Saturday, 29 October 2011

Practical Podcasts

Podcasts
from Flickr By Mingo.nl
I started doing a bit of research about podcasts. I downloaded an ap on my iPhone that allows me to subscribe to some educational podcasts. I googled why podcast? on the computer. Wikipedia defines a podcast(or non-streamed webcast) as a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication. The word replaced webcast in common use with the success of the iPod and its role in the rising popularity and innovation of web feeds.
I am trying to figure out what the point is. Amanda G. Watlington says that podcasts would be another way for teachers to deliver lessons. As a visual learner, I have a hard time seeing the value, but I realize that if we are to meet the needs of all learners, then a podcast would be an excellent learning opportunity for an auditory learner.

Angela Willis says that there are 5 main reasons to podcast including portability, the emotional side of podcasting, the cost effectiveness, the attention it would get and then the fact that you can subscribe to regular feeds.


Berger and Trexler compare the podcast to an old-fashioned radio show.

Will Richardson, in Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other powerful web tools for classrooms, says that podcasting is "yet another way for [students] to be creating and contributing ideas to a larger conversation, and it's a way of archiving that contribution for future audiences to use" (p 115).
He gives the example of Radio Willow Web from Willowdale Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska http://mps.mpsomaha.org/willow/radio/shows/Willowcast35.html. This podcast is hosted by a student talking about matter. Definitely a great opportunity for students to share their learning by another means. How empowering for students to be the experts on subjects from school.

At our school we used to have daily announcements that were read by me. Picture Charlie Brown and his fellow students listening to his teacher.
I am sure that is how the announcements went over in class. So, this year I am not doing announcements. Instead, we have a daily bulletin that comes with the attendance system so students either read it on the SmartBoard or the teacher reads it to them. I would love for students to do the announcements once per week via a podcast. I know students would listen to other students. Students who don't normally speak up in class might be far more comfortable recording their words in private that could be shared publicly later. This is a thought worth pursuing, however, I need to get a teacher to buy into taking this on as a project. Certainly thoughts to consider. . .

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