Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cast away . . .

Podcasts to me are very similar to the little RSS button - I had heard about them and wondered about them, but was never curious enough to do anything about finding out about them. I also thought that they could only be used in ipods - how wrong have I been about it all. While I may have actively ignored this technology as not being interesting to me - what about the natives? How can I used this in the classroom? As Siemens (2004) states "learning may reside in non-human appliances".

After going to iTunes and having a look around, I realised that there is so much available in audio and video format that I had disregarded by not considering this a worthwhile technology. So, how can I use it?

Waugh (2007) gives examples of how this could be used in the class, some ideas being:
  • Previous books that have been read
  • Recorded lessons (that students may have missed due to absence, or may need replaying to consolidate content)
  • Connecting to other schools (locally or globally) via their podcasts
  • Special guest or expert interviews
  • Digital stories
  • News bulletins
What I also did not realise is that podcasts can be enhanced with images, texts and hyperlinks. One podcast that I listened to was even complemented by a Slideshare presentation. I found a free downloadable manual that I will have to examine in detail if I am to use this tool.

In searching for some information about podcasts and how they could be used, I found the Scholastic site, which has a list of their top ten podcasts that are available for different year levels.

I realise that I have much to experience and learn about podcasts, and this technology is one that fits within the relate-create-donate framework of Engagement Theory, as in the example of Podkids.

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Downloaded 5 July 2009 from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm

Siemens, G (2004) Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Downloaded August, 2009 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.html

Waugh, D (2007) An Updated article about Podcasting in Education. Downloaded August 2009 from

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