In addition to Honeycomb, I was also interested in getting a sneak peak at the upcoming podium upgrade. Podium is already one of my suggested primary school toolbox essentials, but I am sure one of my current students J will be excited by what I saw today.
He has been asking for a while now how he can get background music into the podcasts we have been making. Up until now the solution would have been to use a tool such as Audacity. But in a couple of weeks or so we should be able to upgrade our familiar tool Podium and enable play with multi track recording, and so the addition of texture to the files he wants to produce. To enable this the interface has had an add track button added to the sound recorder. Each new track has an independent volume control enabling adjustments of sound levels to be made on each new track. Using the import tool, sound files can be added to these, as before, but where in the previous versions sound files acted rather like punctuation in a sentence, breaking up a linear soundtrack, these will allow for the addition of texture, by laying sounds over or under existng recordings. This is a really exciting development again for multimodal text development. From the initial demo, the tool again seems to look back to the object based roots of Softease Tools, with sound clips on new tracks dragable fo placement in new locations on a timeline, enabling sound effects or music to be added to coincide with particular points in the soundtrack. Can't wait to get our upgrade, and to see what the students can achieve next in writing with sound. Perhaps it really is time to have a go at creating a radio show.