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A podcast is an audio or video file syndicated via the Internet so that it can be automatically accessed by a personal playback device (phone, computer, iPod, etc). Although use of the term often refers to any downloadable media content.
iPod + broadcast = podcast
Podcast use within education has grown as the automation process for students to access podcasts makes life easier. Students can subscribe to the really simple syndication (RSS) feed with aggregator software (e.g. iTunes, Juice), which automatically downloads new episodes in a podcast collection to their computer and they can then upload that file onto a digital device for playing outside of traditional learning environments.
Podcasts can provide a range of educational benefits and opportunities:
- Rich content via multimedia (enhanced podcast)
- Responsive - podcasts can be quickly created and distributed
- Accessibility - syndicated access via the internet
- Portability - they can be consumed anywhere, anytime
Podcasts allow students to listen while exercising or travelling in their car or on public transport. They can replay concepts they didn't understand the first time to assist their learning. Podcasts give students an alternative way to learn, and work well with students with an aural learning preference.
Before you produce your first podcast, think about how your subject matter could work in this medium, and what you could do to make it more interesting and accessible for your students.
This inspiring TED talk on “Flipping the classroom” addresses the educational benefit of providing ‘microlectures’ as homework and using contact time for more engaged deeper learning activities.
Have a read through this research paper discussing the benefits of Using short podcasts to reinforce lectures.
Another way to use podcasts is to put in ‘learning breaks’, where you may teach a body of knowledge for a few minutes, and then suggest the listener stops the podcast, and using the knowledge you have just covered, attempt to answer a question. Then when they restart the podcast, you can give them your answer and justification for coming to that answer. This can make a passive podcast into a more interactive learning asset.
You do not need an iPod to listen to a podcast. You can listen to a podcast on your computer, or other electronic devices like an MP3 player, You can even burn the podcasts to a CD if you wish.
To create a podcast you need:
- the script or text of your podcast,
- a recording tool (basic audio recordings can be done within the Campus Pack Podcast tool or using Echo 360 Personal Capture)
- a delivery system (Campus Pack allows RSS and iTunes syndication)
- and a playback device (iPod, Smartphone, laptop, iPad, netbook, computer, etc).
The software that you will need to create your podcast will depend on the type of podcast you want to produce. The following table shows you which options are available to you, along with the ease of use and technical capacity going from easy to advanced (top to bottom). Please note, not all software products may be installed on your computer, and some are available for you to use in the video/editing room.
|Ease of use||Audio only||Voiceover images||Video||Screencast|
|Beginner||Audacity #||iLecture ^||iLecture ^||Jing|
|Echo 360 #||Echo 360 #||Echo 360 #||Echo 360 #|
|Campus Pack Podcast #||Photostory 3 (PC only) #||QuickTime 10 (Mac only) #||Screenr #|
|Quicktime 10 (Mac only) #||Quicktime 10 (Mac only) #|
|Soundbooth *||PowerPoint (PC) and Keynote (Mac) #|
|Intermediate||Camtasia *||Camtasia *|
|GarageBand (Mac only) #||GarageBand (Mac only) #||GarageBand (Mac only) #|
|iMovie (Mac only) #||iMovie (Mac only) #||iMovie (Mac only) #|
|Advanced||Final Cut Express (Mac only) *||Final Cut Express (Mac only) *||Final Cut Express (Mac only) *|
|Adobe Premiere *||Adobe Premiere *|
^ Available in select teaching spaces on the Curtin Campus
* This software is available for staff to use in the Video and Editing suite at Curtin Teaching and Learning, Building 603, 6 Sarich Way, Technology Park.
# On your PC/Mac, or this software may need to be installed
Need to record a podcast and want to use a teleprompter? Turn your web browser into an online teleprompter (no additional software required).
7 things you should know about Podcasting [EDUCAUSE]
Podcasting [Australian Flexible Learning Framework]
Podcasting [Common Craft]