Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
As a 4th grade teacher one of the things that frustrated me the most was that the students wouldn’t be able to see the mistakes in their writing. If I was in the classroom now, I would use a program called Audacity to help the students edit their work. I found this out last year when I was working with a fourth grade ESL class. We were going to be videotaping the students reading a piece of their writing. Before I showed up, the teacher had had the students practice reading their stories and had them use an iPod to record themselves. I arrived to videotape the students and was informed that some students weren’t quite ready to be videotaped. After hearing themselves reading their stories, they decided that they still had some editing to do. The teacher was amazed at how many of the students found more mistakes in their writing. They had worked on the revision process of writing throughout the year, but some of the students still couldn’t find mistakes in their writing. Once they heard themselves reading their stories the mistakes suddenly came alive. Not everyone has iPods available to them, but we can all download Audacity. (It is already downloaded on NEISD computers.)
Audacity is a free program that in its simpliest form allows you to record your voice with just a couple of clicks. Once you have a recorded file you can save it and use it in Powerpoints, Web 2.0 programs, post it on a blog, download it to an iDevice or just listen to it on the computer. The great thing about Audacity is that you can do so much more with it. You can use it to edit a sound file, you can add intro music to a file that you have recorded, or you use some of the “Effects” that are included with the program. Once you have finished editing and jazzing up your sound file, Audacity allows you to export the file using several different audio formats including WAV files and MP3 files. (The first time that you export a file as an MP3 there is an additional step of adding a lame encoder.) There are other programs that may offer more options, but I like Audacity because it is simple to use, I don’t have to rely on an internet connection and I can save it to my computer or a network drive.