Thursday, July 10, 2014

Smart phone microphones and recording conversations in class

I meant to write this yesterday, but I didn't because the guitar was calling. The guitar's been neglected as of late, so I took 90 minutes, cranked up the tunes, and blasted away. It felt good. I took a little trip to rock and roll land and forgot about the busy days over here for a bit.

Anyway, that one thing: A few books I'd been reading lately mentioned making recordings in class. They specifically mentioned tape recorders because they came out before smart phone became ubiquitous. And yesterday, as my middle school girls began their group discussions about what they would do in certain situations, I had the idea to walk around and record whatever they were talking about. I'd brought the phone to class to use its stopwatch function in a memory/copying activity and thought, Hmm...this has a mike in it. Let's see what happens when I record things... So I did. I pushed record, walked around, and listened.

I didn't tell the students I was recording. I did as I always do: Move from group to group and see how everyone's doing. Maybe some of the girls noticed the phone in my hand, but none of them said anything.

When the class was over, I listened to the recordings and learned two things:

1. The fidelity's better than expected. The levels were good. I'd wondered if it would pick up some of the quieter voices, but it did.
2. I said "hm" too much when listening to the students. Or at least I think I did.

Actually, there was a 3rd thing I learned: the phone can send the sound files via email and KakaoTalk. In doing so, I shared them with my coteacher, who also praised the sound quality. Altogether, all of this is good to know. I've never used any recording equipment in class before; maybe now's the time to start. The phone's recorder's much more convenient than a tape recorder. The thing to do now: Consider where/when to use the voice recorder and how it can benefit the students in our classes.

For anyone who has recorded things in class, feel free to comment below!

* One book was How to Teach Teach Speaking by Scott Thornbury. Expect to see a review of it soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment