I haven't used it to learn to read with expression. But I did use it for students to create podcast reviews that other students could listen to. Students who do not normally talk in class, really liked creating their own reviews. Other students would comment and then, my quieter students opened up more. My students like being able to hear themselves. Occasionally, I play the best reveiws in class.
I also use it to create Book Talks that students can access if they are absent the day I present a book.
We have a reading resource teacher in 7th and 8th grade in our school who uses it all the time with his reluctant readers. He has students create files of them reading shakespeare, etc and then has another student constructively critic it then they reread it, final products are put on line for parents to hear- seems to work well for those students
I've used Audacity for simple 'radio-style' podcasts. Eg. put a bunch of free sound files on a network drive, give kids a topic, have an interview, assemble a documentary, etc.
For a piece of freeware, the possibilities are endless.
One annoying thing though: the folks that built this nifty little program didn't make it easy to save and transport projects to other computers! This can be a real pain for newbies/first-timers and the workaround can be pretty technical. Unless kids have the same machine every session, best to try to get the projects done in one lesson.
I have classroom folders set up on our network for students to save their work into so they can access it from any computer. Our tech folks were nice enough to create a Student section of our server just for my lab. I have a folder for each teacher's classroom that I see. I named them by grade (2 Smith, 3 Jones, etc.) so they'll line up by grade level (and be at the beginning.)
I don't normally save my Audacity files as Audacity projects. Instead I export them as mp3 files. That way I can play them on almost any audio player. Also, if I need to edit them, I can easily import them back into Audacity. I love Audacity and use it frequently but I wish it would not save its files in a proprietary format.
I worked with a teacher to create a project with her students using audacity. The students created an 'old time radio broadcast' They used narration, self-made sound effects and music (to create mood) It was a great lesson to teach imagery, mood and expression using audio. Here is a link to the final products. http://tinyurl.com/daz6mu
i use Audacity in my French classes
- to podcast my comments/feedback to my students,
- to allow my students to comment back,
- to record Scored discussions,
- to add the pronunciation of vocabulary on Inspiration 8 templates ( with visuel support)
I've used it to measure the speed of sound, and examine the properties of soundwaves. I have used it to record myself in senior classes when giving lecture-style lessons, for their later review. I have used it as an assessment tool for students, to create radio plays/interviews on various topics. For a free tool, it's pretty good.
Our year 7 students are working in elluminate with members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra(MSO). They spend one lesson, listening to a musician discuss and play his instrument, and the next session they work in audacity producing musical stories, grabbing clips that the MSO members have recorded and uploaded onto a common blog. Their task is to stitch the clips together, use the effects etc in audacity. I really like the beat metre in the beta version. Their virtual teacher in Melbourne teaches them some of the finer points of audacity. As two other smaller country schools are also involved, our next projects will be to try and collaborate together across schools to complete another students musical story. They are also uploading their mp3 files to their blog and listeners have to guess "where they are" by listening to their composition.