Instant Talking Pictures

Here’s how simple this is.
Go to Postcard.FM.
Upload a picture.  Upload an .mp3.  Enter an e-mail address.  Click “preview.”

Voilà! You have a link to a picture and audio file hosted on the web.  Congratulations.  Now you can share what your students created!

Here’s the Postcard FM interface.

It really is that easy.

The biggest concern most teachers will have right off the bat is the e-mail.  That is to say, not wanting to use a student e-mail or your own, since the e-mail used appears at the top of the “postcard” that’s produced.  Postcard.FM’s terms of service prohibit making a false identify, which is what you’d be doing if you entered an imaginary e-mail.   I e-mailed Postcard.FM’s support folks, and in their response they said they were really trying to prevent spammers from abusing the service.  The solution would be to have your tech folks add “students@myschool.org” (just fill in your school name) as a valid e-mail that you monitor, or to get a free web-based e-mail–such as Gmail–to use just for this purpose.

Postcard.FM would be great for a fast student project.  Since the interface is so simple and streamlined, even young kids and less-technically-inclined grown-ups are going to be able to do this, since it requires only the ability to browse for and locate a file.  The most difficult part of the process will be making the mp3 file to upload, but with a free download called Audacity (for us Windows people) and a desktop microphone, you’ll be all set.  (Mac computer people have iLife and so don’t get to complain about making mp3’s.)

The uses are unlimited–use a copyright-friendly historical photo and have kids record commentary about that period in history.  Have a child draw a picture and tell the story.  Use the postcards to greet students or staff who are recovering from illness at home.  Make a monthly or weekly series of postcards and you have the world’s easiest “radio show.”

Here’s my postcard!

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