User-Generated Content in Education/Podcasting

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What is Podcasting?

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The term podcast is used to describe an audio or video file that is downloaded from the internet and available for listening or viewing on an electronic device (whether it be a computer, smartphone, iPad, iPod, or MP3 player). The "pod" in the word "podcast" refers to the popular Apple Computer product, the iPod. These files can be created by both professionals and amateurs. [1] An explanation of podcasting can be found on the website Common Craft.[2]

Podcasting is becoming popular activity in education. Podcasts can easily be created in classrooms by students as they share their knowledge and research through audio or video recordings. Apple has created software in order to make this creation smooth. [3]

The Apple Corporation has also its own collection of educational podcasts know as iTunes University.[4]

Podcasts in the Classroom

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There are many ways in which podcasts can be used in the classroom. One way is that podcasts are used by teachers for professional development.[5] Some popular podcasts for this purpose are:

Another way is to have students create a podcast as a project to display their understanding of a particular subject. As educator Tony Vincent writes on his website, "Creating podcasts has many educational benefits. Students are able to create a product to share with a potentially world-wide audience...The process of putting together an audio recording is extremely valuable and is certainly a cross-curricular experience."[6]

Advantages of Podcasting

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Podcasting can be very useful for the classroom teacher. While it is true it takes preparation to create a podcast, the same is true of delivering content in other, more traditional methods. The following is a list of advantages to using podcasts in the classroom:

Easy to create, edit and distribute

No special, expensive equipment, software necessary

Students can listen as many times as necessary to understand the information

Available anytime, anywhere for students

Great for auditory learners

Can be used for students who missed the class lecture[7]

Tips for a Well Done Podcast

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While you don't need to invest in expensive equipment or software to create a podcast, it can still be difficult to create a high quality podcast. The following tips will help you to create a podcast that will benefit your students.

Use a directional microphone – it won’t pick up sound from your surrounding area as easily.

Make sure the room you are using doesn’t have distracting noises.

Know your material – don’t read a script, few people read with enough intonation to keep people’s interest[8]

Use good grammar – no one wants to hear poorly articulated topics[9]

Get to the point – no rambling off topic sidebars

Edit the recorded version - remove long pauses, mistakes, "ums," coughs, and other unintended sounds. Audacity is a free software that is easy to use.


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  1. "Podcast Production" Retrieved 12-1-2012
  2. "Podcasting in Plain English" Retrieved 12-1-2012
  3. "Apple in Education" Retrieved 12-1-2012
  4. "iTunes U" Retrieved 12-1-2012
  5. "Podcasting in Education" Retrieved 12-1-2012
  6. "Podcasting" Retrieved 12-1-2012
  7. Instructional Advantages
  8. Herrington's Tips
  9. Podcasting Tips