Hi, I’m Rebecca Rotundo, and I work as an Instructional Technology Specialist at the University at Buffalo.
Voice reveals the emotion behind words and personalizes communication. Words convey meaning, but voice carries inflection and with it another level of expression.
Think about the last time you were texting or emailing someone and there was confusion or even an argument because they “misunderstood” your message. This misunderstanding is a result of the limited information that can be shared via the written text.
With the invention of devices that can record and distribute audio, we have evolved once again back to a more natural means of communication. Audio can be a powerful tool; take for example H.G. Wells radio adaptation of ’ “War of the Worlds.” In October of 1938, Orson Welles, a 23-year-old actor, performed a radio dramatization of a Martian invasion that sent people into panic fearing for their lives. With just words, young Orson Welles created mass hysteria.
There are a tremendous number of options to find pre-existing audio to use. To help you with this, take a look at the information about Open Educational Resources (or OER) located within this MOOC.
Consider the search tools highlighted within this MOOC to find music or audio clips to incorporate into your presentations.
Another interesting place to find audio samples could be podcasts. Podcasts are radio shows distributed over the internet and can be downloaded or streamed and listened to on any device.
If you want to create audio content there are a few things to keep in mind:
With today’s technologies, it is easy to record a song, a TV show, or even a phone call. But, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Copyright law limits the use of someone else’s copyrighted material. Always ensure that you have the proper permissions to record something and are adhering to state and local laws.
Be mindful of your objectives and your audience when thinking about language, tone, and content. You may want to sound warm and informal when you’re telling a story and more formal and professional when delivering a lecture.
It’s a good idea to write and rehearse a script before you record. You will sound better prepared, and you’re less likely to use filler sounds like “umm” and “uhh”.
It is good practice to think about how people will access your content. Listeners appreciate being able to select the file type that will work with their player and you will ensure that people who use assistive technology will have access. If your delivery of the content is through a website, it’s important that most common browsers can access it. For example, Flash doesn’t work with the Chrome Browser.
Always keep accessibility in mind. When working with audio, be sure to add a transcript or captions to make the information more available. You may want to check out the information about accessibility in the Lifelong Learning section of this MOOC if you haven’t done so already.
This section of #EmTechMooc will assist you in locating content that is already created as well as finding resources that will support you in the creation of your own materials. You are encouraged to explore, test and share what you find and create so we may all learn together.