Audio Recording Sites

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo!

 allows you to upload an image, have the mouth’s image move in a comedic way, and then “speak” your voice. Students can use their own photos, or a famous person, cartoon character, etc. Blabberize can be used in the same way ESL/EFL teachers sometimes have students use puppets — students can feel more comfortable speaking when it’s not really “them” doing the talking.

Voki is a talking avatar students can design and easily post on a blog or website. Sue Waters has written excellent step-by-step instructions on how to post a Voki.


Cinchcast is like an audio blog.


Outshouts lets you create a voice mail message that goes along with a song and email them both to a teacher or a friend. You can then post the url on a blog or online journal. You can also save your past messages in your account. The main reason I ranked this above the previous two sites is because in Outshouts you can also write your message in the email you send so a listener can both hear and read it at the same time. I’m recommending this site with once caveat, though. Some of the songs might be inappropriate for classroom use, so teachers probably want to check them out periodically since they appear to change.


LiveMocha is a fast-growing language-learning site that has an incredible number of features. For speaking, not only can users send their recording to whomever they choose, but there’s also a social network component that lets others provide feedback. Another nice aspect of the site is that it’s structured so that users are responding directly to prompts from LiveMocha’s scaffolded teaching/learning system.


Voice Thread is well-known. Between the free unlimited account for educators, the ability to type text as well as record audio, the ability to grab images off the Web to reinforce understanding, and the great feature of being able to leave audio comments, I don’t think anything beats it.


Grapevine is an audio “chatboard” that I’m adding here. It’s super-simple to set-up a private forum where students can listen and respond to others and don’t have to be online at the same time.  English Language Learners can communicate with other classes around the world, like in our International Sister Classes Project or just be given a simple speaking assignment to complete. I love its simplicity and ease of use. 


It some ways it’s similar to the Vaestro Voice Channel that allows you to have, for instance, your own class “voice channel” where students can easily record messages.   TVO Wikispaces has a good explanation and some examples on its site, along with a bunch of other good language-learning resources.  Vaestro, though, is a bit more complicated than Grapevine.


I’m adding Voxopop to this list.  Formerly called Chinswing, it lets you easily create private voice “chatboards.”  Students can leave messages and respond to one another, or teachers can leave speaking assignments for students to complete.  It’s similar to Grapevine and to Vaestro Voice Channel.



Vocaroo is a super easy way for students to record a message — of any length — and then place a link or an embed code on a student or teacher website. It’s got to be one of the most simple ways for audio recording out there — no registration is required and you just click “record.” (NOTE: Unfortunately, Vocaroo has recently announced that messages will be deleted after six months)


The extraordinary The Art of Storytelling is a site from the Delaware Art Museum that allows you pick a painting, write a short story about it, record it with your computer microphone, and email the url address for posting on a student website or blog. It’s extraordinarily simple, and extraordinarily accessible to any level of English Language Learner. No registration is required.


PodOmatic looks like an extraordinarily easy way to create a podcast. Sign-up and your class has your own channel — all you need is a computer microphone.


Woices allows the user to easily leave an audio message about a specific place. That message can then be listened to by others. Students could could leave messages about where they live now, places they’ve visited, or their native countries.

Chirbit is a new site.  After registering (which is very easy — I love sites that don’t require an email activation), you can very easily make a recording or use a text-to-speech feature to create audio.  You’re then given a unique url address for the recording.  It’s as simple as that. It has other capabilities, too, including responding to the audio message.


Audio Pal is a new tool that lets you easily record a message — either by using a phone, computer mike, or text-to-speech — and then add the embed code to your blog or website. Students can update it as often as they want, and get as many different ones that they want. It’s pretty neat. No registration is necessary, and it’s free.


Myna is a new audio recording tool that’s great for students to use for speaking practice and to create podcasts.  It’s really quite a simple tool for use by English Language Learners or anybody else…after you watch the short demonstration video. It was confusing to me prior to watching it.  It’s easy for users to add music that’s already in the Myna library to their recording, and certainly easy for them to record their own voice.


Fotobabble is a super-easy application that lets you upload a photo, provide a minute audio recording to go along with it, and then you get a link and an embed code that can be used for sharing. It’s a simple tool students can use to practice their speaking skills. It’s very easy to use but, just in case, Russell Stannard at the great Teacher Training Videos has posted agood video tutorial on how to use the app.


Audioboo lets you easily create what is basically a voice blog. After signing-up (which is quite easy), you can make recordings of up to five minutes in length. Not only can your messages appear together on one public page, but you can also choose to embed them. People can leave text comments on the messages, but one negative is that they are not moderated. However, you do have to be registered on the site in order to leave a comment. (I talk about a great and easy way to use Audioboo in This Seems Like A Pretty Easy Way To Practice Speaking….)


Winkball lets you easily create a video or just an audio blog. You can also use it to send video messages. It seems to have other possibilities, too.


Hollur is like an audio blog. After quickly registering, you can leave as many twenty second audio messages as you want. In addition, your recordings can be embedded elsewhere.


Blurts lets you quickly and easily record thirty second voice recordings with shareable url addresses. You have to register, but all it requires is an email. Students can also use it to create an “audio blog” if they want.


A teacher’s guide to using audio and podcasting in the classroom is a nice overview of applications to use in the classroom, including videos. It was created by Kit Hard.


Little Bird Tales lets you easily make slideshows where you can add text and, more importantly for English Language Learners, provide an audio narration. On nice touch is that you can virtually paint/draw artwork in addition to uploading images (unfortunately, the site doesn’t have the ability to grab photos off the web by url addresses). It’s free to use, but I’m unclear on if there will be an eventual cost to use the site. It appears to have an upper limit on the number of shows you can produce.


Broadcastr is a new site that lets you record audio for up to three minutes and then “attach” it to a map location. It also gives you the url address of your recording. This could be a great resource for all students. They could write, and then record, reflections from a field trip, describe their home countries, talk about something that happened in a particular place in a work of fiction, and then attach it to that geographical location. In addition to being there for an “authentic audience” (someone other than their teacher and classmates), the link to the recording can be posted on a student/teacher blog or website.


SoundCloud lets you very easily record an audio message — the first 120 minutes are free — and then you can post the link or embed it where you like. They’ve also just begun a new site called Take Questions, which TechCrunch calls a “Quora for audio.” There, you can set-up your own page to take audio questions that you can then answer — in audio.


Spreaker seems like a pretty easy way to have your own Internet radio show.


Anmish lets you choose a caricature of a world leader and then lets you put words in his/her mouth for thirty seconds via a microphone. While you’re recording, you can also easily change facial expressions on your caricature by pressing a letter on your keyboard. It doesn’t appear you can embed the video, though you can share a link to it. You also have access to parodies created by other users, which might make it problematic for classroom use.


Knovio might end up being one of the best Web 2.0 applications of the year. You upload a PowerPoint presentation, record a presentation with your microphone and webcam, and then it’s done! It’s free, and it is not open to the public yet, but I received an invitation about five seconds after I requested it.


Shoutomatic is a new site that lets you quickly and easily (after a very fast registration) record a thirty-second “shout” — an audio message — that you can embed or link to…In addition, you have the option of uploading a photo to attach to your audio message, but you can’t just grab one for the Web with a url address. It could be a nice and easy way for students to practice speaking.


QWiPS easily lets you make a thirty second audio recording that you can share — you can also connect it to a photo or video.


Voisse is a relatively simple audio recording site.