With the introduction of podcasting , a new revolution emerged in the field of communication and in the way people share their knowledge. This revolution has extended to touch upon education with educators and teachers now using podcast as learning and teaching tools both in formal and informal instructional settings.
What is a Podcast ? According to the New Oxford American Dictionary a podcast is a " digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio payer." in other words, it is a digital audio file that is created, shared and heard. Podcast can also be in the form of videos streamlined online, however, video podcast is known as vidcast or vodcast. The great thing about podcast is that they can be watched or listened to anywhere and anytime and across different devices.
Educational Uses of Podcasts
Podcasts can be used for several educational purposes. Here are some of them :
Podcast are great alternatives for delivering research content or lessons to students who need remedial or extended support
Students can create their own podcast to share their learning experiences with each other and also with other students from other schools
Teachers can record audio podcast to provide additional and revision material to students to download and review at a time that fits them the best.
Podcast can hugely benefit auditory learners and help them in their learning
Creating podcast allows students to develop several important skills such as researching, writing, speaking effectively, solving problems, managing time, grabbing attention and improving their vocabulary.
How to create a podcast ? Creating a podcast is as easy as pie. Here are the main steps:
1- Recording: for this you will need a microphone and an audio recording software like the ones mentioned below. Every software has instructions to guide you through your recording process. Make sure you practice speaking till you get confident enough then start recording.
2- Test your Podcast: Always make sure you listen to your podcasts and redo the parts that you dont like until you finally get the vesrion you want then move on to the next step
3- Publish your podcast: You can use online platforms for publishing your podcasts. If you have a blog for your class you can publish it there , you can also submit it to the public podcast directory services such as iTunes Music Store, Podcast.net, OurMedia.org, Podcast Alley, or Podcast Pickle.
4- Promote/ publicize your podcast: Now that you have recorded and uploaded your podcast, you will have to start promoting it so that others know about it. This can be done through providing the podcast link ( URL of the page where it is hosted ) or through creating an RSS Feed document which will let users subscribe to your podcast.
Tools to create your podcast
Here are some of the softwares you might start with to create your podcasts:
Audacity is a free, open source, cross platform software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for both Windows, Mac, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.
2- Garage Band
This is an Apple software that provides users with a great platform where they can record their audio files and share them with others.
This is another great web tool that lets you create, find and share podcasts with others
This one here transforms news sites and blog posts into audio files ready to download anywhere, anytime, on any device.