Think of podcasting as online radio shows. Podcasting allows creators to "broadcast" their ideas to the world--and listeners to download, listen to directly, and/or subscribe to these "broadcasts" through the Internet. Once this broadcast is captured, subscribers can listen by
- Playing the file on their default media player
- Using a program like iTunes to automatically receive and play the podcast
- Burning the files onto a CD
- Loading the files onto any mp3 device or mobile phone with mp3 capability (like the iPhone),
- Playing the podcasts on their iPods!
View one or both of the presentations about podcasting—the one below is a 3-minute video that explains the basics of podcasting; the second is a more in-depth look at podcasting in education (click link to view; 11 minutes).
Considering that 74% of students ages 12-17 own some type of MP3 player (Pew Internet & American Life Project, September 2008), it makes sense for teachers to turn the tables and put these often distracting toys to good educational use. In education, I see three general uses of podcasting:
- Using podcasts from others to bring experts and other voices into your classroom for your students’—or your own—edification
- Creating podcasts yourself to provide out-of-class or supplementary content for your students
- Having your students create podcasts to meet specific learning objectives
Using Podcasts from Others
Teachers can direct students to listen to podcasts created by others to support
- Second language learners who are learning English
See resources at English as a Second Language Podcast
- World language learners who are learning a second language
See resources at: Languages Podcasts
- Subject knowledge—as a supplement or reinforcement for important concepts
Many ongoing podcasts can be found in Apple's iTunes library—and most are free, although to set up an account with iTunes, you will need to provide a credit card, PayPal information, Apple account, or AOL account. However, sites like the Education Podcast Network, Podcast People, podcast.com, podcastalley and others have also become important resources for podcast creators and listeners. In my next blog, I’ll take a look at teachers and students creating their own podcasts.
What podcasts do you subscribe to? If you have one to recommend to someone who has never ventured into the podcast pool before, which one would you choose? If you have never listened/subscribed to a podcast before, I encourage you to browse some of the links in this blog and/or any recommended podcasts from your fellow trainers that may get posted as comments. And then try one out. Come on in. The water’s warm.
To view the first article of this series on Web 2.0 resources and their use in the classroom, read, "What's All the Hype about Web 2.0?"
For more on the topic of Web 2.0 resources, continue to the next blog in this series, Podcasting for Teachers and Students