Podcasts are free audio or visual (VodCasts) files that you can download from the Internet, and play on your computer, transfer to an MP3 player or iPhone for ultimate portability (Department of Education & Training, 2009). There are many programs that allow you to download podcasts, one highly recommended website is iTunes. As I am not an owner of an iPod or iPhone I felt a little lost as I was trying to navigate my way through the iTunes site. After searching through the iTunes store for podcasts that sparked my interest, I simply clicked and could preview my selected podcast then by clicking once more I was instantly subscribed to that podcast. There are thousands of podcast categories to select from right at your fingertips, no matter what the topic is chances are there’s a podcast about it.
After searching through many wonderful podcasts I was beginning to love this site more and more. My computer took a while to download the program which was a little frustrating at the time but all worth it in the end. I now can see why people can be glued to their computer screens for hours, there are just so many fantastic websites like this available.
I feel like I am learning so much I get excited just looking at all the great resources I now have for my career in teaching. I found one podcast that would be suitable for my prep class it is called “The Rhyme Time Song Pre- K Hooked on Phonics”. It a great catchy song that only runs for approximately two minutes and would be great for my class as some learners are still having difficulty deciphering simple rhyming words. I can’t wait to try it in the classroom, I will have to do some more research on how I can get this song saved and upload it on the interactive whiteboard at school.
There are many ways that this tool can be incorporated within the classroom, students not only can listen and watch podcasts they can create their own either individually or in groups. Some suggestions that came to my mind were:
- Students creating a podcast book review (assessment piece).
- Upper primary students creating engaging storytelling podcasts for the lower grades (prep to three) to use for listening posts.
- Students could create their own school radio show where students would need to create a radio station name and a list of topics that they could discuss (e.g. what is happening around the school) and create podcasts for listeners at home (great for parents and grandparents to hear and see what their loved ones are doing at school).
- Learning managers could create podcasts for homework tasks the only problem with this may be students’ safety online and access to resources.
The suggestions listed above for this fantastic educational tool aligns with the Learning Engagement Theory (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). This theory promotes human interaction, rather than individual interaction with a computer program. Therefore, the use of podcasting as an educational tool can be viewed through the Relate-Create-Donate approach.
Relate – Students work collaboratively and focus on effective communication, planning and social skills for a specific task.
Create – Students create a podcast for an authentic and meaningful task, such as those listed above (book review, podcasting stories for students in lower primary ect.).
Donate – Students are given the opportunity to publish and share their podcast with others (younger students, peers, loved ones) as a solution for a problem identified in the ‘create' phase. For example Teachers in years prep to three are struggling to engage their students at story time, can you help them using an e-learning tool?
As you can see this e-learning tool can be used effectively within the classroom to engage learners with something that is close to their hearts (technology as they are digital natives). But it is the responsibility of the Learning Manager to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge to acquire the appropriate technology to implement this approach into the classroom. I personally love this new tool and cannot wait to continue trying to find new ways to embed it within the classroom.
Until next time,
Department of Education & Training. (2009). Podcasts in the classroom. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from http://www.det.wa.edu.au/education/cmis/eval/curriculum/ict/podcasts/
Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory:. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm