Free and Easy Sound Editing Software Offers Instructional Benefits

As far as education goes, few applications offer as much potential as Audacity, a free and incredibly powerful sound editing software. In my journalism class, students use this software to produce and edit audio news segments. Sometimes, The Falconer produces podcast editorials to appeal to a wider community. My staff really enjoys showcasing high production value, but they understand that this also entails producing high quality content. My executive editor, Preston, has an extremely gifted voice, and I rely upon his talents to help instruct. He teaches how to properly speak into the microphone, when to pause between words, when to emphasize syllables, and, most importantly, how to breathe. Outside of student publications, Audacity also offers a host of uses. This semester, my government students learned the software to produce political radio advertisements during our unit on election campaigns. Several students went above and beyond, using more advanced Audacity features to create political talk shows. One person even figured out how to make it sound as if a caller had dialed-in on his cell phone. More than anything, this technology affords my students a medium to really show just how well they understand core material.

As a coach, history and journalism teacher at Brimmer and May, a wonderful independent school in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, I have the absolute best job in the world. I am thrilled to get up every morning to engage with interesting young people, and I'm equally fortunate to have such amazing colleagues and mentors. As the founder of Spin Education, I encourage you to check-in frequently and submit posts and lessons—all in an effort to better our practice as teachers.

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