Links to Useful Information regarding Podcasts:
I have been listneing to podcasts regularly for the past three years. I subcribe to This American Life, Radiolab, Wait, Wait Don' Tell Me, and The Moth. I'm sure everyone has their favorites. I listen to this on my way to work, on roadtrips, and on weekends when I am out doing yard work, but I have never really thought about using them in my classroom. My goal is to find useful ways to incorporate this technology to help improve student learning. As I research information regarding podcasts, I will do so with the intent of how this relates to my classroom.
Step 1: I created a series of questions and interviewed the technology coach, Matthew Nagel, for Park City School District. I recorded this interview on Garageband so that I could turn it into a podcastwhich I have included on this site under attachments.
Step 2: I posted this podcast on the Westminster Canvas/Instructure site for my classmates to listen to over the weekend with some questions to consider while they listen.
Step 3: Created a series of discussion questions that I will use to facilitate a discussion on Monday with my classmates which I will record and turn into a podcast that will appear on this page in the attachment section.
Step 4: Created a screen shot video of how to create podcasts that is included on this site.
What is a Podcast:
The word podcast is a play on the term broadcast. The connection is pretty clear: The idea of delivering information to a large audience. The "pod" prefix of the term comes from the rise in popularity of the iPod since podcasts were designed to be portable and easy to store, and most people used iPods to store this information.
Technically speaking, a podcast is "multimedia file transmitted via the internet to a personal computer, often-then downloaded to a portable device" (Douma).
Podcast are broken down into two major catagories:
Audio - "usually include “album art” embedded into a file which consists of a show name, company logo, or photo of the host. Also frequently included in the file itself are ID3 tags, which contain information (“metadata”) such as the episode title, host, topic, show number, and any other relevant information about the file. Audio podcasts can run for any duration at any compression rate. However, most podcasters keep the show under a half-hour, encrypted at 128kbps or lower to keep the file size down and the content digestible. Audio podcasts are often targeted to commuters who want to listen to their specific interests during the drive to and from the workplace" (Douma).
Video - "Also known as ‘vidcasts’ or ‘vodcasts’, video podcasts are very similar to their audio-only cousins. Using mainly the same delivery mechanism as the audio podcast, the video podcast is delivered on demand to the media consumer’s personal computer or portable media player. As wireless network capabilities expand, vidcasts are finding a new audience on mobile networks. Critical mass for the vidcast is expected to hit as next-generation handsets better capable of video download/playback become more common. Vidcasts are often targeted to transit commuters looking to fill their time on the bus with something that interests them" (Douma).
How to Make a Podcast:
Here is a screen shot video on how to use Garageband to make a podcast.
Use for Educators:
1. The most practical use of podcasts for educators is in lesson delivery. Teachers can now post lectures or tutorials online so that students can access them from any location other than school. This is beneificial for those students who might need to listen to a lecture multiple times. This supports the "flipped" classroom model that has students learn the information on their own time and come to class to demonstrate that knowledge.
2. Podcasts can also be an effective assessment tool. Students could create podcasts to show their understanding of a concept. For example, an English class could have their students pretend to be a character from a book they are reading and have other students interview them. A science class could have students describe their scientific method as they conduct experiments. Art teachers could have their students comment on influences as the create their art work.
Here is a video clip that gives more specific classroom use: