Creating podcasts is a great way for students to preserve oral histories or to hear themselves practicing a foreign language. Open source program Audacity and Apple's Garage Band are excellent platforms for recording podcasts. You can also record podcasts without installing software by using Aviary's Myna service. On pages 49-56 of this document I guide you through creating a podcast using Myna.
Myna is a free web-based audio track mixer created by Aviary. Using Myna you can mix together up to ten tracks to create your ownaudio files. The sounds you mix can come from the Myna library, your vocal recordings made with Myna's recorder, or audio tracks that you upload to your Myna account. Aviary has a new service designed to complement their Myna sound mixing service. The new service is called Roc and it does rock. Using Roc you can create your own music loops or samples. After you've created your music samples you can download them, reuse them in Myna, or embed them into your blog.
Vocaroo is a free service that allows users to create audio recordings without the need to install any software. You don't even have to create an account to use Vocaroo. All you need to provide is a microphone. I used the microphone built into my MacBook to make the recording below. To create a recording just go to Vocaroo.com, click record, grant Vocaroo access to your mic, and start talking. After completing your recording, Vocaroo gives you the choice to publish it or to scrap it and try again. What I like about Vocaroo besides the ability to record without installing software is the option to embed the recording anywhere, Vocaroo provides the embed code for you. You can also download your recording, just look for the download link at the bottom of the page (it's small and easily overlooked).
MyPodcast.com is the podcast service that the guys at Wicked Decent Learning used to use to share their awesome podcast with the world. MyPodcast.com provides free podcast hosting as well as free podcast recording software. (The software is available for PC only). I tested out the software in August and found it to be more than adequate for creating vocal podcasts. For schools that do not use Apple computers (Garage Band is standard on Mac) MyPodcast.com is a very good, free podcasting tool.
Pod Bean is the free podcast hosting service that I used to host all of my Free Technology For Teachers podcasts (I haven't made any since last fall). Pod Bean is a hosting service, not a recording service so you will have to use a recording program and then upload to PodBean to share your episodes. What I like about Pod Bean is the speed of uploading and the ease of integration with blogging platforms.
Blubrry, like Pod Bean, is a podcast hosting service. To record your podcast you will have to record it using Audacity, Garage Band, or another recording tool. Blubrry has a very detailed guide for first-time podcasters. They also offer Blubrry University which is a forum for finding help with glitches and problems you may run into.