Sunday, July 19, 2009

Radio Killed the Video Star?

Podcasting has been used for a while now, but it is amazing how popular it still is. When you think of all the ways in which it can be utilized, however, there is no question so as to why it is constantly being used in all areas of life (work, school, etc.).

Podcasting basically entails someone uploading an audio file to the Web so that others can access and listen to the file. Nancy Courtney's book actually mentions that podcasting first attracted attention in the library field (p. 35). It is surprising that although the library noticed podcasting first, more libraries are not joining "the podcast bandwagon" (if you will).

Schools have a much harder time with podcasting because of the hardware required to create a podcast. Many schools struggle to budget for regular supplies so there may not be any money left that can be allocated towards computer hardware. When you think about podcasting in schools, you might immediately think of students using it to present projects they have completed. Will Richardson explains that actually publishing thew students' recordings is the key to podcasting (p. 115). Podcasting can be seen as restrictive to those who are deaf or hard of hearing, so if podcasting is being done in schools (or in libraries for that matter), it is important to provide a transcript of the podcast episodes so that everyone can access the same information easily (Educause Learning Initiative).

Teachers can also use podcasting to benefit the students: "Podcasting has become an excellent way for students to get lecture materials whenever they need them. This helps for studying course material as well since students can get instant access to lectures whenever they need it" ( If a student is ill and can't make it to school, he or she can still access the lessons that they missed - and there will be no more excuses about losing the notes!

According to Educause Learning Initiative, "podcasting allows education to become more portable than ever before." Students can take lectures, interviews, and presentations anywhere they go and they can listen to the podcasts as they are completing other tasks.

I have done some podcasting before (although I do not enjoy listening to the sound of my voice). I like that it's a format different from the usual ones (like paper and Powerpoint). I think this is why student are drawn towards it as well. It makes learning fun for them and the students tend to become more passionate about what they are presenting.

I created a podcast last year for LIS 506 on a digital library. I remember that the actual recording of the file was not very complicated. Sometimes I had to go back and edit what I had said, but overall, it did not cause many problems. I have learned that it is best not to read from a script when creating podcasts, but I think it is difficult not to. When people throw a lot of "ah"s, "um"s, and "like"s into their speech, it drives me crazy. I tend to lose focus and then I can't follow what the speaker is saying. think tat kids would find it difficult to NOT follow some sort of script. Podcasting is a new technology for a lot of them, so most of them would probably be a bit nervous about using it the first few times.

In order to get younger children involved, they could pair up with older students and the older students could take care of the more technological steps required to create a podcast. Although, I always forget just how technologically savvy young children are, so they could surprise me and do it all on their own.

A video on TeacherTube explains how you can use podcasting in education. It guides you through, step-by-step, how to get started.It is a great resource for beginners. There are a ton of great resources available on podcasting for educators - so there is no excuse that you don't know how.

An examples of how podcasting is being used in libraries is that of the Cheshire Public Library in Connecticut. They have a podcast series directed at teens by teens (Sarah Long). Long discusses librarian and author Linda Barnes' opinion on podcasting, saying that podcasting can be used to create a community.

What innovative ways can you think of for libraries (and schools) to introduce podcasting to their users? Do you think it would be too complicated to have younger children involved in podcasting activities? What kinds of tasks could you assign to that young children have a voice too?

Courtney, Nancy, ed. 2007. Library 2.0 and Beyond: Innovative Technology and Tomorrow's User. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

"7 Things You Should Know About Podcasting." Educause Learning Initiative. June 2005. 18 July 2009

Long, Sarah. "Podcasting Helps Bring Information to You." Library Beat. 21 April 2008. 18 July 2009

"Podcasting Changes Classrooms." Learning to Podcast. 2009. 18 July 2009

Richardson, Will. 2009. Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

1 comment:

  1. I don't like the sound of my voice either. I think it is the main reason why I would not create a podcast. Though, like you, I did not find it overly complicated.