• computerPodcasting and Vodcasting are quickly becoming common methods of delivering media-rich content to classrooms. Podcasting usually involves audio files, typically MP3 or WAV files, and Vodcasting is video typically in MP4 or MPEG format, broadcast on the Web.
     
    What is Podcasting? (source:Wikipedia)
    Podcasting is a way of publishing audio broadcasts via the Internet. Specifically, podcasts are feeds (such as
    RSS feeds) that contain digital audio files, such as MP3 files. Listeners can subscribe to feeds using software that periodically checks for and downloads new content automatically. This software is available on the Web and is generally free (source: http://www.pbs.org/podcasts/).
     
    What is Vodcasting? (source: Wikipedia)
    Vodcasting (video podcasting), the video-sister of audio podcasting, is a term used for the online delivery of video on demand-video clip content.
     
    A podcast could be compared to a television or radio show recorded so that you can watch anytime on a mobile device. One difference is that users can subscribe to a Podcast to be downloaded to their PC or mobine device (iPod, tablet and smart phone apps) when new podcasts are posted, much like a television series. Another difference is that anybody can make a podcast. All you need is a computer and software to record your voice [See "What (free) software can I use?" below]. You'll also need a web site to upload them to from your computer, so you need an Internet connection. You don't even really need a portable MP3 player. Here"s an article from e-School News if you"d like to learn how it's being used educationally.
     
    How does it work? Podcasting is an automatic mechanism by which multimedia computer files are transferred from a server to a client, which pulls down XML files containing the Internet addresses of the media files. In general, these files contain audio or video, but also could be images, text, PDF, or any file type. Users can subscribe to podcasts, by means of push technology (wikipedia.org).
     
    Getting Started Using Podcasts in Your Classroom
    Read these valuable tips before you create your first Podcast from the University of Wisconsin: Five Steps to Designing Podcasts that Teach and "Make Your First Podcast."
     
    Now, how do we plan for implementing Podcasting? Let's look at some Podagogy, also known as "learncasting." First, in Classroom Instruction That Works (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2003),  the authors suggest teachers must:
    1. Identify the learning objectives.
    2. Connect with or activate prior knowledge.
    3. Provide advance organizers that allows the student to add their personal learning goals to the instructor's.
    4. Plan activities that honors different learning styles and are authentic learning tasks.
    5. Provide lots of non-linguistic and linguistic representations of the concept (video and text files can help with this).
    6. Provide auditory and kinesthetic learning opportunities (do something with the knowledge after you tell them what you want them to know).
    7. Review or restate the learning objectives.
    8. Reinforce learning with feedback.
    9. Provide the students with the opportunity to evaluate their own learning and reflect.
    10. Connect with what they will learn next.
    Now let's look at how to integrate this with Podagogy.
    There are several things to consider when implementing podcasting in your classroom instruction, but remember that you still need to follow some basic instructional planning procedures:
    1. What is your objective? Remember, the objective is to enhance learning in some way in your classroom, not to implement the use of podcasts instructionally.
    2. Identify the content standards you are teaching, i.e. SOL, skills required, etc.
    3. List who may be your audience? Is it strictly students, or might it be parents or other teachers? Keep this in mind when writing your script.
    4. Think of order so that it makes sense to the listener. It must be linear, chronological, steps to follow, whatever. Just make it make sense. Don't jump around.
    5. Keep it short in the beginning. You need time to perfect your skill; students need time to adjust to using this medium instructionally, not musically! Rule of thumb might be 3-4 minutes.
    6. Make it interesting; music opening and transitions, voice inflections, pose questions to make them think/make it interactive.
    What (free) software can I use? Audacity is a free, cross-platform, recording/editing software program you can download from the Internet (or Garageband for the Mac) Get our Audacity Screen Tip Sheet. Here are a few Audacity Tutorials:
    Where can I get royalty free music? There are many sources for royalty free music, including the Library or computer lab. Ask to use a copy of our Soundzabound royalty free music for your background music (LCPS Libraries own a copy). Here are a couple web sites you can try as well (remember to right click on the .mp3 or .wav file and select "Save Target As" to save the file to your computer, edit it in Audacity, then Import the Audio (Project > Import Audio). Be sure you give credit to the artist:

    Where can I get royalty free and safe images? (Don"t Google for them since you will probably violate the copyright.)

    How about sources for educational podcasts?
     
    That's a good start and a lot to think about when beginning to use podcasting in your classroom, so let's look at some examples. Here's my first attempt. This teacher-created Podcast is on Boolean Logic and how to use boolean operators to improve your searching on the Internet. Her is a Boolean Logic PowerPoint to accompany it, or you can launch another browser window and try it out while you listen. Please be kind as I'm learning. To learn more, try out this excellent podcast on educational podcasting, Kidcast on Intelligenic.org.
     
    Here are some excellent examples of educational podcasting:
    PBS
    NASA
    National Geographic
    NPR
    U.S. Census Bureau

    Cynthia Miller, TRT, last updated 6/3/2020.