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Creating The Wired Educator Podcast: The Tools I Use, My Process and an Invite
Creating podcasts is one of the best ways to make an impact in teaching and learning. (On Thursday October 19 at 6:00 PM EST, I will be leading a discussion via Apple Education that you can join to learn about how I create and promote my Wired Educator Podcast.)
I love using GarageBand on both my Mac and my iPad to create my Wired Educator Podcast. The visual user interface of adding multiple audio sources is exactly what I need. I love that I can create royalty-free sound effects and music to enhance each episode. I love that GarageBand makes everything easy to record and share, but it's not the only tool I use.
Tools I use: Calendly, Skype, GarageBand, Auphonic, Libsyn, Keynote, Pages, WordPress and socila media.
I scour conferences, social media, and the web for amazing educators to connect with and share their story. Rarely do I ever accept a solicitation to be on the show. Almost everyone is someone that I have met or discovered. It's more fun and natural that way.
I send them an email that contains a Calendly link to schedule with me. It takes time to record, edit, and publish, so I try to schedule when it won't interfere with my family. I request a headshot, a third-person bio, links to their work, and topics they are most interested in talking about and have had the most success.
I send them a Skype link to join and we record the interview via Skype. We have a little fun talking on the front and back of the interview. The interview is a conversation. I do not send guests questions. I am a good conversationalist I believe, and I want listeners to experience a good conversation between two educators. Scripting the interview and reading it is NOT something I recommend, but asking good probing questions is important. I have a list I use and keep in Pages, but you want the guest to talk more than you and you need to give them time to fully answer and share stories. Ask questions that elicit stories and discoveries. Follow them down rabbit holes. Get a little off topic. That's where the magic is in podcasting.
I export the Skype recording to an audio-only file.
My main tool is GarageBand. I record an intro of me talking about the episode, then pull in the same pre-recorded intro I use in every show. I use a few GarageBand loops and sound effects and talk a little more about my week in education, then do a formal introduction to the guest. I import the Skype audio recording. Other than lopping off the front end and back end of the recording there really isn't any editing. I drop in a few sound effects at the end, some closing remarks, and then the same pre-recorded music ending I use each week. I export the recording to the desktop as an MP3. I make small editing adjustments so there is little to no dead space.
I upload this recording to Auphonic.com. This is my secret tool. For a small fee, it levels the sound of all the sources and removes background noises making a nice file. It also embeds my Wired Educator Branding which I made in Keynote. It makes one great file.
Where do podcasts live? Great question! Mine live on a site called Libsyn. Think of it as WordPress for audio. I do pay for this hosting, but I like that it allows me to keep my episodes alive and give me control. I also really don't know of other options. It's reliable. Libsyn automatically shares the feed out to Apple Podcasts, Spotify and everywhere else people listen to podcasts quickly and automatically. I just add show notes, cover art, and a few tags.
I write my script for intro and outro in Pages and use Presenter Mode when recording.
I design all of my images in Keynote which makes them look great.
I did hire a voice talent on Fiverr.com to introduce me which gives me some perceived credibility to start out. It does sound great.
I also repost the podcast on my WiredEducator.com blog and promote everything out on social media.
Why do I do all of this? I believe educators' stories need to be collected, archived, and promoted to the world because educators are amazing.
Podcasting is the only social media that you can consume safely while doing other activities. You can listen to a podcast while you wash your car, walk the dog, work out, and just about anywhere.
Podcasting helps me build my learning network of colleagues and friends and has connected me to some pretty amazing individuals. Countless times during meetings someone remarks that they wish they knew of an EDU expert in X, Y or Z, and I smile and say, "Well, it just so happens I interviewed someone about that very topic." It also makes me a better writer, speaker and communicator. That is true for students who make podcasts as well.
All in all, we become most like those we hang around. That's why I love the Apple Education Community, being an Apple Distinguished Educator, and interviewing amazing educators for my podcast.
I just published my 233rd episode. I am proud of that.
I look forward to sharing more with you on October 19th.
Kelly Croy’s 33 years in education include 26 in the classroom as an ELA 7 teacher and 7 years in his current administrative position, the Director of Innovation and Instruction for Port Clinton City Schools. Kelly is the author of the acclaimed, nonfiction book, Along Came a Leader, and he is the author and illustrator of Unthink Before Bed: A Children’s Book on Mindfulness and Anxiety. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2011. He is the host of the popular Wired Educator Podcast. He has traveled the world as an educational speaker and consultant. Kelly's mission is to help educators level up to make a difference in the lives of others.