Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Podcasting…what is it and how is it used? ‘Podcasts are audio files that are automatically delivered directly to your desktop computer, and can be transferred to your iPod or other MP3 player. You typically subscribe to podcasts using "podcatcher" software (PCATRC, 2009).’I used iTunes as my podcatcher. Podcasts don’t have to be downloaded onto an iPod or MP3 player. Students can just view their podcast from their computer if they do not have access to this equipment. There is also another tool called video podcatching, where the same principle applies as the audio podcasting, but with videos. This is different from YouTube as it can be easily downloaded to your computer and uploaded to transportable devices such as an MP3 player.
Call me lucky, but all of the students in my class actually own MP3 players, so I have that advantage.
About three weeks ago, I was sitting in on a class and the classroom teacher was getting frustrated with one of the students distracting other students from quiet working as he liked to work with noise. The teacher turned around and told the student that if he needed to work with noise to bring an iPod into class instead of distracting others. My initial thoughts were oh bad move. Over half of the class instantly put up their hands and asked if that was the case were they able to get their iPods out of their bag. The teacher had a regretting look on her face but agreed. It was not until last week when I caught up with her and asked her what her reasoning’s were for this learning strategy and she advised me that she realised for the first time in her teaching life that some students need silence when doing independent work and others need noise to keep them busy.
The students all bought in their iPods/MP3 players and began podcasting songs and music to each other. It was here that I realised how effective podcasting could actually be. As previously mentioned, my class are learning about Aboriginal cultures and other countries around the world. I then found a podcast from a school in Hawaii. It came to me that the students could follow these casts to learn more about their cultures and find other countries that have podcasting implemented in schools to allow their questions to be answered. We as a class could then podcast to these schools. I am yet to implement this idea, but I am really looking forward to it.
I think that I could set up a class profile on the computer for the students to access that contains video footage of science experiments and other learning experiences for them to later refer to.
By creating these podcasts, the students are able to share their learning experiences. It provides them with a global audience which then makes the learning meaningful and the assessment authentic (Department of Education and Training Western Australia, 2009). Podcasts align with the learning engagement theory as the students relate, create and donate.
Relate: As the students work together to create their podcast, they will have to plan and manage the delivery and also communicate their ideas to develop one plan of action.
Create: As the students are creating their podcast, they will have an audience that will view their casts, so they have a purpose and meaning to complete the task.
Donate: As the students will receive castings from other schools around the world, they are donating their views in hopeful exchange of others.
(Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999).

This tool would be extremely effective if the correct pedagogical approaches were addressed with desired outcomes to achieve. It is in the hands of the learning manager to assure that the correct use of technology is available and the students are taught how to use the program. Although I found this Podcasting task a little difficult to work out, I think that with a little more practice, I will be able to teach the students how it exactly works.
Podcatcher later,


Department of Education and Training Western Australia. (2009). Podcasts in the Classroom. Viewed on 16/08/09 from:

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory. Viewed on 12/08/09 from:

Palomar College Academic Technology Resource Centre (2009). Podcasting. Viewed on 18/08/09 from:

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