Extend voice recording in Garage Band app

Garage Band appImage: EssentialMac-UK

I was trying out the different apps I had on my iPad to see which one would be the best for voice recordings. I got to Garage Band and then got stuck with an 8 second recording which I could not change. When you see the 8 bars you don’t automatically think of clicking on that to make other choices to extend the recording . EssentialMac-UK is a very handy site for all things Apple and the clarity of instruction is just what you need when you are stuck. They have a post on how to increase the recording time. Please note that you have to do this every time you make a recording. It would be better if you could leave it on the extended recording setting. Maybe next app update?

Get over the sound of your voice

When we are asking teachers to make videos for a flipped classroom we are asking them to confront something which is common – the dislike of the sound of their own voice. This is sufficient to create a major block in producing these videos competently or even comfortably. Cyberspace’s answer to that is – Get over it! That simple. Just do it and get over it. You need tips and tricks, though. When you confront a roadblock to learning and productivity you need the stepping stones to get you onto solid ground. Shannon Hernandez (@ShanJHernandez) was an English teacher. He knows what it’s like in a classroom. He knows that vocal confidence is something you can work on  which is invaluable and, as an ex-teacher, he knows how to get you to move forward. His site Shannon J. Hernandez gives ideas and support for podcasts ,recordings and other things digital. He works in radio and he has worked on his voice so that it now is something which allows him to go online and help others. As I said previously, one of my aims this year is to create much better videos. That doesn’t just happen. I have to work on the things which will get me there. One of those things is my voice. I do hate the sound of my voice on video. So Shannon suggests recording yourself into your phone regularly. He suggests listening back. You create a learning feedback loop for yourself which allows you to do something practical but then notice. I should have thought of that myself. I’m a French teacher. Languages classes are always getting students to record and playback their voices. We are always working on articulation, facial expressions, voice exercises. It took Shannon to make me notice and realise I can apply that to myself. I have watched my students become confident and capable language users because we record and play back. It will apply to me, too. My firsts steps then will be:

1. Record myself on a regular basis
2. Play back and notice what I can improve
3. Speak clearly
4. Focus on the message
5. Use headphones

I can do that!

My teacher is an app

my teacher is an app BBC 4 has some intelligent podcasts on digital learning and how it impacts classrooms and universities.The discussions and information are enlightening. There are other podcasts on the site which address other subjects which you might like to listen to.

My teacher is an app

Audio editing software

I have just found Wave Pad. Normally I use Audacity because it is cross platform, my students can use it easily and know the software and it is basically fuss free and effective. In class I use Audacity and Garage Band because we have MacBooks and iPads. Wave Pad is now an other option.Once you show students how to add the effects in Garage Band then their recordings really come up a level because they like using sound effects and it spurs them on to doing better. Audacity is handy in class for straight out  voice recording. Remember, I am no sound technician and I am teaching French. I am looking for things to help me improve the quality of what I can produce and thereby increase my options as a teacher but I am also looking at how anyone can make better quality sound files. Wave Pad is for Windows , Mac , Android , iOS but not Linux .I have found already that it has improved what I am doing even though I am currently just using a microphone with speaker attached. I could record something, enhance the voice, clean up the track and get a better sound…all in 10 minutes. If I can use this software, then anyone can. It does make a difference. There is a paid version and choices. That is good marketing. For a start I can have a really good look at this software without feeling it will disappear off my computer, be so limited I would not really have a clue and have no chance of really understanding how the software will benefit me and those I share sound files and sound file making with. Wave Pad comes with tutorials, helpful hints, ideas, clear explanations, You Tube support and an opportunity to grow as I learn without feeling like I have to push myself when I am not ready to. This is the crux of learning new technology. You need time to explore and gain confidence, you need help if you want it, you need a vision. I have the cables now for my mixer and so I am looking forward to using Wave Pad. I’ll still use Audacity because I am cross platform but my desktop and netbook are what I use at home and my NetBook made a really nice sound file last night just after I had downloaded Wave Pad. If nothing else, others who produce software should take some tips from Wave Pad as to how to introduce new clients to a platform.

Listen to a podcast!

podcasts sbsI prefer to have podcasts I can download and listen to. I either listen to them on my computer, put them onto a USB for my car or to use with my TEL7J tablet. You can subscribe to podcasts through iTunes or Banshee on Linux, but you can use any device which plays MP3s. Here are some ideas to get you started if you are new to podcasts:

Wired UK technology podcasts
SBS – just type podcasts in the search box
EdChat Radio
accidentalcreative motivaltional/productivity podcasts
Guardian technology podcasts
Teachers’ Education Review podcasts

If none of those appeal to you, and they do come recommended, you can go to Podcast Alley and look at what they have to suggest and on offer. I see CoffeeBreak French is recommended as one of the top podcasts. It’s one I recommend to my students as a good podcast to help you with French. it is well made and well thought out. I am happy to share any other podcast recommendations you would like to share.

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