Jul 242017

Do you know a nice, stable, likely long-lived service that allows people to record audio online and then embed a player into another website?

HINT: Soundcloud may be the wrong answer. I want ANOTHER one…

“Nightmare” uploaded to Flickr by clement127 25 October 2014

Every tech lecturer’s nightmare.

That easy-to-use tech that helps students who may be a little unsure to make multimedia, that just requires mic input and the ability to press a big red button on a web interface, that reliable and well-funded tech, key tool for an assessment in your unit…

….you hear rumours that it laid off 40% of its staff (173 people) last week, that it can only guarantee funding for the next 50 days.  Of course, the founder of the service issues a denial of sorts (well, it actually only claims that it has funding for the next quarter…)…

Meanwhile, your unit outline, the contract with your students, needs to be published at midnight tonight.

I have looked for as stable, as large, as easy-to-use services as Soundcloud and really only come up with chirb.it and clyp.it , which I had not really heard of, do not seem to be used very widely and I am not sure are likely to be any more stable than Soundcloud.

I am settling on adding another step. A sensible step that students should be doing anyhow. Soundcloud allows users to download the audio file of something they create using the web interface rather than by file upload. I am just asking that they download their file when they create their piece and then (in the unlikely event of Soundcloud folding before marking has been returned) they upload a backup to the Internet Archive and add the URL to the place they submit on Blackboard …

All students should be well and truly able to do this, of course. BUT… part of what I try to do in my unit is offer the “lowest hanging fruit” where students who may be tech-nervous get to experience very easy interfaces to achieve things that they did not believe initially they were capable of. So, if they have to create multimedia in their job (which they probably will) they are confident that they will be able to work out any tool presented to them.

SO – If you know another service, or have a smarter way to solve the problem, less confronting for a tech novice, I would love to hear from you.


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What do you think? (Long comments lose "post" button :( )