Monday, August 3, 2009

Educational Podcasts (iTunes and others)

I was not very familiar with podcasts when starting this topic. I had listened to some during uni tutorials that the lecturer had played through iTunes, however I had never knew that there were many more sites that had podcasts to listen to, such as ABCs Ed Pods.

After now understanding that there are many podcasts on the internet on a range of diverse topics, I began to think about and see how podcasts could be used in education settings to benefit students. Because students nowadays seem to be so techno savvy and most students in the older grades have mp3/mp4/ipods and other devices, the use of podcasts would be relevant, engaging, beneficial and ‘technologically up to date’ for them. Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) indicate that “an ICT environment, is best suited to providing a meaningful and authentic experience for students, one that can be configured to simulate the kinds of experiences students will face outside of the classroom.” (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999, in Marshall, 2007).

Because podcasts can be downloaded and then added to these devices, students could be given an educational podcast relevant to a topic/activity being discussed at school to look up, upload and listen to at home. I am aware that not all students will have an mp3/mp4/ipod or will have limited access to the computer/internet at home due to parent preferences and home rules, so therefore teachers would need to come up with an alternative for students to be able to listen to set podcasts at a given time during school and/or make parents aware of the intentions and use of podcasts in learning experiences at school and at home. Working with the parents to understand the benefits of podcasts for their child’s education can create a collaborative relationship with parents of students in your class and even get parents actively involved in their child’s learning at home.

When researching podcasts, I was surprised to find that students and teachers could create them at schools/in the classrooms. “Podcasts can be created from original material by students and teachers or existing audio files can be downloaded for classroom use. Creating a podcast allows students to share learning experiences. It provides them with a world-wide audience that makes learning meaningful and assessment authentic. Teachers can use the technology to provide additional and revision material to students to download and review at a time that suits them. The flexibility that such time-shifting offers makes podcasting a valuable educational tool.” (Western Australian Department of Education and Training, 2009).


ABC. (2007). Ed Pod. Retrieved July 30, 2009, from

Marshall, S. (2007). Engagement theory, WebCT, and academic writing in Australia. Retrieved on July 29, 2009, from

Western Australian Department of Education and Training. (2009). Podcasts in the classroom. Retrieved July 30, 2009, from

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