Podcasting is growing in popularity throughout education, appearing in classrooms, schools, colleges, and universities. Many conferences and classes provide podcasts of their events, including speeches and talks. Wikipedia defines podcasting as a method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or music videos, over the Internet for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. Podcasts are distributed using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats (see Chapter 3). Podcasts are available on almost any topic, including television newscasts and uni- versity class lectures. There are free Internet sites available to help you create and publish a podcast. Borja (2005) provides the following step-by-step approach.
How to Create a Podcast
- Record sound using a digital audio recorder or an MP3 player with a recording function, such as an iPod, and a Or you can skip this step by recording directly onto a computer’s hard drive via the machine’s imbedded microphone.
- Transfer the sound from your recording device to a
- Edit the sound and add music, voice-overs, or other audio elements using pro- duction software such as Sony ’s Acid Music Studio, Apple Computer Inc.’s GarageBand, or the free, open-source software Audacity.
- Compress the finished product into an MP3
- Post the audio on a web
- Create a Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, feed of the audio file through online services such as libsyn.com so listeners can subscribe to the podcast.
- Submit your podcast to podcast directories such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store and Podcast
A few online links for more information on podcasting:
A few online links to podcasting software:
How to Listen to Podcasts
Listeners can subscribe to podcasts via podcasting software, which uses RSS technology. When a new podcast comes out, subscribers’ computers automati- cally download it, then subscribers can transfer it at their convenience to an MP3 player, such as an iPod or personal digital assistant (PDA). A few examples of K–12 podcasts:
- “Kids in the Coulee”
- “Radio WillowWeb”
- “Music Appreciation Podcasts”
Some links where you can find and subscribe to podcasts:
Preparing a Parent Open House Student Presentation
layton and Ellie’s kindergarten class has just finished learning about dinosaurs, but none of them is going to be sitting down to take a test to assess what they have learned. Instead, each student will design one slide in a class multimedia presenta- tion, highlighting facts and illustrations about his or her favorite dinosaur. The slide show will be presented to students’ parents at this semester’s Open House, so every- one wants to do his or her best.
Clayton chooses to draw a picture of a stegosaurus. He uses the drawing program to outline the dinosaur from a picture in a book his teacher had read to them. He has trouble drawing the tail, so he erases it and redraws it. When the picture is complete, he adds a text field to type in all the dinosaur words he knows. He finds the microphone on the computer shelf above the monitor, plugs it into the computer, and records his slide narration: “This is my stegosaurus. He’s as big as the whole page and he just stepped on a little tree.” When he is done with his slide, he saves it to his personal folder because his teacher said she would put all the slides together when everyone was done. That afternoon, Ellie starts her dinosaur slide. She has trouble deciding which di- nosaur to choose, so she decides to split her slide in half and show the differences and similarities between carnivores and herbivores. She draws a detailed illustration of two dinosaurs she remembers from a CD-ROM her class used last week. She finds a book that tells about carnivores and herbivores, and because she does not know all the words herself, she slowly copies some of the sentences into two text boxes. When she hears that it is time to go to lunch, and she still has not finished the slide to her liking, she saves it to her folder so that she can complete it tomorrow.
When the night of the Open House comes, Clayton and Ellie walk excitedly through the door of the classroom, knowing that right inside is the computer on which the slide show is playing over and over, or “looping,” as their teacher had called it. She had put all of the students’ slides into one show and programmed it with an auto- matic timing option so that when parents entered, they could watch the entire show at their leisure. Parents commented on how good all of the slides looked. When Mrs. Guidia, the principal, looked in to check on the progress of Open House, she was able to see very quickly what students had learned and how technology was facilitating the instruction and assessment of students at all levels.
Producing video for the iPOD involves a little more effort including creating and producing the video. Refer to podcasting websites (listed online at http://www.ablongman. com/bitter7e) to get you started. The iPOD has become a popular personal item. The impact on education can be as a significant learning tool in addition to its entertainment capabilities. The video iPOD provides anywhere anytime learning potential.