Why would schools need yet another bit of ICT kit? With laptops, PCs and cheap MP3 player /digital recorders like iRiver’s T30 and even mobile phones all capable of recording podcast sound, we don’t need anything else. Or do we?
A press release trawled up today by a Google News search I do on education has made me wonder. It reports on a college professor who’s using a Marantz PMD660 compact professional sound recorder to make podcasts. The benefits for school use? It can:
- use the XLR microphone connection used by school “stage-type” mikes to get good quality (128Kbps) stereo podcast sound
- record to CompactFlash cards (or internal solid state memory) easing immediate file sharing
- create new files on-the-fly during recording for easy file selection during playback, again saving time
- record up to 4 hours on batteries
- cope well with knocks – it has no moving parts
There’s a datasheet here (2MB).To be honest, I thought professional kit like this would be too expensive for schools to even consider. But checking on Froogle, I found it typically costs less than £400. Given the costs of the alternatives, this looks good value for the benefits it brings in making quality, stereo, podcasting more accessible. Of course, for all I know, every primary school may well have one…