Sunday, September 22, 2013


Vocaroo is an incredibly easy and versatile voice-recording system that can be a huge asset to your classroom.

  • Very easy-to-use interface
  • Completely free
  • No e-mail address or account registration necessary to use it
  • Ability to e-mail your recordings, post them on social media, or download the file to your computer 
  • Instead of recording, users have the option to upload a segment of audio
  • Ability to access recordings from iOS devices {although there is not an app for it...yet}
  • No limit on the number of minutes you can record using Vocaroo

  • Since you don't have to have an account for this website, you can't save any "works in progress" and edit them later
  • No app, and iOS devices don't support in-browser audio recording, which means you can't record anything from an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad


As with all audio recording websites, you do need access to a microphone in order to use this tool. If your computer doesn't have a built in microphone, you could always purchase a headset with a microphone like this one to help you:

{FYI: a headset microphone like the one pictured above might actually be the best option to record, no matter what kind of microphone situation you have on your computer. Because of the close distance between the microphone and your mouth, the headset microphone blocks out a lot more background noise than a built-in microphone does. I have the luxury of a quiet house, since I don't have kids yet and my husband works a lot, but for those of you whose homes are a little more hectic, you may have a harder time getting a clear recording without a headset microphone.}

How Do I Record?

The homepage of Vocaroo is incredibly simple:

...Seriously. That's it. So if you're normally a little intimidated by technology, rest assured that you can do this. :)

Click the giant red button in the center of the screen labeled "click to record," and just start talking. It is honestly that easy.

There is no time limit on the length of a recording through Vocaroo, so you can ramble away for as long as you need to. ;)

After you hit the "record" button, you'll see this screen, which means that it's recording:

After you've finished, hit "click to stop" to stop the recording. You'll then see this screen:

You have the option to listen to your podcast to make sure it sounds okay, and you can re-record if you don't like how it sounds. If you're satisfied with your recording, however, you can click the "click here to save" button, which is located in that last green box at the bottom of the page.

After you click to save your recording, you're met with this screen:

Ignore that link...I didn't say anything on this podcast; I was just taking a screenshot. ;)
Notice the options you have at this point. You can....
  • embed your recording on a website {which is what I did on our class blog last year to explain some of the features of the website}.
  • e-mail a link to the recording, right from Vocaroo {you don't have to download anything to your computer or attach anything to your e-mail in order to do just sends a link to somewhere in the interwebz so that your recipient can listen. It's pretty painless. :) }.
  • share on any number of social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter
  • link the recording to a QR code...and you already know how much you can do with a QR code
  • download the file in a handful of formats.
See how simple all of this is? If you do have any questions, you could always read Vocaroo's FAQ section.

How Can I Use This In My Class?
{A lot of these options work best if you attach the link to your recording to a QR code.}

Back to School
  1. Record yourself saying "hello" or "welcome" at back-to-school time. Embed the recording on your website or "meet the teacher" page.
  2. Verbally explain the features of your website and/or how to navigate it; embed this recording on your website.  
  3. Create a welcome message for students and parents, and place it on your door during Open House night. {This would also work well if you had to be absent during Open House night.}
  4. Record a welcome message and place it on your BTS newsletter or postcard. Hearing your voice and how excited you are to have them in your class might be especially helpful for little ones.
  5. Create an "I'll be with you ASAP" recording and place it on your door during parent-teacher conferences. Parents who arrive early and see a closed door could scan the recording to hear that you are there, but that you're speaking with another parent at the moment and will be with them shortly. 

Make a Substitute's Life Easier
  1. Record a message to remind students about behavior expectations and when you'll back, and let the substitute play it at the beginning of class.
  2. Record the directions for an assignment. Put it in a QR code and put the code directly on the assignment page. If you had a substitute, students could just scan the QR code at the top of the handout and get your directions. 
  3. Record directions to centers or stations, put the info into a QR code, and put the QR code at the center.

Make Your Life Easier
  1. Record directions to centers or stations, put the info into a QR code, and put the QR code at the center. Instead of asking you over and over what they're supposed to be doing, students could just scan the QR code to re-listen to the directions. If you're a fan of file folder games or compact centers, it would easy to place a QR code of directions for that activity on the back of every folder or Ziploc baggie. If this works like I think it would, you would only have to explain things once. Imagine how much time you'd save and how much else you could get done! 
  2. Record instructions or examples to an assignment or project and place it at the top of the worksheet/handout/rubric. Students could re-listen to these if they get stuck during an assignment. 
  3. Save audio files of things you use regularly so that you can access them later without having to re-record. 
  4. Record yourself reading a book, page by page. Embed the recordings onto a QR code and place the QR code on each page for the student to scan. This would be great for conquering the "listen to reading" portion of Daily 5 without having to physically read to every single student. 
  5. Record your instructions for a substitute. Put the files in a special folder that a substitute can access. Then all she/he has to do is play the recordings for the class. It's like you're "teaching" even when you're not physically there.

  1. Modify work for ESL or LD kiddos by reading things to them, repeating directions, or telling them to skip every other problem... etc.
  2. As a modification, read an assessment and the possible answers and place it in the top corner of SpEd kids' papers. They could go into the hallway and listen to the test being read to them...they could even pause to comprehend and answer questions.
Help Students and Parents
  1.  Record project or homework explanations so kids can listen to instructions at home. Embed this recording next to an uploaded copy of the presentation template or written instructions on your blog. 
  2. Language teachers: record yourself naming items around the classroom in the new language. Put the recording on a QR code and put the QR codes around the room. If students forget how to say "door" in Spanish, they can just go scan it to get a refresher. :)
  3. Record instructions, the agenda, etc. for students who are absent. When they return, students can scan the QR code to see what they missed.
  4. Place vocabulary word pronunciations and/or definitions right next to the word in books available in your library.
  5. Place thinking/discussion questions on back covers of books or at the end of chapters so that students can have a starting point for group discussions in Book Club.  
  6. English teachers and librarians: record book reviews.
  7. Put the mp3 file on your iTunes and then upload it to your class iPods/iPads. If students are absent, they can hear instructions/the agenda/whatever fits your class best from the day they were gone. You can provide headphones so that students can catch up quietly during their free time.
Student Use:
  1. Let your students record book reviews for other students. Attach the review to a QR code and post it in your library! 
  2. Allow students to dictate their stories/essays. 
  3. Allow students to perform reports/presentations into Vocaroo. Embed on the class blog to share with parents. 
  4. Allow students with speech issues record themselves speaking/reading. They can listen to it and make self-corrections. 
  5. Ask students to talk about a project they completed, a poster, or an assignment that they're particularly proud of. Students who are afraid to speak in front of others might be able to give their oral presentation via podcast, and just stand in front of the room, holding their poster or prop, while the recording plays.
  6. Ask students in a group to explain their role in the group activity. 
  7. Ask students to be in charge of classroom announcements or an audio newsletter. Let kids talk about upcoming events and what's been going on in class lately; embed this recording on your class blog or post the link on your newsletter.
  8. Let students draw a poster to define a vocabulary word. Then they can record the actual definition using Vocaroo, put the recording in a QR code, and post the QR code on the definition poster. 
  9. Let students create book summaries, embed them into QR codes, and stick them on the inside cover of books in your library. 

Vocaroo lets you embed the recording widget directly onto your blog, so you can try it for yourself without ever leaving this page:

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