Podcasting and Movie Making

First of all, what is "Podcasting"?

Podcasting is a fancy term to describe something that has been done for a very long time - deliver information. We could make an analogy to how you might have a newspaper delivered to your doorstep every morning. You subscribe to the paper and then it simply arrives for you to peruse at your leisure. Podcasting will deliver information to your computer, instead of your doorstep. And the way the information is presented is as a video / audio file instead of as a stack of recyclable paper. So why the funny name, "podcasting"? Because, the iPod from Apple is one of the most successful video / audio players and when video is delivered it is commonly referred to as broadcasting. Combine parts of of both words and voila! Podcasting.

Subscribing to a podcast

To take advantage of the podcast, you must first know how to get it delivered to your computer. If you are already familiar with RSS feeds and subscribing, you may jump ahead to the next section by scrolling down until you see the following logo.


If you are new to the whole idea of podcasts and RSS feeds, continue reading and follow along on your computer so that you will be familiar with how students will be subscribing to your podcast.

One of the most popular software titles for subscribing to, and receiving, podcasts is iTunes. If you do not already have iTunes installed on your computer, you can find the download for the application by clicking on the link here: iTunes Download . If you have iTunes installed on your system, read on.

After opening iTunes, look in the column on the left hand side to find the iTunes store as shown in the picture below. Then click on the iTunes store.
The content in the window will change to show the iTunes store. On the left hand side of the iTunes store, there is a panel where you can select the content that you would like to browse, select Podcast as seen below.

Below the panel that show the different types of content, there is a new panel that shows all the different categories for which podcasts have been created. As you can see, there is a wide variety of topics discussed.

Categories.jpg For the purposes of the tutorial, I am going to subscribe to an educational podcast. You may choose a different category if you feel confident enough, or click on the "Education" category and follow along.

Underneath the categories panel, there is a panel that says More Education and I'm going to click on the link for podcasts in the K-12 category.

MoreEducation.jpg I am going to subscribe to the 1st podcast that shows up which, today, is EcoGeeks. If you can not see the Podcast you want, you can select the "See All" button as seen in the featured screen shot below.


Once you have selected the podcast you want to subscribe to, click on the subscribe button on its page and you're all set.

The most recent episode should automatically start downloading. On the far left you will notice that there is a new section below the iTunes store that shows how many episodes are currently being downloaded.
By clicking on the Downloads section, you can see how big the files are being downloaded as well as how much time you have left before it is finished.


Once it is finished, a number badge will show up next to the Podcasts section of your iTunes library to indicate how many new episodes you have on your computer that you have not yet watched / listened to yet.

Double clicking on the Ecogeeks podcast will give a list of all the available episodes. The ones that have a blue circle next to it have been downloaded, but have not yet been watched. The grey ones are older episodes that have not yet been downloaded, but which you can get by clicking, you guessed it "Get". :)
Now that the shows are on your computer, you may watch them on your computer screen or sync them with your portable player and enjoy them on the go.

Now that you have subscribed, each time you open iTunes, the program will go out to the internet and find a file associated with the podcast call an RSS feed. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. This RSS file will tell your computer if there are any new episodes in that podcast and if there are, the computer will automatically download the new content and display the number badge next to the Podcast section of your iTunes library so you know there is something new to watch. As some podcasts are not necessarily updated very frequently, it is nice to have the computer automatically do the checking for you.

In the early days of podcasting, these RSS files needed to be written from scratch, knowing specialized code or having special software. A few years later, there are now a number of websites that will do all the heavy lifting for you and all you have to do is upload content. So now we will look at how we are going to get your content up online for your students.

The logo below is used on the internet to indicate when there is an RSS feed / Podcast available.


If you have a Google ID, then you are all set. Previously, you should have gotten a Google ID so that you could take advantage of the Google Docs. You can use that same ID.

Stay tuned for updates about using Blogger to automatically create the RSS feed for your podcast.

After going to Google, go ahead and log in using your Google ID and password.


At the top left side of the page there is a menu item that says, "more". Clicking on this gives easy access to a number of Googles different resources. At the bottom of the pop up menu, click on the link that says, "even more". On the following page, find the link to go to Blogger on the right hand side.


Look on the right side of the page to find this link.

Use your Google ID & password to log in to Blogger. You'll need to setup your account and accept the terms or you won't be able to use the service.



After accepting the terms, you should come up with a name that students would be able to remember so they can go directly to the site to see the videos you've made if they have to use a public computer and don't have iTunes installed at home. Finding a URL address that is not yet taken may take multiple tries.


Once you have found a name that works, you can select from a variety of templates, choose one that suits your style.


Once the blog is set up, you will now be ready to add your content.

Watch the movie below to see how content can be taken off your camera, edited and uploaded to create your podcast.

More to come...

Aaron Jarvis