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Monday, August 17, 2009

Podcasts

When I first considered Podcasts I thought of music files only. As the parent of teenagers I had been introduced to itunes and the program was already downloaded onto my computer. However, after having researched the concept of podcasting in education I am amazed by the possibilities. Shawn Wheeler in his website Adventures in Podcasting provides a myriad of purposes for using podcasting in education. He cites the following list of reasons:
For lectures
To facilitate self-paced learning
For interviews with external resources
To offer advanced and or highly motivated learners extra content
For distance learning
To allow guest speakers to present once to many classes
To feature guest speakers from remote locations
For helping students with reading and/or other disabilities
To offer a richer learning environment
For multi-lingual education
To communicate with your community

Laura Blankenship (2007) suggests that using podcasts can provide a more effective use of face to face time with students by allowing them to view material prior to lectures and using class time to gain specific assistance and clarify problem areas.

Small groups of learners would develop a podcast involving demonstration of communication, planning, management and social skills. When collaborating students must clarify and verbalise their problems (Kearsley & Schneiderman , 1999) Further, they assert students require creative and purposeful activity to maintain engagement and in developing a podcast students will define the nature of the project and therefore have a sense of control over their learning. Publishing the podcast to the internet creates an authentic context where the project is being created for a purpose beyond assessment.

As Prensky (2001) maintains, teachers of today need to learn to communicate in the language and style of their students and to this end we need to become proficient at using the tools that ‘digital natives’ take for granted.

Blankenship, L. (2007). Podcasting in Education: A perspective from Bryn Mawr College. [electronic resource]. Retrieved August 18, 2009 from http://www.academiccommons.org/commons/essay/blankenship-podcasting

Kearsley, G. & Schneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning.[electronic resource]. Retrieved July 31, 2009from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, Digital immigrants. [electronic resource]. Retrieved July 27, 2009 from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

Shawn Wheeler Website: http://www.shawnwheeler.name/workshops/adventuresnpodcastingpresentation/

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