Vocaroo makes audio perspectives simple, even from a Chromebook

We’re 100% virtual out here in Oregon, and that means most of my students are working from school-provided Chromebooks. Though our district pays for Adobe Creative Cloud licenses for our students, we haven’t been able to use them because very few students have a computer that can handle running the programs. Because of that, we’ve had to be creative when it comes to finding ways to create multimedia content.

Last week, our staff members each wrote a Perspective — a short 2-minute (375 word) or less audio story in the form of a personal column. The assignment was inspired by the Perspectives shared on NPR-affiliate station KQED, and what’s awesome is that they provide a classroom toolkit for educators to use in teaching their students how to plan, write, and record their perspectives.

When it came time to do the recording, several of my students were able to use a smartphone for recording, then send themselves the recorded audio in .mp3 format. However, for a few students for whom that wasn’t an option, we needed to find a quick and effective way to use the device they do have, in most cases a Chromebook, to record their audio.

That’s when we found the simple website Vocaroo, which allows users to record an audio file, then embed it on a website or download the file to your computer. For a Chromebook where installing a program isn’t an option, this was a great workaround.

You can see what the embedded audio player looks like above. There aren’t any customization options — the whole thing is really stripped down to the essentials. But if you’re looking for a tool that can work for all students, regardless of the equipment they have, this is a simple one.

Michelle Balmeo

Michelle Balmeo, MJE, is the adviser of The Whirlwind newsmagazine and online news publication at West Albany High School in Albany, Ore. She's done some print stuff, some video stuff, and some web stuff over the past 16 years as a student media adviser.

Michelle Balmeo has 66 posts and counting. See all posts by Michelle Balmeo

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