If you stop to think about it, it becomes more apparent that anywhere there is a need to communicate verbally, podcasting could be used. There are countless imaginative possibilities!
The Online Learning Studio web site provides detailed suggestions and explanations for the educational uses of podcasts. There are three areas where the potential of podcasting could be realised within schools:
* Devising a cross-curricular activity;
* Providing alternative teaching approaches;
* Promoting and using personalised learning
A cross-curricular activity is one which would utilize the IT skills learned in podcasting with a curriculum topic. Some suggestions include creating:
A) Tourism Guides – promote a city by linking a podcast to a tourism website with a guided tour of sights and attractions; give a geographical tour of the area around the school; give a description of the library resources available
B) Storytelling – listen to audio books; record readings of student-produced stories; give book reviews
C) Radio Shows – create interviews or panel discussions on topics of interest based on areas of curriculum study
The Online Learning Studio also explains how podcasting can be used as alternative teaching approaches. Some of these might include extending existing audio methodologies, creating additional materials to support specific learning needs, and reinforcing curriculum tasks with instructional content.
Many other relevant and practical classroom applications for podcasting are discussed in the video: How to use Podcasts in the classroom. Katie Grassel suggests to use podcasting for various purposes in particular subject areas, such as:
* English - find a podcast as part of research on an author or book
* Social Studies - find a podcast discussing a current event or historical speech
* Science - find research related to a topic, such as global warming
Grassel emphasizes that teachers should try to find ways to get students to use information by way of using the technology they like to listen with: MP3 players, iPods, cell phones, etc.
A note about copyright and legal issues:
Educators who want to use podcasting with their students need to be aware that copyright laws can pertain to podcasts. In particular, copyright may come into play when there is music used as part of a podcast.
If music is to be part of a podcast, the following solutions are suggested by Online Learning Studio:
* Arrange for a music licence (covers the performance rights and royalties);
* Use royalty free music (carefully check the conditions of use);
* Create your own, original music (this is your own copyright).
Terms and conditions are usually outlined on Internet Service Providers, and should be checked carefully so as to avoid copyright infringement.
A Final Thought…
Wow, I made it! A few days ago I was feeling terribly frustrated, but now I am feeling rather proud that I have figured out a bit more about this web 2.0 tool. I see tremendous opportunities for its use, and I am a bit sad that I can’t “test it out” on my students just yet! (Well, that might be for the best, since I really still have a lot more experimenting to do with podcast creation). Nevertheless, I have added another form of information technology to my tool belt.
Oh yes, maybe I should also work on my "radio voice"...