Some of the most interesting finds on the Web are found and shared by @brainpicker on Twitter. Soundcities is one of them.
Soundcities allows you to visit cities around the world and browse sound files. It’s open so anyone can upload sounds which is what makes it so interesting. I love the idea of something created and growing thanks to individuals on the ground sharing what they’re doing or seeing or, in this case, hearing. It’s a wonderful, collaborative and authentic result.
It’s possible to remix these sounds so creative possibilities abound, both for music students in composition or in any projects integrating sound.
Integrated with Google Maps and Google Earth with geo information, the sounds are tagged and allow you to open up the sound file, there is such a variety of common and uncommon (depending on where you come from) sounds, such as flags flapping in Beijing, traffic and trains, Christmas choir practice in Prague, applause at a concert and laughter in the street.
A few words from the creator of Soundcities:
The sounds of cities evoke memories. As globalization fractures the identity of the city experience we start to find things that appear the same the world over. A growing labyrinth, a community of aural cityscapes and collages is now evolving online. (more here) It was the first online open source database of found city sounds.
In her wiki ’6 words’ (thanks for the link and information, Jenny Luca), Lauren O’Grady says something that I feel very passionately about – she talks about bridging students and teachers through multiliteracies. Her blog, ‘teachers are learners – learners are teachers’, takes as its theme the vision of a partnership between student and teacher, and more than that; if we acknowledge that learning and teaching are complementary, then we do away with that hierarchical, unequal footing in the classroom. Then we free teachers from having to know everything (which is impossible), and encourage them to learn continually, share their learning, take learning from whoever is willing to give it.
With Book Week coming up, I decided to involve students in my own learning. Voicethread is something I know about in theory only, and I thought we could record the activities including student comments . I’ve also not used iRivers or audacity to record or edit audio. Today I spoke to some students and, surprise! surprise! – they’re more than willing to help out. I’m looking forward to it and will post about the experience once Book Week is over. Next week I’m hoping to take part in a class of year 7 students who are learning to use Video Studio. I’d better make a head start on the how-to, because, as the teacher reminded me, the pace will be at the level of the students, not the adults.
Camilla Elliott provides many useful links for podcasting on her Linking for Learning site. I took up her recommendation to subscribe to the ABC’s EdPod RSS feed. Now the latest EdPod audio files are automatically sent to my iTunes every fortnight. Love the idea of getting stuff automatically. It’s like someone working for me while I sleep.
I listened to ‘One long yawn? History in the classroom’ and pondered the podcast. What’s not to like? Continue reading