Audacity is an audio recording and editing software application that is open-source so that anyone can download it for free with no restrictions of use. This software can: record live audio, cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together, and edit various audio files (Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV, or AIFF to name a few). This application can be integrated across disciplines and is relatively easy to use. Audacity can foster active student participation and deeper learning through content creation (e.g., podcasts) and allow students to showcase their understanding through multimedia rather than tests or papers.
|Ease of Use||★★★★✩|
|Power & Bias||★★★★★|
|ISTE*S||Knowledge Constructor, Creative Communicator, Global Communicator|
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Audacity Overview Video
Audacity & the SAMR Model
Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model offers a lens for examining how technology is adopted in a classroom. As you strive to incorporate online tools into your classroom, we encourage you to use this model as an analytic tool. Here is an example of how Audacity might fit within the SAMR model:
- Substitution: Students create audio recordings of their presentations rather than present them in front of the class.
- Augmentation: Students enhance audio recordings by adding sound effects, background music, primary source audio, and other audio files.
- Modification: Students engage in advanced audio editing techniques to create podcasts or other audio recordings to share with a public audience.
- Redefinition: Students remix historical recordings (or creative commons/copyright-free audio files) with new audio to generate creative sound bytes.
Technology is often used as a direct substitute for other low-tech tools (e.g., pencil and paper). While substitution has some benefits (e.g., students develop their technical skills and knowledge), we encourage you to consider how you might use Audacity to modify or redefine learning.
Audacity can be utilized across disciplines, so the learning activity examples are not sorted in any specific manner to avoid a fixed perception of the possibilities of the software application.
- Produce an audio advertisement (e.g., a historic scientific discovery)
- Promote language learning – students can record themselves and publish their recordings to have others, fellow students and/or native speakers, evaluate their speaking of a second language.
- Create podcasts – present information as a knowledge expert in a given area of their choosing or interview a knowledge expert.
- Examples of this type of project can be found in a New York Times article Project Audio: Teaching Students How to Produce Their Own Podcasts
- Record speeches – evaluate the performance of others or themselves to become more effective communicators.
- Collectively produce an audiobook recording.
- Produce a movie review audio file for other students.
- Radio play, ex. Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds-Dramatize historical event.
- Record/edit Interviews-Capture an oral history interview.
- Common Sense Education lesson plans examples that incorporate Audacity
- 10 Great ways to use Audacity with your Students
- Hear This – Audacity Resources
How-To Tutorials and Websites
- Audacity User Manual
- Using Audacity/The Interface
- Copying tapes, LPs, or MiniDiscs to CD
- Audacity Basic Audio Editing Tutorial
- Audacity Tutorial: 17 Essential Podcast Recording and Editing Tips
- Teacher Training Videos.com
- Udemy – Start Learning Audacity…For Free
- Open Source.com-Audacity in the Classroom
How to Use Audacity – A Visual Guide
Download and open Audacity.
Double click on the shortcut to open the application.
An application will open up with no timeline displayed. You can either record directly into Audacity or import audio file(s).
Tracks: Record Live Audio
To RECORD a track, click the large, red circular button and a track will appear. Each new recording will be created on its own timeline. If you wish to record on a previous track, select it, hold shift, and press the RECORD button. The play head will move from left to right on the timeline. Click on the STOP button to stop recording.
Tracks: Import Audio File
To RECORD a track, click the large, red circular button and a track will appear. Each new recording will be created on its own timeline. If you wish to record on a previous track, select it, hold shift, and press the RECORD button. The play head will move from left to right on the timeline. Click on the STOP button to stop recording. To Import an audio file, go to File >> Import >> Audio and select the audio file.
Editing the track
Editing Tools(from the top-left corner to bottom-right corner) Selection tool, envelope tool (adjust volume), draw tool, magnifying tool, time shift tool, and multi-tool mode.
Click and drag to make a selection, then operate on the selected portion of the track.
Time Shift Tool
Move track or clip-on timeline horizontally.
Adjust the gain (volume) of the track or clip by placing anchor points on the ceiling and floor of the track.
Export Project to Audio File
- Click File
- Click Export Audio
- A Save As pop-up window will appear
- Create a file name and select .WAV
- Click Save
- An Edit Meta-Data window will appear in which you can enter data about the audio file. You aren’t required to enter any data.
Chaikovska, O. (2020). The impact of podcasts designed through audacity on improving grammar skills. Open educational e-environment of modern university, 8, 1-7.
Sichivitsa, V. (2007). Audacity in Vocal Improvisation: Motivating Elementary School Students through Technology. Teaching Music, 14(4), 48.
CC BY-NC: This work is released under a CC BY-NC license, which means that you are free to do with it as you please as long as you (1) properly attribute it and (2) do not use it for commercial gain.
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