If recent predictions are to be believed, the podcasting scene will explode in 2016. For me, that’s great to hear because I am a big fan of podcasts, but it is also great news for teachers who are looking for new ways for their students to communicate their ideas and reach a global audience. So, with that in mind, here are some of the best apps for podcasting on the iPad.
What is Podcasting?
Depending on who you ask, the definition of podcasting can vary. Some people think they are podcasting when they record audio, but to most who are familiar with podcasting, this leaves out one important aspect, namely the ability to reach that global audience. So, here’s a definition I like from the Oxford Dictionary.
The practice of using the Internet to make digital recordings of broadcasts available for downloading to a computer or mobile device.
Podcasts can be recorded in a video and/or audio format and are often distributed through RSS feeds or other subscribable services.
How Do You Podcast on the iPad?
As a truly multimedia device, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that you can record a very decent podcast on the iPad. For video podcasts you can use the iPad’s camera, but if you want to keep it simple, audio podcasts are a great place to start. The built-in microphone does a decent job with many apps, but a more professional sound can be achieved if you use the 30-pin or Lightning to USB Camera Adapter to plug in a USB microphone. You can also choose from a variety of external microphones to use with the iPad.
What are the Best iPad Apps for Podcasting?
There are many different apps that will let you record audio on the iPad, but some are more suited to podcasting than others. Here are a rundown of some of my favorite iPad podcasting apps for the classroom.
1. Opinion Podcasts
If you are looking for a great all-in-one solution, Opinion Podcasts is a great place to start. It lets you record, edit and publish podcasts for free. They give you a webpage to use as the home base for all your podcasts and even supply an RSS feed that you can use to submit your podcast to iTunes and other podcast directories. Opinion also shares to SoundCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, e-mail, and iMessage. You can also import audio for sound effects or intro music from your iTunes music library, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and others. Recordings are limited to ten minutes in the free version, but you can unlock unlimited recording with a $3.99 in-app purchase. Check out Room 108 Oklahoma City by Shelly Fryer (@sfryer) for a perfect example of how Opinion Podcasts could work in the classroom.
Another useful all-in-one option is AudioBoom (formerly AudioBoo). Like Opinion, you can record, edit and share 10 minute clips for free from the AudioBoom app. It is a little less flexible in that you can only send your audio clips to AudioBoom, and you cannot import any audio from other sources, but sometimes simplicity is better. Of note, this app is rated 12+ because AudioBoom also gives you the ability to search and listen to a variety of other podcasts. Not all may be suitable for young audiences, so that is something to be aware of. That said, AudioBoom can be a great host for a class podcast. Check out Fifth Grade Fever, a daily podcast created by the students of Scott Hagedorn (@
3. Voice Record Pro 7
Talking a side step away from the packaged solution is a free app called Voice Record Pro 7. This is an extremely versatile audio recording app that I first learned about from Wesley Fryer (@wfryer). You can import and export audio from Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and Box. You can also export to SoundCloud or an FTP server. One compelling feature is the ability to export the audio as a video file, with an image, and send it to YouTube. This would be a great way to add to a class YouTube or student YouTube account with minimal effort. It also gives you a huge audience to interact with your media, as well as the ability to embed it on school or classroom websites.
4. bossjock studio or bossjock Jr
The bossjock apps are like a mixing desk for podcasts. They allow you to cue up a variety of different audio files like intro music, sound effects, and more. During recording, you simply tap on the “Cart” that you want to play. This lets you add into or outro music over a live voice recording, and you can adjust the volume of each effect as you play it. bossjock does not come with any online file storage, but you can export to SoundCloud, Facebook, and Dropbox. You can also export to other apps or save your recording to the Camera Roll as a video so that you can upload to YouTube later, much like you can with Voice Record Pro 7. The bossjock jr app is free, and great for what it does, but more options and more royalty free music tracks can be found in the bossjock studio app for $9.99.
5. Ferrite Recording Studio
If you are looking for a lot of control over your final audio podcast, you might want to take a look at the Ferrite Recording Studio app. It includes a multi-track editor that lets you mix multiple tracks together and many other useful features. Some effects are only available with an in-app purchase, but many of the things you would like to be included for free (like automatic ducking) are available for no cost. You can split, trim, move and delete tracks as appropriate, as well as fade in/out or crossfade between tracks. Finished recordings can be exported to a number of services or saved to the Camera Roll as a video.
What are the Best Podcast Players?
If you are encouraging others to listen to your student podcasts, you will want to make it as easy as possible for people to find them. Often, the best app for your needs might depend on where you are hosting your podcast files online, but if you are looking for some suggestions, you might want to start by reading How to Download, Listen and Subscribe to Podcasts. This is a quick primer on how to access and listen to podcasts that are available on the web. Personally, I really like Overcast, but it is only available on iOS and may not be suitable for all hosting solutions.
Are you a Podcasting Educator?
Do you do podcasts with your students? If so, what is your preferred method of recording and sharing the content with others? Do you use one of these apps, or something else? Feel free to leave a comment below to help others get started with a new way for their students to communicate.