Sunday, February 26, 2012

Classroom audio recording is a Cinch

Update: Cinch.fm and it's app are no longer in service. I recommend replacing these with AudioBoo or Soundcloud.

Cinch.fm and the cinch app for iOS devices have become my go to audio recording and podcasting tool. Let me tell you why.

My son listening to a Cinch recording of his favorite  book

First is ease of use. Both the cinch.fm website and the app are very easy to use when it comes to sign-up, recording, and listening to recordings. Second is the unlimited recording time (unlike audioboo.fm which limits recordings to three minutes). Third is the ability to make recordings using your computer and a microphone (website), using an iPad, iPhone, or 4th generation iPod touch (app), or record using any phone associated to your Cinch account.

The classroom applications are endless but here are just a few of the reasons why Cinch is the best option in my opinion.

  • Recording lectures that are immediately available online for students who are absent or need to hear the material again
  • Parent communication podcast (Audio newsletter, Daily activity and homework reporting)
  • Audio directions for worksheets or test accommodations
  • Student interviews and observational data 
  • Student recordings of think alouds, group projects, audio notes, student created tutorials, fluency practice, or adding audio to physical projects such as posters, dioramas, or written work
 For a more detailed look at using audio and podcasting in the classroom take a look at this post I wrote last year.

With cinch.fm you can also add photos and text to the audio recording. With the iOS app teachers and students can quickly and easily add a picture from the camera roll or take a picture with camera enabled devices. Text is limited to 140 characters. Ideas for teacher or student use include:
  • Taking pictures of objects around the classroom or school that relate to a theme or concept (e.g find and describe examples of ecosystems or geometric shapes)
  • Taking pictures of charts, graphics, or text and recording audio to answer questions
  • Asking students to take pictures of their work and record reflections about the content
  • Have students record themselves reading classroom books or materials. Use QR codes or shortened URL's to let others listen - See the How-to below.
Setting up a Cinch account - I recommend creating a generic classroom account if students will be recording. I also suggest making your folders private by default.


or using the cinch app

Make private folder(s) for your recordings (folders can only be created from the website)


Make a recording using the website or app




Add photos and text to the recording




Share your recording by shortening the URL or QR codes from the website

I recommend installing a QR code/URL shortener like goo.gl to your Chrome or Firefox browser or going to http://qrcode.kaywa.com/.


Start adding QR codes and shortened URL's to books and other classroom objects. You can use a QR scanner app for your iOS devices to make access to the recordings a snap!


Listen for your self.

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