Category Archives: General

Announcement: Summer Podcasting Workshop 2012

Bronx Community College will host its annual Faculty Development online program which will feature Blackboard training, Web. 2,0 and Podcasting. The podcasting workshop will take place on June 8, 2012. For more information please contact the OIT office

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Announcement: Podcasting of Street Sounds

Invitations were sent out to common citizens to record city sounds then the chosen tracks were selected for display on this virtual sound museum. One of our BCC faculty, WI Coordinator Lynne Ticke, professor of psychology, responded to the call.  Her podcasts were selected among others to be broadcast to the NY Community for all of us to enjoy. Dr. Ticke interest in sound installations was also parallelled with her academic interests. In fact, in Summer 2001, she enrolled in the Summer Podcasting Workshop and has been recording ever since. Check all of the winners and their street sounds. A true gift indeed !

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Podcasting During The Era of Covid19

In March, our life as we knew it took a severe turn, the pandemic was reaching an unprecedented spread and my college shut down and decided that from that moment on every class would be taught 100% online. This new situation was difficult both for faculty and students and we all found ourselves adjusting to a new life and work from home. My college has had for over 10 years a robust and well oiled faculty training program and each department immediately after the shut down organized trainings and support services for students, staff, faculty. It was not an easy transition for all, and many faculty who do not have good basic computer skills struggled to teach online. In addition, it was hard to help them, via Zoom, and at a distance. I believed this was partly to blame for the quality of the instruction in these classes which was impacted by the lack of preparedness. This is a larger issue that should be discussed in another blog post, however, I must say that professors also must take responsibility for not keeping up with a world that is moving rapidly online and requires continuous training. To bridge this gap, after the semester was over my college, and CUNY organized several online course developments trainings which were aimed at training both full-time and part-time instructors.

I was called to be a mentor for OCD this summer on my campus. In addition to Blackboard training 101, as mentors we added the use of podcasting and screencasting as a resource for faculty. I stress the importance of not using a tool just for the pressure of using “something” new, if you do not understand and master the tool you are introducing. Ask yourself, what will the tool allow me to teach this concept better? How will it enhance my teaching? If not, do not use it. Technology must follow theoretical pedagogical principles and learning outcomes, not the other way around. Once this is clear, then you can proceed to introduce podcasting or other tools. An extremely efficient tool that has been used remotely during this time is screencasting. It allow faculty to talk over a powerpoint, document, chart, etc, and record a short video that then can be shared by housing it on google drive or any online platform. The other benefit is that they can be watched by students who were absent or as review for an exam or assignment. Students can also be asked to create an audio file and, to address this request, in our training, we recommend the use of audacity for computers or use phone apps. We stress that the file’s denomination should be compatible with your teaching tools, so WAV. or MP3 files is what we recommend. Going to the Apple store and Play store one will find many phone recording apps, the one we recommend are Smart Record and MP3 Voice Recorder. It is extremely important that the instructor, test and learn the app very well before teaching it to students so that they can create an assignment with it. In one of my classes, I asked students to critique a film using an audio tool. These files must be short, we recommend to make all audio files less than 5 minutes and for video/screencast files less than 10 minutes. 

I try to showcase tools which are free and easy to use

For faculty we recommend for podcasting Audacity 

For Screencasting we recommend, Screen-cast-o-matic and icecream screencast

Phone app: Smart Record and MP3 Voice Recorder.


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Faculty assessment of student work

Here are some samples of assignments sent by faculty during the Summer and Winter Seminar.

Dept of Art and Music

Art–Low-Stakes Assignment with three examples

Attached please find my Low Stakes Writing documents, including a pdf with the assignment guidelines and grading expectations and images of student work. (DN)

Example I

Example II

Example III




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“Let me tell you what I think”; using podcasts for feedback.


An interesting use of podcasts is to provide feedback. This feedback is meant to offer students commentary on their academic work and to orally assess their performance. Scientific literature reveals several studies on the topic, some of which describe how audio recorded feedback on written papers is an effective method that provides individualized instruction. Furthermore, one study suggests that students find it more meaningful to receive this type of commentary than the traditional written one since it positively impacts their self-esteem, motivation and revision practices.

In a survey, students reported they find oral commentary on school performance to be more relevant to their needs and more appropriate for students with special needs. More specifically, students feel oral commentary is helpful to improve school work since it is more clear, direct and detailed than written commentary. In a 2008 study, the researcher focused on using podcasts to give feedback on Ph.D dissertations. Interesting right? Would you have liked to be on the other side of this new trend? The positive results are easily comprehensible since students thinks it’s more useful to receive feedback this way since it is more on point, detailed and clearer.  However, in a further study, the tone of voice was underlined as a negative factor for some students. This is also an interesting aspect to discuss. Do you think tone and disposition also plays a role? I believe this would be the case since students can sense the professor’s sense of openness, relaxed attitude, and encouragement. So are you ready to try this with your students next time around? I think I just might!

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Tools to create a storytelling or a digital sound project in the classroom



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), Another interesting archive is the British, Sounds Familiar? Accents and Dialects of the UK 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 !

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Recording Sounds From Birds

I am compelled to share with you the latest work of a colleague at Bronx Community College. Jeff Talman teaches in the Art and Music Department and just this week he wrote a piece, “Birds of New York: A Soundscape”, on the New York Times. The article features his latest installation at Columbia University’s Chapel, the orchestration of the recordings of birds’ sounds. His attraction to these sounds began when he was student at Columbia University and the idea of replicating it was a project that had been twirling in his mind for quite some time. But more than that, Talman claims that he always felt that music is not just made inside a room, but that there is a lot of musicality in the natural environment, “Flight and music both represent freedom from earthbound restraint. But music is even more intangible; music is made of the air, the medium of flight, the ether between us. Music is made of the sky.” He began with an installation that features the sounds of 102 species of birds which were made available by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which has the largest collection. After a masterful “manipulation” of these sounds, Talman was able to achieve “a kind of spatial chamber music as performed by virtuosos and sung by some of the world’s greatest sopranos.”

Here is the link to this wonderful piece of music, art, and composition.

Have you ever recorded sounds of birds or any other sound found in nature? If so please post your work on the comment feature.


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Podcasting and ESL

Podcasting has become an important and effective tool then learning a foreign language. Many ESL podcasting sites have recently surfaced: some offer pronunciation, dictations, songs, sample dialogues, and stories. It is certainly a very effective way to learn, you can listen to content over and over — 24/7. Here are some of the blogs I found which promote ESL learning via audio. (ESL podcast– for profit) (ESL classroom activities) (resources for Learning English) (stories for ESL students)


The article written by Wesley A. Fryer also discusses the benefits for using podcasts in education.

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Podcasing isn’t just about recording, editing, publishing and sharing, but it can also be a fashion statement. Check out the AUDIO WAVES chiffon ! A must have for podcast lovers ! A colleague from BCC was wearing one of these scarves and I just had to have it ! If interested you can find it here  Happy podcasting everyone !

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