A Great NEW Space to Record and Edit Podcasts: WLUR Studios

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Podcasting continues to skyrocket – with over 2 million active podcasts  and 71,548,284 episodes (as of September 2022) to choose from,  140 million US podcast listeners can’t be wrong!

Creating audio narratives in the form of storytelling, interviewing, and podcasting also continues to be popular assignments for W&L students. Why? Students have to contend with a new medium and the challenge of sharing information in their own voice. It brings together familiar patterns of research with a less familiar medium.

If you’re interested in encouraging creativity, fostering collaboration, and providing a sense of community in your course while giving students opportunities to practice both writing and presentation skills and expressing themselves through multimedia, consider adding podcasting to your classroom!  ITS Academic Technologies can support your class by offering in-class training about interviewing techniques, workflows for recording and editing, as well as assistance/troubleshooting outside of class.

As you hopefully already know, The Harte Center is home to three state-of-the-art video/audio editing suites — Leyburn 123, 124, and 125, reservable by students, faculty, and staff in 25Live — that are ideal spaces to record and/or edit video or audio projects. Towards the end of the term, it can be difficult to reserve these very in-demand rooms. That’s why, we are especially excited about a newly configured space for podcasting located within W&L’s student-run radio station, WLUR 91.5 FM, in Elrod Commons.

This morning, ITS Academic Technologies met with WLUR General Manager and Program Director, Steve Cross, to get a quick tour. The podcast “studio” features professional, high-end audio and video equipment with the ability to record — up to six different microphones! — and edit prerecorded audio content. The studio is available for use by W&L students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Contact Steve directly at scross [at] wlu [dot] com to ask about availability. You can also reach out to Steve to explore the world of broadcast, too.

Interested in podcasting but not sure how to get started? Contact ITS Academic Technologies. We’re here to help.

Why Audio Transcription Matters

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Audio transcription is the process of converting audio (or video) content into written text

Between brainstorming and planning, writing and recording, editing and mixing, you’ve put in a significant amount of time and effort to create a podcast. Why would anyone want to pile on the additional work of generating a word-by-word account of that incredible episode?!?

Consider this: you’ve already put in a significant amount of time and effort — not to mention blood, sweat, and tears — to create a totally amazing podcast, right? Now, all you need are listeners! Don’t you want your podcast to be as accessible and discoverable as possible?

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 37.5 million American adults aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing. 30 million Americans aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations. 

Not only does audio transcription make it possible for a user who is hard of hearing to engage with your content, it can also clear up confusion caused by regional dialects or unavoidable background noise wherever a listener may be.

Having a text transcript available on your website also invites search engines like Google to crawl, and index your content, making your podcast findable to your dream audience! Who wouldn’t want more search traffic and visitors?

An audio transcript creates a better experience overall for all users. New and existing listeners can give a transcript a quick look  before committing to listening to the full podcast. It’ll also be easier for your audience to search text to find some fascinating/interesting/thought-provoking tidbit rather than try to located the snippet in the audio itself.

If we’ve sold you on the value of audio transcription, listen up, because there’s a quick and painless way to create a transcript!

Did you know the online version of Word can transcribe audio that you record directly within Word? Better yet, if you already have a .wav, .mp4, or .mp3 file, you can simply upload it to Word and have it transcribed for you? Microsoft’s AI will even identify different speakers and organize the conversation into sections that you can easily edit and ultimately insert into a Word document. Pretty nifty, right?

Check out the official Microsoft Help Guide: Transcribe your recordings.  We’ve tested it and can verify that it works great!

Happy Transcribing!

NOTE: You are limited to five hours per month for uploaded audio; there is no transcription limit for audio recorded within Word on the web. English is the only language that is currently supported. You MUST use either the latest version of Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

Have questions? Need help? Email the ITS Information Desk at help@wlu.edu, call 540-458-4357 (HELP), or stop by the ITS Information Desk on the Main Level of Leyburn Library.

How to Wield the Power of Podcasting in Your Classroom!

Podcasting is a fast-growing storytelling medium for sharing information and personal expression. Beyond the convenience of listening on the go, the power of podcasting lies in the words, sounds, and silences in the theater of the mind.

Creating a high-quality podcast requires careful planning, quality scripting, and production skills. Thanks to ITS Academic Technologies, StoryCenter returns to W&L once again to offer a workshop of storytelling in the increasingly popular podcast format. 

Storycenter facilitators will guide you through story development, scripting, interview technique, audio hardware options, and training in Audacity software. All participants will gain hands-on experience and practical knowledge with various facets of creating a podcast and construct a complete, polished podcast segment that integrates consistently with an overall podcast identity. Listen to examples of podcast segments that have come out of Storycenter’s podcast workshops.

This workshop is designed for those who are new to podcasting; eager to learn the basics of long-form, narrative audio storytelling; and interested in using podcasting in the classroom. All W&L faculty are encouraged to apply at go.wlu.edu/podcasting


  1. All participants meet in-person with Academic Technologies (but virtually with StoryCenter staff) for a 2-hour introduction session during Winter Academy: Wednesday, December 15 at 9:15 am, breakfast provided.

  2. During Winter Break, each participant conducts an interview (45–60 minutes in length) on their own to use in their podcast segment during Winter Break.

  3.  In January or February 2022, each participant meets on-on-one via Zoom with a StoryCenter facilitator to review their interview and discuss a possible segment to build on based on that interview. 

  4.  All participants meet in-person for three days during Feb Break: Monday, February 21 through Wednesday, February 23, 2022; lunch and snacks provided.

Questions? Contact Julie Knudson at jmknudson@wlu.edu.



Technology and Tacos: Spotlight on the Pedagogy of Podcasting

Technology & Tacos - A Lunchtime Workshop Series

Our Pedagogy and Pizza lunchtime workshop series is back, and it has a new name!

During the Fall term, we’ll meet on three occasions — Tuesday, September 21; Tuesday, October 5; Tuesday, November 9 — in the Harte Center Teaching Hub (Leyburn 119) to explore and learn about the why and how of podcasting.

  • Technology and Tacos #1: Incorporating Podcasting into Your Teaching Practice
    Educational podcasting has become increasingly popular among educators worldwide. Podcasting can be implemented in a variety of ways: from short, single-concept lectures or audio feedback to students to syntheses of course material through to student-generated content.In this session, hear directly from three W&L faculty members, Mikki Brock, Caleb Dance, and Michael Hill, about why they’ve incorporated podcasting into their classrooms and how it’s worked for them.
  • Technology and Thai #2: Teaching Students Interviewing Skills
    The interview is a staple of both podcasting and journalism, but many students are unfamiliar with how to effectively plan, conduct, and edit interviews.In this session, Mark Coddington, Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications, will go over the basics of what students need to know about interviewing, then have workshop participants pair up to briefly interview each another and debrief afterwards. 

  • Technology and Turkey #3: The Nuts and Bolts of Podcasting
    Get a step-by-step breakdown of the entire process, including technology that’s available for check out, recommended recording/editing software, a quick tour of spaces in the Harte Center that are ideal for student work/collaboration, and how Academic Technologies can support podcasting project assignments, to ensure that students have the skills and background knowledge to create a podcast. 

All faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up and attend! Sign up at https://go.wlu.edu/techandtacos.

Participants who attend all three sessions will receive a free AOKEO USB Condenser Podcast Microphone ($39.99 retail value).

Questions? Contact Julie Knudson at jmknudson@wlu.edu.