Learn How to Make Podcasts!

I’m excited to introduce the DIY Podcast Tutorials!

After months of work, we are proud to roll out a series of videos to assist you with using the DIY Podcast site.

Screenshot from the DIY Podcast Tutorial video

The series consists of six videos that begin with answering the question “What is a podcast?” and end with demonstrating how to make audio and video podcast files with the DIY Podcast resources.

Watch the processes of creating podcast files and start using technology in the classroom.

DIY Podcast Tutorial

DIY Podcast Home

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Deciding Between Audio and Video Podcasts

As you start a new school year, our NASA education team hopes you’re planning to include the DIY Podcast as a classroom project. It’s a ready-made resource for engaging your students in STEM topics. You may be trying to decide between audio and video as you set the stage for your students to create their own podcasts featuring NASA astronauts and technical experts.

A good starting point is to pinpoint what you’re trying to achieve. Is your focus on sharing knowledge and information, or do you want to demonstrate a concept or activity? Demonstrations are usually enhanced by visual productions. Straight information and content-rich interviews and sound bites are well-suited for audio productions.

Try to anticipate how people are likely to use your product. If you think they’ll take time to watch it on their computer or mobile device, video may be the right choice. If it’s more likely they would want to listen to your students’ podcast while doing other things, audio may be better. Audio works well for multitaskers who might not stop what they’re doing just to watch a video. Generally speaking, video is a foreground medium and audio is a background medium.

An important consideration is the time and equipment required to produce your podcast. Audio usually takes much less time to produce than video, and the equipment costs less. Audio files are smaller than video files, which may be a key factor if bandwidth is a concern for you.

The popularity of online video continues to soar. Educators recognize the power of visual communication. Research suggests that more than 80 percent of human learning occurs visually. Combining audio and visual elements leaves a strong, long-lasting impression.

Since the whole point is to engage your students, you may want to ask them which medium they would prefer to create. And remember to create a podcasting rubric before you begin the assignment.

DIY Podcast Home

Getting Started With the DIY Podcast

One of the questions we receive about the DIY Podcast is, “What’s the best way to get started?”

Go to DIY Podcast Home. Select a topic on the right side of the page. Peruse the information to get ideas about the direction you’d like your students to go with their podcast scripts. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a list of additional resources with more information about the topic. Click through some of the links or come back to this page for ideas throughout the podcast development process.

If you’re creating an audio podcast, select “Audio Clips” on your right. Select “Listen” to hear each clip and jot down ID numbers of clips you think you might want to use, such as 2-a, 5-a, etc. Of course, you’ll refine this list as your audio project comes together. After sampling a few clips, you may want to click on “Text version” and quickly read through the transcript of the clips to help decide which clips you want to include and if you prefer to trim away part of a clip after you download the file for editing. Download the audio clips you plan to use by right-clicking your mouse on the “Listen” link to “Save Link As” or by selecting the down arrow on the audio player to save a file.

If you’re creating a video podcast, select “Video Clips” on your right. A short description with each clip will help you decide if you want to preview the clip. You can select the image, the clip number or “Play” to preview a clip. Use the scroll bar on the right side of the clip descriptions to navigate through the playlist. Jot down ID numbers of clips you might use, such as 6-v, 30-v, etc. When you’re ready to save video files to your computer, select “Download” in the playlist or select the download icon in the Flash player control bar while previewing the clips you want to use.

Each DIY Podcast topic module includes links to images. Creative students often enjoy adding high-resolution still images to a video production. NASA images can also be used for podcast artwork or an enhanced podcast. Select “Images” on the right and browse to select the ones you want. Clicking on text or images will send you to a page where you can download the image.

We want to make it easy for you to use the DIY Podcast activity. Please post a comment with your questions or suggestions. Most links can’t be approved for posting, so we ask that you not include them in your comments.

DIY Podcast Home

How to Preview and Download Video Clips

The DIY Podcast Video Clips pages allow you to preview video clips quickly. Scroll through the clip descriptions in the Flash player. As you find clips that interest you, click on the “Play” link, the clip number or the image beside the description to watch the clip. If you want to use the clip in your project, click on the download icon in the Flash player control bar or the “Download” link under the clip description. A compressed ZIP file will download to your computer.

Each ZIP file contains video clips and timed-text transcript files in multiple formats to accommodate Windows and Mac users. Formats of the five files in each clip’s ZIP package are:

•    MPEG-4 video (.mp4)
•    Windows Media Video (.wmv)
•    Text (.txt)
•    Distribution Format Exchange Profile caption (.dfxp.xml)
•    SubRip caption (.srt)

The time-stamped text files make it easier to create a captioned product if you choose to do so. Once you decompress the ZIP files, move the video clips into your video editing software and build your project.

We want to make this activity as simple as possible for you and welcome your comments to let us know if these are the formats you need.

Do-It-Yourself Podcast Home