Podcasts are all the rage right now! I literally cannot have a conversation with friends (usually in their early 30s) without podcasts being discussed. “Have you listened to the fill in the blank podcast?” And then the conversation ensues! Whether you are interested in politics, music, comedy, gaming, education, etc., there is a podcast out there for you.
If you are unsure about podcasts, they are basically just digital audio files made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device. Usually, podcasts are created as a series which allow automatic downloads to subscribers. I could go on and on about different podcast that I love. But in today’s blog post, I’ll specifically discuss the use of educational podcasts.
Why should educators listen to podcasts?
- Podcasts allow educators to receive professional development even when they are busy with life.
- On a podcast, experts know they have a broad audience, so they start from a base understanding and grow from there by offering multiple points of view and responses to a topic.
- Podcasts have so many different focuses like grade level, content area, student-focused, teacher focused and administration focused.
- Educators are able to collaborate in real time and provide a global perspective on every topic they present.
- The best podcasts have a mission and provide a narrative. They leave you with actionable practices or something to reflect on until next time.
- In education, a good idea is a good idea so it won’t spoil. Once you find a podcast that speaks to you personally, you have the ability to follow, subscribe, and listen to podcasts as often as you’d like.
Why should educators create podcasts for their students, AND why should educators have their student create podcasts?
- Podcast help educators in delivering quality research content and lessons in order to help students who need it.
- Auditory learners can hugely benefit from podcasts in their learning process.
- Educators can record their audio in the podcast for revision material as well as giving their feedback to their students on their work.
- Learners can make their own podcast and can share their experiences with each other students.
- Librarians can use podcasts to promote the library using concepts such as book talks and contest promotion.
- Making a podcast enables students to develop good communication skills, problem-solving ability, researching, writing, improving vocabulary etc.
- Students can share school news and announcements by creating a new version of school radio shows.
- Students will be able to take ownership of their product and distribute it as they see fit.
I played around with three different sites (Soundcloud, Audioboo, and Podomatic) and found them each to be user-friendly for beginners. The problem that I immediately found, though, is that all of these sites are blocked by our school filter because they are streaming services. Because of this issue, I have started to look for other options like Youtube, Vocaroo, Beautiful Audio Editor (great for Google Drive/Chromebooks), and other add-ons for Google Sites. Once I nail down some solid ideas about alternative routes to podcasting, I’ll do another blog about how to podcast from your class without streaming websites!!!
PodOmatic is the website that I found worked best for my current needs. According to their website, PodOmatic is a free service, but we do offer PRO services for those of you who want to take your podcast to the next level with featured placements, PRO design tools, and expanded storage and bandwidth.
My students and I decided on a theme (YA book talks) and some talking points (connections, suggestions, etc.) for our first few podcasts, and they ran with it. The girls decided on a name for their series, Lunchtime Banter, but their official group name is still up in the air. After recording the first few episodes, they now would like to bring in specials guest including teachers and other students.
Clicks on the links below to list to our first few episodes featuring YA book talks.
The Lunchtime Banter Girls and I hope you’ve enjoyed our podcasts. We know that these are still a work in progress, and we would love for you to offer feedback and ideas for further episodes.
Epiphany Learning | Why Podcasts are My Primary Source of Professional Development for Personalized Learning and EdTech. (2016). Epiphany Learning. Retrieved 7 April 2017, from http://epiphanylearning.com/why-podcasts-are-my-primary-source-of-professional-development-for-personalized-learning-and-edtech/
Why and How Should Teachers Use Podcasts?. (2017). EdTechReview. Retrieved 7 April 2017, from http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/1332-why-and-how-should-teachers-use-podcasts