Jason Says…

This is how I write…
Audio Player

By Jason

How do you write?  Do you do anything different to Jason?  Is there anything else Jason could do?

Talking the Talk

So here’s my audio-post.  I got over the fact that I don’t like to hear my recorded voice, wrote a script and read it out (most of it).  There were a few mistakes and err…umms along the way, but I just did what I tell the kids to do, “Keep going, we can edit the mistakes out later.”  I did just that!

Click to play*

This is my speaking voice; I mean this is the voice I use at school in class and with colleagues. I made a conscious effort to change and modify the way I spoke at teachers college 10 years ago. Out of school it’s a little more relaxed, but I maintain the same inflections, vocabulary and syntax. I still encounter occasional blank looks at particular phrases and sometimes I can see people ruminating, trying to decode exactly what I just said, because I used a familiar word in an unfamiliar context, but most of the time my altered English voice serves me well.

But I’m not English. I’m a Yorkshireman. I’m Yorkshire, a tyke. This is my real voice. It’s flatter and my Yorkshire accent is broader. I drop my aitches, miss out words like ‘the’ and the letter T and replace them with a glottal stop. Most vowels become short vowels, others undergo a shift, taking on other vowel sounds. Some words with a double O sound in become U and others are extended into diphthongs. Ends of words are shortened or clipped and unfamiliar dialect words may be used instead of Standard English words. Right doesn’t sound like write, Mother or mum stays much the same, but father is different, dad is not. Boys and girls are lads and lasses who like to play football on the grass and if a lad scored a goal he’d be really proud of himself. They might have brought something for their lunch, but if they haven’t brought anything they’ll have nothing to eat and will be hungry on the way home.

How many times have you heard an adult say, “I hate the sound of my own voice.” Someone (@klandmiles in Singapore) tweeted on Twitter last week, “Of course you hate the sound of your own voice, it’s in the rules.”

I wonder how children hear themselves. So do kids hate the sound of their own voice? Or do they listen and think, “Hey! That’s me!”

We expect children to want to record themselves on audio or video and many of them do, but a small percentage of them will feel as I still do…I hate the sound of my own voice. What can we do to nurture these students? How can we build their confidence and encourage them to participate and create in this way? Do they have to?

*audio recorded on a Nokia N95, three main takes and edited in Audacity

This post originally published at “At the Teacher’s Desk

Sounds Good!

Earlier this week I left a comment (which I later turned into a blogpost) on this post by @wmchamberlain and was invited, via Twitter, to be a contributor at “At the Teacher’s Desk”   As I’d already identified audio and video of myself as a personal dislike I decided that the first step in “walking the talk” would be to use an audio-post as my first contibution to the blog.

Our class blog is provided by WordPress.com and it’s been about three years since I’ve done any real work on a Blogger based blog.  Before writing and recording my audio-post I needed to find out how to embed an mp3 audio player in Blogger.  Blogger (Google) doesn’t make this easy, which is a strange omission in a blogging platform that is otherwise so media friendly.  I thought I recalled doing it previously, but wasn’t sure.

In response to a question from @jlamshed I sent this tweet-

Which was met with a couple of responses.  One from @wmchamberlain suggesting I use Vocaroo (an online recording service) and another from @winetimejs saying I should find somewhere to host the audio file and link it in the blog.

Neither of these matched exactly what I wanted.  They’d both work perfectly well, but I wanted to edit the audio in Audacity to remove any “umms” and hiccoughs I might make.  I also wanted to embed a little player into the blog rather than have a link like this- listen here.  Don’t bother clicking – it’s not a real link!

After following several pomising leads from Google I eventually found this page.  It documents several ways of adding an audio player to Blogger. I used number 1 on the page to produce this player below.

You’ll need somewhere to host your audio file (I actually uploaded mine to WordPress).  After that you need to follow the instuctions, copy and paste the player code and then paste in your mp3 file location. I’m not going to reproduce all the steps here in any detail because they’re all included here.  Just make sure you paste the code into the html view in Blogger.

The page offers other options for embedding mp3 audio in blogger, none of which I’ve tried.  I like the sound of number three, which adds code to the Blogger template so that a player appears automatically whenever you paste in an mp3 link.

One final note.  This only works with mp3 audio files.  If you have any problems you can leave questions and suggestions in the comments.  Happy recording and listening!