Faculty Instructional Technology
Information Technology Division
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Podcasting stands for Portable On Demand Broadcasting. Podcasts were originally audio-only but may now contain still images, video, and chapters identifying major sections or ideas. An iPod is not needed to listen to a Podcast. You can listen to a podcast using any computer connected to the Internet that also has the capability of playing standard MP3 audio files. Once a podcast is downloaded it can be listened to at any time on the computer. Many people also like to copy the podcast to a portable device for playback on the go. Examples of these devises include PDAs (Palm or Pocket PC), iPods, mobile phones, or many other devises that play MP3 files.
According to Wikipedia, a podcast is audio or visual content that is automatically delivered over a network via free subscription. Once subscribed to, podcasts can be regularly distributed over the Internet or within your school’s network and accessed with an iPod, [or any portable MP3 player], laptop, or desktop computer (both Macs and PCs). Podcasts can be produced with the following resources; a standard computer, microphone, free software, and a web site for posting your programming.
The major difference between a Podcast and any other audio file stored on the Internet is that Podcasts can be subscribed to. Podcasts are published as **RSS feeds. Listeners subscribe to these feeds and are notified of new programs by their ***RSS aggregators. The aggregators can be set to download the programs automatically or users can download the podcasts manually.
This article will describe educational uses of podcasts, and inexpensive, easy-to-use hardware and software that can be used to create your own podcasts. A web site has also been developed to go along with this article that will include tutorials and other hardware and software information. http://www.mtsu.edu/podcast.
Educational Podcasting can be used to extend class time, provide review activities, record student work, and much more. You are only limited by your imagination and your ability to provide pedagogical basis for its use. In this section I will provide examples of podcast use in lectures, recording student work, walking tours, online learning, and professional development. Locating podcasts created by others will also be discussed.
The following points were taken from an online article on Podcasting, referenced later in this document. Educational examples were added to the points for clarification purposes. Podcasting lectures provide;
Students can work on their own or in groups to create podcasts. These podcasts could serve as the culminating activity for projects. The posted projects can then be used in other class activities such as peer critiquing.
PodGuides: Free access to spoken tour guides (PodGuides) for your iPod. You can enjoy detailed spoken descriptions of what you see while visiting the city (museum) of your choice. http://www.podguides.net/
Podcasts in Online Learning
Podcasts can be used in a multitude of ways in the online classroom. Instructors can:
This list and other podcasting information can be found at http://www.bsu.edu/library/article/0,1894,163773-11770-35591,00.html
Professional Development Podcasts
Podcasts can also be used for professional development. Educators can easily stay current on educational issues through many of the free web sites dedicated to that purpose.
Edutopia: Weekly talk show hosted by Milton Chen concerning educational issues and technology. http://www.edutopia.org/products/voiceamer.php
TILT--Teachers Improving Learning with Technology This is
actually a video weblog, and has some great information and examples of movies
to use with students. Now uses Google Video to make video available (Upload
https://upload.video.google.com/). You can download the files from Google
Video to your iPod or play them on your computer using QuickTime Pro on the Mac
or the Google downloadable player in Windows
Educational Weblogs: Technology resources for educators using weblogs, blogware, collaborative tools, RSS and Podcasting, web services and digital tools at home, school, university and community. http://educational.blogs.com/
EPN--Education Podcast Network: The Education Podcast Network is an effort to bring together into one place, the wide range of podcast programming that may be helpful to teachers looking for content to teach with and about, and to explore issues of teaching and learning in the 21st century. http://epnweb.org/
Educational Podcasting Links
Locating Podcasts Created by Others
You will need to use a Podcast Compatible RSS aggregator to locate and subscribe to Podcasts. iTunes - www.apple.com/itunes is one well known example of such an aggregator. You can find a large list of aggregators (podcatchers) at Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcatchers.
*From Wikipedia: A blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. The term blog is a shortened form of weblog or web log. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called "blogging". Individual articles on a blog are called "blog posts," "posts" or "entries". A person who posts these entries is called a "blogger". A blog comprises text, hypertext, images, and links (to other web pages and to video, audio and other files). Blogs use a conversational style of documentation. Often blogs focus on a particular "area of interest", such as Washington, D.C.'s political goings-on. Blogging has emerged as a popular and important means of communication, affecting public opinion and mass media around the world. Some blogs discuss personal experiences.
Blogs can be hosted by dedicated blog hosting services, or they can be run using blog software on regular web hosting services.
**From Wikipedia: RSS is a family of web feed formats, specified in XML and used for Web syndication. RSS is used by news websites, weblogs and podcasting. The abbreviation is used to refer to the following standards:
Web feeds provide web content or summaries of web content together with links to the full versions of the content and other metadata. In addition to facilitating syndication, web feeds allow a website's frequent readers to track updates on the site using an aggregator.
*** According to Wikipedia, An aggregator, or news aggregator, is a type of software that retrieves syndicated Web content that is supplied in the form of a web feed (RSS, Atom and other XML formats), and that are published by weblogs, podcasts, vlogs, and mainstream mass media websites.
An RSS aggregator - is a program that allows you to subscribe to a podcast.
Podcast Compatible RSS Aggregators
General Use RSS aggregators