A great way to find out about “human sounds” is to explore the many oral archives that populate the internet. Some of the most interesting collections are the ones that bring together dialects and speech accents from various parts of the world. These audio files and collections are housed in renowned universities and libraries and the good news is that they can be freely accessed from everyone just by surfing the web. Some of the most interesting ones are the Dialects Archive which displays all of the dialects from different parts of the US (and around the world), http://www.dialectsarchive.com/united-states-of-america. Another interesting archive is the British, Sounds Familiar? Accents and Dialects of the UK http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/ which stores all of the dialect variations of the English Language. Among the many oral archives one can find, an interesting one is the Smith College’s Voices of Feminism, Oral history Project. It collects recorded interviews (on DVD or VHS video tapes, plus audio CDs) with transcripts; and also the correspondence between interviewer and interviewee.
This could be an interesting way to incorporate audio podcasts in the classroom! Simply ask students to work on a large scale project. Students can interview immigrants, folks who grew up in the 50s or those with large families. To carry out this work students can use different programs or use the old digital player or phone recording apps even though, their quality is not so great. I recommend thefollowing free recording (with storage options) programs: Audacity, Wavosaur, Olefa, Audiopal and Podomatic
Have you tried to create a digital oral project in your class? If you want to check out more options, then visit the following page !digital storytelling, oral archive