I was inspired by what I saw from afar via #NotAtISTE17: the energy, the creativity and the new releases. Of all the demos and publicity I saw, I was most impressed by Soundtrap. Soundtrap got some attention from others outlets as well.

I had seen some demos via EdTechTeacher before, but I had only dabbled with the app. The good new is that anyone can move from dabbling to dubstep in a matter of minutes. It is that easy and that immediately gratifying, even for those who lack musical talent like I do.

I created my account via the “edu” portal–Soundtrap offers both “Personal” and “Educational” accounts. Once I was logged in, I experimented with all the studio has to offer: instruments, beats, loops, and sound fx. Each of these can be laid down into separate tracks with a simple drag and drop interface. The interface and the immediacy of the results invite users to play around as their own producers.

How could teachers and students use this? There are a range of possibilities from podcasts to dramatic readings to pumped-up pronunciation practice to posts for discussion boards (through an LMS) to original songs. Scroll down for a more complete list of options. I have worked with GarageBand and Audacity in the past, but Soundtrap is now in consideration as my go-to audio resource. Why? It’s browser based, it’s free(mium) and–best of all–it allows for collaboration.

My first foray into anything worth sharing started as play with my kids and morphed into a mashup of beats, instrumentals and an audio clip from Freesound. (If you are not familiar with Freesound, it is a huge collaborative database of audio–snippets, samples, recordings–released under Creative Commons licenses.) The result? Well, it’s my awkwardly timed but addictive track–for me the producer, not necessarily you the listener. It’s simultaneously an exercise in production, pronunciation and more. Be warned, the looping list of words is more notable for their poetic effects rather than their conversational utility. [See below.]

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How might language students use this creative, collaborative platform in modern language classes?

  • pronunciation practice: text-based lists
  • pronunciation practice: student-sourced (curated) lists
  • poetry reading
  • prose reading
  • mashups and remixes, with lessons on digital citizenship embedded
  • original musical compositions based on a selected genre (e.g. son, mambo, pop)
  • original musical compositions based on a country/region students study
  • podcasts
  • commercials
  • public service announcements
  • StoryCorps-style interviews
  • posts for discussion boards (through an LMS)
  • original oratory
  • interweave student audio created with Soundtrap with other audio available on SoundCloud, Spotify, PRI, NPR One, etc. (Click here for more ideas on how to use Spotify in class.)
  • audio journal for reflection on work submitted and/or work in progress.

The resource (Soundtrap) and the realm (collaborative, free, fair-use audio) are worth exploring. I’ve detailed use cases for modern foreign language here, but the applications for English, ELA, History, Social Studies, Science, Math and more are easy to imagine. Give it a try.

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  • Éxtasis – ecstasy
  • Congénito – congenital
  • Abanico – fan 
  • Extirpar – to remove
  • Embate – onslaught 
  • Faccioso – factious 
  • Radioscópico – radioscopic
  • Mareo – dizziness 
  • Éxtasis – ecstasy
  • Bubónico –  bubonic 
  • Músculo – muscle 
  • Nieto – grandson
  • Tampoco – either/neither
  • Hidrófobo – hydrophobic 
  • Nuez – nut
  • Principio – beginning 
  • Invertebrado – invertebrate
  • Meninge – meningeal
  • Populoso – populous 
  • Comprada – purchased
  • Éxtasis – ecstasy
  • Tiznar – to smudge 
  • Retama – broom (Cytisus and Genista)
  • Mareo – dizziness 
  • Tampoco – either/neither
  • Faccioso – factious 
  • Éxtasis – ecstasy
  • Extirpar – to remove 
  • Bubónico – bubonic 
  • Hipnosis – hypnosis 
  • Invertebrado – invertebrate
  • Músculo – muscle
  • Congénito –  congenital
  • Meninge – meningeal
  • Hidrófobo – hydrophobic 
  • Principio – beginning
  • Nieto – grandson 
  • Populoso – populous 
  • Comprada – purchased 
  • Nuez – nut
  • Éxtasis – ecstasy

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