Setting up a School Internet Radio Station
Well, I am in the best mood ever!
With very little fiddling around, I've set up an internet radio station for my school.
Once set up, you simply upload some MP3 sound files, and people who tune into the radio station hear them broadcast live.
To listen in, go to http://shoutcast.com/directory/search_results.jsp?searchCrit=simple&s=Booralie and click 'Tune In!' (At the time of publishing this post, most the of the content has been made by me. The station is only a few hours old. In a few days we'll have student content, and I'll blog again about it).
In our case, we then nominate our radio station as the media stream to play in our 3D virtual world (which we call 'Booralie Island', using the Second Life program. Our students and teacher use this space in parrallel with the physical space of the classroom. It is early days, but a strong community has sprung up).
[here a student has a created a huge version of the periodic table]
Anyway, back to the radio station...
THINK OF THE POSSIBILITIES!
- drama students broadcasting entertaining radio plays
- music students recording their compositions
- students of ANY subject, ANY age recording entertaining educational recordings.
- English students speaking from the perspective of a character in the text they're studying, or giving a book review.
- recorded debates
- health and diet tips from students studying nutrition
- students read their creative writing or poetry
- history students retell historical events in a dramatic mode!
- study tips, pretend advertisements, and so on!
Students create MP3 files with a headset (cheap headsets work fine, by the way) and free 'Audacity' software available here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/
HOW TO SET UP AN INTERNET RADIO STATION
The way I did it:
1. Set up an internet server that will run your station for you. Go to http://shoutcast.setnine.com/ and decide how many people you want to be able to listen to the station at the same time, and at what quality. I think you want at least 'Bit Rate: 64 Kbps' but any higher than costs more with little increase in quality. We selected 25 listeners maximum. Click on what you want and then you'll have to pay by PayPal or credit card. I paid on credit card and will claim the money back from school.
2. Once setnine.com has set you up (it took them 3 days for me), you'll be emailed a username and password. You log into the website when you want, and upload your audio files. You can create playlists and set them to play on a loop in a certain order, or you can even 'DJ', using the software WINAMP, to run your station live.
To listen to our radio station, click here and then click on "Tune In!"
It won't be hard to maintain and run the station. I'll get a pool of audio files from various teachers, or even direct from inspired students. I simply upload them to the website, and the radio server does the rest!