Free tools to improve recorded audio

Noisy classroom, poor-quality laptop? Trying to get the students to create multimedia stories on their school laptops or iPads in the classroom or library? Been there and done that. Adobe podcast is an online solution you can use to not only record a podcast but also get your students (and you) to learn the best position for your face, actually mouth away from the laptop microphone and how much gain you should apply. Sound complicated? It is super simple and free. Read on to find out and see how is done.

First the link – you can sign into the premium service if your education institution has an enterprise or district license that includes your school. Here in the NT, we have that, so every teacher and student has access to tools like for free along with with their school login. Express comes with its own enhanced audio and also a puppet maker for creating animations quickly and easily – check out “animate with audio” in Adobe Express.

Microsoft Forms and other tools allow you to include videos as questions. I use the animate with audio, checking the switch that says “enhance audio” so my puppets sound the best they can be. I used this to create a multi-choice geography set of quiz videos like the ones below. They only took a minute or so to create from a template – download and insert into my Microsoft Forms Quiz.

You can try the quiz below to see how the videos are embedded into the MS Forms Quiz.

Here are a couple of short video questions taken from the quiz – they are between 6 and 11 seconds each.

For fun, I even added a cameo of a frog to the following video about a backyard mystery during the wet season in Darwin. It is a 2-minute video with the cameo at the end (or rather at 1:31)

The featured image for this post was created using Adobe Firefly – a generative AI tool that helps me quickly and ethically create blog post images and more in a very short time.

You might also want to check out another post I created late last year on Adobe Podcast going into the editing and adding intro and outro music in more detail. You can check that here

The writing of this post was in celebration of Robbie Burns Day or Burns Night which occurs on the 25th of January and provides a good example where a day to celebrate can be chosen by the people of a country and enjoyed and shared by all who call that country home.

May Robbie Burns Day inspire those struggling to find a day suitable for all Australians to jointly celebrate. Two additional points about Burns Night or Robbie Burns Day are:

  • both day and night are accepted (actually any time is fine)
  • the 25th of January is a date that one can put in their calendar, however a Burns Supper, Night, Day or celebration can be held at any time of the year because it is a celebration of what it is to be Scottish and not tied to a specific date.

Ironically I was reacquainted with the celebration of Robbie Burns this year through my use of Livecode, a programming language that has its roots in hypercard of Apple fame and is now owned and developed in Scotland.

My one and only formal Burns Supper event I have attended was almost 30 years ago in the wild jungles of East Kalimantan – a province of Indonesia. This magnificent event came complete with the Haggis being piped in, poetry being read (Burns of course) and the cutting being done with a sword before Scottish dancers flown all the way from Scotland performed late into the night.

I hope that our students have the opportunity to experience, create and transform their own stories to share for others to enjoy using the great tools they have access to.

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