This is a very short post to let you know about my new favourite app, Anchor.fm. Anchor.fm is like a micro podcasting app, in a similar way to how Twitter is a microblogging platform. It is currently available for iPhone (can be used on iPad) and offers fantastic recording quality. The app also allows you to listen to conversations, or “waves” via a web browser or mobile device without an account and it has a very robust embedding option (as demonstrated by my waves included below). You can sign-up to use Anchor.fm using your Twitter account or you can setup a new account with an email address. Recordings are limited to 2 minutes, which really helps to stimulate concise and accurate communication. This app is very new, so using it holds the excitment of being a pioneer! Finally with my user experience design hat on, the app is very simple to use with a big red recording button. It has one of the best introductory tutorials I have seen in an app, although my only piece of feedback is that the intro music is a little be loud, so perhaps complete the app setup in a place where you won’t disrupt others.
Here are a few potential ideas for how the app could be used to support learning and teaching:
- Use the app to ask a question, this question could be devised by your students and may be answered by your students and anyone else who is interested in your wave/conversation
- Use the app to remotely interview a noted speaker in your field – it could be used to put a student in contact with a noted speaker too
- Recite a poem in sections, which different speakers for each verse (it could also be used for plays, some of Harold Pinter’s plays could be pretty interesting in this format – although check on the copyright and performance rights first – Shakespeare might be better!)
- Host an online Q&A
- Share best practice ideas
- Explore language – one of the most interesting waves asked people to record a verse so that listeners could hear all the different accents of anchor’s International users
- Any other ideas? Please post them in the comments!
If you have ever been part of a Tweet chat, Anchor.FM pulls together the excitement of having dialogue with others, through use of verbal dialogue making the connection feel all the more authentic. As someone who started out their technology career making podcasts, I am a firm fan of audio and I am really excited to see how this new mode of social media develops.
For the embeds below, you can use the forward button (>) to skip to the next response in the wave/conversation.