Podcasting: Casting Education

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Representational Image Mapixel [Creative Commons]

Computer Technologies and other facets of digital culture have changed the ways people live, work, play, and learn, impacting the construction and distribution of knowledge and supremacy around the Globe.

So Schools too started using a diverse set of Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools to communicate, create, disseminate, store, and manage information.

When teachers are digitally well-educated and trained to use ICT, these methods can lead to higher order thinking skills, provide creative and individualized opportunities for learners to express their comprehension & understandings, and leave learners better equipped to deal with ongoing technological change in society and the workplace.

The vision for New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is “Technology use and Integration” in order to give a pathway for the Learners to make the country a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy around the globe. Podcasting is an emerging area of digital connectivity.

The concept of podcasting was proposed by Tristan Louis in October, 2000 and then it was carried out by Dave Winer, the author of the RSS format. The term podcasting was popularized by Adam Curry who created an Applescript application.

In 2003 podcasts started to appear on lots of web sites and other software. Podcasting as Audio Broadcasts, listening and speaking come as the primary skills to be used and refined as well. Like YouTube, where people see videos, Audio is the content in Podcasts.

The casting/sharing is done via Apps, websites and any other digital medium. Popular websites like Spotify, Gaana, Hubhopper, SoundCloud, Podbean are leading the trend these days. To listen to songs, one turns to Audio-based Apps or sites.

That is what a Podcast is. One can listen to Podcasts. It can be a song, a narration or speech or it can be a mixture of both. The All India Radio, BBC Radio and all Radio Channels stand as Podcast channels.

Peggy Noonan, an American writer once said that “TV gives an image, but radio gives birth to a million of images in a million brains.” When teachers and students take up Online Radio or Podcasting, the things that are under dust shall come to light.

The term Podcast is actually a combination of two words iPod and Broadcast. Podcasting started as mostly an autonomous way for individuals to get their message out there and build a community of people with similar interests.

There Are podcasts from individuals, companies (large and small), radio networks (like NPR), TV networks (CNN, Fox, ESPN, etc.), new podcast-only networks, comedians, storytellers, Religious pods and a whole lot more including educational pods.

One of the greatest advantages of education podcasts is that they offer portability and convenience to the learner. Learners can access the downloaded sessions according to their schedules. They can study at home, in the library, or even while travelling.

Further, they are not limited to a single exposure for that review session. They can listen to each recording as often as needed to obtain a complete understanding of a given topic. Finally, this approach offers the advantage of hearing the Teachers’ voice highlighting the key features of a particular lecture.

This provides guidance as to what the teacher deemed important in that lecture, helps with the pronunciation of new terminology and provides the reassurance associated with hearing a familiar voice during the stressful time of studying for summative examinations.

The capacity to review, again and again, is valuable to all learners but particularly to CWSN.Many students may struggle with reading because of learning disabilities like Dyslexia, and podcasts can be a big aid in this. Podcasts are equally useful in cases where a visual impairment makes traditional learning methods difficult.

Many Teaching-learning institutions which have integrated podcasting in their educational transactions, have reported encouraging results. This can be ascribed to the comfort of creating and consuming podcasts as well as the various ways in which educational podcasts enhance the students’ learning experience.

One of the other great powers of podcasting is the attention it attracts. It’s tricky to encourage students to spend 30 minutes reading an article or watching a recorded lecture. Podcasting, on the other hand, can be done in otherwise wasted time or dead time, or alongside a routine activity.

One of the most interesting and valuable uses of Podcasting in Education is the concept of student-created content.Teacher might allow learners to create their own podcast, perhaps including questions, discussions, assignments, presentations or projects. These can then be made available to their classmates.

This allows Learners to take control of an aspect of their education and, therefore, encourages engagement in the material. They can question, they can contribute and they can teach each other, which will enhance the cooperative or collaborative learning approach.

When a Learner misses a class, it’s not always because they’re lazy. By offering a podcast, an unlucky, sick student who has missed a number of classes can, instead, download recordings of the lectures. As a consequence, they’re able to “fill in the gaps”. Moreover, a Teacher who is unable to attend his or her classes for a week or two can create a podcast of the lecture instead. This is made available to the students and thus makes up for any unattended lectures.

Lecture recordings can help a teacher to ensure that they always cover any given topic in the best way possible. This comes in handy when the Teacher in question teaches multiple sessions of the same class. It helps the teacher to ensure that every student gets the same experience, the same information, and that the syllabus is covered uniformly.

Perhaps one of the paramount pedagogic characteristics offered by educational podcasting is the chance to learn through listening. To many of the current Learner generation, learning through listening is enjoyable and less tedious than reading.

Podcast Integrates reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing skills. It allows students to use their own voices to convey their thoughts, Utilizes a Global Audience and builds 21st Century Skill, above all Podcasts encourages students to discover, develop, intensify, apply, and extend their creativity. New technology always has a substantial influence on education, and podcasting is no different. Podcasting, as one of the cutting-edge methods to emerge into the conventional system of education, is one of the vanguard technologies in this change. Podcasting in education can increase accessibility and embolden engagement.

Podcasting offers the prospect for Teachers to effortlessly broadcast engaging audio/video content, which learners can then listen/watch to at any time and wherever they are. Teachers can share book reviews, document a field trip, classroom news, record a class discussion, review curricular content, anything Musical and Instrumental, interviews with Authors, local Celebrity, Oral Histories of Veterans, Natives, others and Newsletters to parents.

Learners only need to subscribe to a podcast feed and the teacher can provide educational content to them, rather than wait for them to come. Podcasts can easily be used in schools, universities or colleges to engage learners, and improve teaching and learning practice.

The author is senior academic officer and head education communication technology & computer sciences at SCERT J&K

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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