Thursday 5 July 2007

Robert's Father dies, he meets Jean Armour and has a child with Betty Paton

Welcome to podcast 3 of the life and works of Robert Burns

This episode tells about Robert's father dying, his relationship with the house-servant Elizabeth Paton and their subsequent daughter.

It also mentions:
  • Jean Armour
  • The Mauchline Belles
  • Annus Mirablis
  • 1784 and 1785

The works included are Mauchline Belles, To a Mouse, Holy Willie's Prayer and Love and Liberty(extract)

The MP3 is here

Questions in Word are here.

Saturday 7 April 2007

Noise reduction and hiss removal

Decided the hiss was pretty bad - coming from internal fan or disc... so used the 'noise removal' feature in Audacity to remove. This has led to some small distortion on both podcasts. Still tolerable I think. Might indicate need for remote microphone or other means of recording.

Need some listeners/subscribers for feedback - Easter was wrong time to start!

Thursday 5 April 2007

Question sheets for schools etc

I decided to make up some question sheets and will try to do one for each podcast. At the moment I am posting them in but they may remove them - wait and see!

Just realised that the Easter holidays is probably not the best time to be worrying about attracting schools! I will 'polish' this until after the holidays and then email some schools.

I have also added links to podcasts and Qs at the RHS under the 'Links' heading. Seems a bit difficult to find them otherwise but maybe the plan should be to steer folks to subscribing?

Editing podcasts

An interesting challenge! Decided to alter podcast 001 a little - to make more suitable for younger audience and naively thought I could replace one uploaded file in ourmedia .org with another of the same name....but this does not work. It adds numbers to the filename to make a discrete file. You then of course have to manually delete the old one and reset all the links...phew. "Note to self....make sure file is final before uploading!".

It is however done now but I wonder what effect it will have on any subscriptions...

Wednesday 4 April 2007

Robert falls for another young lass and improves his writing: podcast002

Welcome to podcast 2 on the Life & Works of Robert Burns.

This episode sees Robert's family move from the farm Mount Oliphant to Lochlee in Tarbolton. Life is hard and Robert is working long hours on the farm.

It also features:
  • John Murdoch the tutor
  • Gilbert, Robert's brother born 28 September 1760
  • Alison Begbie; his first marriage proposal
  • John & Annie Rankine, neighbours and friends
The two songs included are Corn Rigs and Green Grow the Rashes O

Mp3 podcast file here

Questions for this podcast are here

The How and the Cost

I am continuing to expand on the plans for this as time goes on and will keep writing them in here. Still no feedback so maybe need to rethink the idea of attracting listeners. Perhaps an email to some potential listeners?

I thought it worth recapping a little on my original thoughts - to try out the logistics and effect of a series of podcasts in an area of 'the Arts' - in this case Robert Burns. My thoughts being that 'on-demand learning' is very much in vogue

Costs: my intention was to keep this to minimal budget as I know this is always an issue for schools so all the software has been free and/or open source. I mentioned earlier the various websites I had to subscribe to but the audio recordings themselves are made using Audacity which works on PC, Mac, etc. and is also free. I have used my Apple Laptop for all the recording which has led to some background noise - detected as a hiss. Whether it is vital to remove this or not, I wait to hear. I may have to invest in a Microphone.

Costs so far have been only the URL ( which was £8.50 for 2 years and to be honest strictly speaking this was not required. The blogger URL would have sufficed but is less descriptive.
I also thought about adding some follow-up worksheets as an incentive to teachers although the targeted audience is actually anyone.

Episode 2 will be ready shortly.

Monday 2 April 2007

About Podcasting

Well, its been an interesting start!

As someone who works remotely and gives presentations on online learning it seemed time I ventured into podcasting. So, I followed up on one of my other passions and started a series of podcasts on Robert Burns - the Scottish poet - in whom I have a great interest.

Getting started took most of Saturday but now we are up and running.

Jason Van Orden's website on 'How to Podcast' was a huge help although not all went smoothly. I now seem to have lost all the HTML editing features here too, so the glitches continue :o). Ah - all is revealed! These buttons do not work in Safari (the browser I started this post in) but do work in Firefox (which I am now using). Note to self, "Use Firefox next time"

However, accounts here (with Blogger), and with, and are all set up and appear to be working. Lets see what happens next!