Digital recorder for every school’s web toolkit?

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?

Marantz PMD660A 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…

One thought on “Digital recorder for every school’s web toolkit?”

  1. It’s expensive but it’s far more reliable than recording straight onto computer and so the quality is better from that perspective. For most education uses, though, a flash recorder like an iRiver can be at least four times cheaper, meaning a class set of five can be bought for the same price as one Marrantz.

    That said, if schools want more pro results this is the choice to take – in LTS we’ve just snaffled a few for our own podcasting streams which will be launched soon.

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