4. Podcast: A New Media

PadcastPodcast: A New Media for Teaching and Learning

  1. What is Podcast?

According to Google, Podcast is ‘a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically’. In simpler words, podcast is the audio file that can be downloaded from the internet using any electronic devices. Creating podcasts in the classroom has many educational benefits, including strengthening skills in research, writing, and collaboration and podcasting is easy to do.

2. How Podcast can be used by teachers effectively in teaching and learning process? 

  1. Used as classroom news broadcast every week.
  2. Record a class discussion
  3. Share book reviews
  4. Conduct interviews
  5. Review curricular content

3. How the teacher can create the podcasts with the students?

Through four steps  of preproduction, recording, postproduction, and publishing.

a) Preproduction

Before students start recording, they need to do some planning. In fact,  preproduction takes over three-quarters of the time to produce a podcast in Radio WillowWeb. It is a website that produced by students and teachers at Willowdale Elementary School.

In preproduction, students need to keep their audience in mind. Who will listen to the podcast?  Determining who exactly is the audience should help focus the podcast. Also, the podcast will need a name. It is better to be mote creative. Furthermore, the teacher and students must also decide upon the format, the speaker to be heard in the recording, the host, which segment to be used, the length of podcast, involve the whole class the students, rehearse the selected segments and etc.

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Screenshot of Radio WillowWeb

b) Recording

It’s best if students record short portions of audio at a time. Students then have less chance of messing up what they intend to say. When the portions are played right after another, the listener won’t realize that some things were recorded separately.

It is better to record the introduction last for a couple of reasons. First, recording last allows the students to introduce exactly what will be in the podcast because it has already been recorded. Second, students have had practice in front of the microphone and are more comfortable. They’ll record a much better introduction, and after all, the introduction should hook the listeners.

c) Postproduction

After recording, it is time to edit the audio. The students may not have recorded the audio in order, so the first priority is to make sure all audio is organized properly. Also, clips can be trimmed to delete any unnecessary pauses or interruptions. Additionally, music and sound effects can be added in postproduction.

d) Publishing

Publishing is perhaps the most technical part of the entire process. You need access to a web server. You’ll copy the MP3 file to the server. Also, a podcast needs a web page and an RSS feed. For the web page, use your favorite HTML editor (like Dreamweaver or FrontPage) or put the podcast information into a blog posting. A free alternative for the RSS feed is to use the Blogger and Feebdurner method for publishing the web page and RSS feed for a podcast.

Finally, submit the web address of  the RSS feed to podcast directories, including iTunes, to tell the world about the podcast! (Link to submit: http://web-marketing.masternewmedia.org/where-to-submit-your-podcasts/)

In a nutshell, the four steps used in the collaboration between the teachers and students are very useful in learning especially language learning.

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