Mini-broadcasting with Anchor FM: Radio by the people

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-16-46-44tab1One of the greatest pleasures of a new colleague is the new ideas and ways of thinking that they bring to a team.

New learning technologist Tab Betts (@MrTabKey) introduced the Sussex TEL team to Anchor FM during Digital Innovation Week #DIWSussex.

We’d like to share this app with our readers here as a potential tool for teaching and learning.

What is Anchor FM?

Anchor FM is a free app for Android and iPhone which allows you to broadcast live clips to a potentially global audience. Anchor FM enables mini-broadcasting and the creation of an audio conversation that can be likened to an audio version of Twitter.

The most intriguing feature of Anchor FM is the ability to pose an audio question of up to two minutes which listeners can reply to via the app. It is literally a broadcast that you can talk back to.

Tab devised a question around technology via Anchor FM everyday during Digital Innovation Week. Below is an example of one of the questions posed. Press play and you will hear the question posed followed by a succession of one minute answers from students, academics, professional staff and unsuspecting passers-by. 


The time limit on responses forces contributors to be succinct, just as the 140 character count in Twitter encourages brevity. When listening, you can’t help but be engaged by the wide range of voices and opinions that build up quickly in response to one topic on Anchor FM.

You can view all of of the questions posed during Digital Innovation Week at the Sussex TEL Anchor FM page

Teaching ideas for Anchor FM


flickr photo by ky_olsen shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

How could you use Anchor FM for teaching and learning?

You could pose a question after a lecture and set students the task of responding via the Anchor FM app. As part of the seminar you could play the audio responses to create an alternative way to consider different students ideas and responses to the same theme.     

Anchor FM is an easy tool to use for interviewing and it could be easily used to gather public responses to a particular topic or debate.

You could even ask students to respond as different characters, particularly for literature or history subjects. See Anchor.FM like Twitter for Audio by Fiona McNeil, (Learning Technologies Adviser at University of Brighton) for more teaching and learning ideas, such as:

  • question and answer
  • sharing best practice
  • exploring a language
  • reading literature
  • remotely interviewing a notable speaker

Anchor FM is a great way to include everybody. However, you must download the app to a Smartphone to respond and it is not yet possible to record online. In addition, Anchor FM is a public space and anyone can find and listen to your Wave. There is not yet an option to make Waves private or available only to a small group.

How do I use Anchor FM?

Download the app for Android or iPhone. Once it is installed, open up the app and then click on ‘Get Started’ and sign up with your email. Make sure you have your headphones plugged in as you’ll be talked through the signup process. You can add a profile picture or ‘skip’ this section and go straight into the Anchor app. You’ll be taken to the live Anchor FM ‘Waves’ – this is the term for conversations on Anchor FM.

Anchor will send you an email with a handy guide to using the app.

When exploring Anchor, you will see the most popular questions posed. For each question, there will be a play button which will indicate how many responses have been collected and how many times the audio posts (known as Waves) have been listened to.

There are a number of features in Anchor FM that you will already be familiar with if you are a Twitter or Facebook user. For example, there is a ‘Like’ button to press if you like a Wave. There is an ‘Echo’ which allows you to repost in the essence of retweeting to your followers. There is also a ‘Send’ option which allows you to Tweet, post to Facebook or share the Wave on other platforms.


Try Anchor FM

Please do listen to the Digital Innovation Week Anchor FM questions. You can try using Anchor by replying to the questions which include:

We look forward to hearing you!

If you have been inspired by this post and you would like support to implement the app in your teaching and learning, please get in touch with your School Learning Technologist.

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Posted in Learning Design, Technology Enhanced Learning
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  1. […] can also be archived and revisited for revision purposes. Read our recent post on using Anchor FM ‘Mini-broadcasting with Anchor FM: Radio for the people’ and listen to our Anchor FM […]

  2. […] be a great tool to use to collect a variety of responses on a topic or theme. See our blog post Mini-broadcasting with Anchor FM: Radio by the people for more […]

  3. […] be a great tool to use to collect a variety of responses on a topic or theme. See our blog post Mini-broadcasting with Anchor FM: Radio by the people for more ideas. Visit our Anchor FM page too to listen to the digital questions we posed to staff, […]

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We are the Educational Enhancement team at the University of Sussex. We publish posts each week on using technology to support teaching and learning. Read more about us.

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