Using Podcasts as Audio Learning Objects, the author’s explain how “podcasting can be characterized with two main features:
1. Podcasting is an audio content delivery approach based on Web syndication protocols, such as RSS and/or Atom.
2. Podcasting aims to distribute content to be used with mobile and digital audio/video players such as iPods including all other MP3 players, cell phones and PDAs.” (p. 1).
A good podcast updates information periodically and is intended to be listened to on a mobile device. This makes podcasting an effective way of engaging with people when they are on driving, at the gym, out of the house, or just simply on the move.
Due to the portability and convenience of listening to an audio cast, learning can now take place anywhere. This will transcend learning for students because now they can re-experience lectures and make up missed class time by listening to a podcast of the lecture. Furthermore, they can do this while running errands, getting a work out in, or driving to work. For many students, including myself, I process audio information much easier than reading. Podcast’s are immensely helpful for students with hearing impairments and students who are learning English as a second language as well. The portability allows a student to reenter the classroom and hear information in a repetitive accurate manner. Students can now focus more on engaging with the lecture instead of frantically writing down every word the professor says. A podcast with educational purposes must though meet certain criteria. Criteria include having a learning objective and being produced with an educational value in mind. Studies show that students prefer audio casts that are 15 minutes or less (Cebeci & Tekdal, 2006). The reason being is they are easier to download as well as easier to maintain full concentration for their duration.
Deborah L. Vess’ (2005), History to Go: Why iTeach with iPods reinforces that,
“When applications are based on solid learning theory and designed with appropriate outcomes in mind, they can transform the educational experience for students, build communities of learners, promote more active engagement of materials, an achieve the leaning outcomes essential for the study of history” (pp. 1).
I agree with the author that podcasts as well as other information and communication technologies (Cebeci & Tekdal, 2006) give students an opportunity to connect with the learning process outside the classroom, which improve the overall learning experience. This can only have a positive effect on learning as it stimulates interest for students to re-engage with the information from the class on their own time as well as collaborate with other students in sharing views and ideas.
As Professor Sailor was quoted saying in the article, Getting their iLessons from the FresnoBee.com, “I'd like to be the most-played artist on their iPod" (p. 1). Professors, teachers, and coaches that take the extra time to find ways to encourage students to engage with specific information outside the classroom will have the greatest impact on student learning.
Thank you for reading.