Creating a podcast and listing it in the iTunes directory takes a bit of work, but once it’s done, the “authentic audience” and ability to enable your students to “subscribe” to their shows, and those of their classmates, is a rich engagement option. The podcast station within your classroom (where the students record), can then feed an iTunes listing, which you can then subscribe to, sync’ing an old iPod paired with a Belkin Rockstar 5 port splitter and some headphones to create a listening centre where your students can then listen and assess each other’s work while you are working with your guided reading groups.
Here’s what you need to do…
Set up a website that will allow you to upload audio and serve up an RSS feed. Any blog will do. (You know I love WordPress.) You need this to store your work because iTunes does not store your episodes on its own servers. Think of the iTunes podcast directory as a massive RSS reader, that knows and monitors the location of your podcast episodes (in this case, the blog we are setting up) and serves them up centrally to your audience.
This is NOT the address you are going to provide to iTunes when you apply to be listed in their directory. Inevitably, the way that blogging platforms change their Terms of Service, you never know when you might need to change the location of your podcast feed, and you don’t want to have to re-apply to the iTunes store for a listing for two reasons:
1. It’s a waste of time.
2. It will create two separate, similar listings in the iTunes catalogue: one you have abandoned and one that is current, confusing your listeners.
The solution? Feedburner.
Feedburner creates the address that you use in iTunes, and then you can change the location of the audio whenever the TOS moves you.
Go to http://feedburner.google.com and sign in (or up) with a Google account.
Burn a Feed.
You’ll notice in the image that I have used https://posterous.com/ to host my podcast. If I decide tomorrow to change where my podcast episodes are being stored, I can change the address in Feedburner, and my iTunes listing will carry on as if nothing had changed.
Go to iTunes (the desktop software). Go to the iTunes Store and click on the Podcasts link on the top and then the Submit a Podcast button on the right:
Et voila: http://voices.litcircuits.com is now listed at http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/voices-from-lit-circuits/id363452598