides audio/IVR=based assessments. Site access is by dedicated phone number(s) and fully branded to each organization. We even provide support for call-out content where the CellCast platform calls each registered user at a pre-determined time to push a podcast assignment to them. All interactions are tracked and all answers recorded into the DB including the ability to capture recorded answers to open-ended or essay questions and optionally transcribe these into searchable text. Finally, all results are pushed back into an LMS or similar back office platform. Of course, all of these features come at a price rather than free as this is part of a larger mobile learning offering designed to support corporates, higher ed/continuing ed or other mobile communications applications.

Anonymous said...

How expensive is this service? I was looking on their website but I could not find any information on the cost. I am interested in using this for creating an audio tour for a museum.

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