Why Podcasts? How do we do a podcast?
Doing a podcast can be a great educational tool in the classroom. So, how does one go about doing it? A computer audio recording program such as GarageBand is a great place to start. GarageBand was used by a first grade class, detailed in Langwitches Blog, and it sounded great! The class came up with a theme for a podcast and then brainstormed on how to put it together. The teacher individually recorded the students' voices and edited the recordings to fit together for the podcast. Another important key to making a podcast is sound effects. Sound effects not only lock in the flow of a podcast, but they also help hold the attention of the listener. Video podcasts can use the same tools as audio podcasts with the added element of images. The proper images can work hand in hand with audio to create the proper flow of the podcast and hold the attention of the watcher.
Why should podcasts be used in education? This question is eloquently answered in the video Podcasting In The Classroom by Doug Saunders. Doug advocates that podcasting is a special educational tool. Several things Doug touched on in the video stood out to me. The first is how podcasting can be a resourceful tool for children who are sick. If a child is sick and is unable to make it to class they could easily fall behind. By posting podcasts of important activities / lectures the child has a much better chance of staying up to date. I really liked this idea because it is so practical. Sickness is unavoidable and can come at the worst times. Having this kind of resource can alleviate a lot of stress for students. Another great point the video made was how mobile a podcast could be. By having the podcast available to download on many electronic devices students could access it anywhere. If a student on the football team had to miss class for an away game, then they could download the podcast and watch it on the bus ride to the game. Overall, podcasting is a great educational tool and resource. Whether one uses podcasting for absent students or for a classroom activity, it can enhance learning for all students.