class_discussion by pengxuebo

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									What is the educational value of using podcasting in an educational setting?

Karen Oliveira:

I think the educational value of using podcasting is found mainly in the increased interest
and enthusiasm it generates in today's students. It takes technology and processes that
they are already quite comfortable and familiar with and adds another dimension.
According to studies from Duke and Washington University, professors are reporting that
there has been a decrease in students dropping classes when podcasting is involved in the
course and also a marked increase in student comprehension and interest and better
student evaluations of courses.

I liked the podcast of the 7th grade ELA teacher explaining how she used podcasts in her
curriculum and how she spoke about having a podcast of her right next to something
from her students' favorite rock stars!

Some of my more contemporary colleagues are beginning to create their own websites
for their students and a few are taking a stab at using podcasts, with mixed re sults. One of
the main issues that they're running into with using podcasts in our particular situation
and school is the dreaded digital divide. We are a very large urban district, with a big
percentage of our student body coming from lower- income families (many who do not
own a computer in their homes), so the issue of access comes into play in this case. There
has been some discussion about whether podcasts should be downloaded and viewed
outside of school (as a form of homework or an extra study aid, for example) or if the
teachers should schedule lab time and take the whole class to a lab to watch the podcast
as a classwork activity. Time will tell how this situation plays out.

I feel there is much to be gained from educational podcasting. It provides another level of
subject reinforcement in a convenient, attractive, and easy to digest little morsel.

Jim D’Attilo:

Sometimes I feel like a jaded old miser who can't see the value of wasting money on
indoor plumbing for the staff. But really- I'm not! I love technology. I love wires and
buttons and lights. But I do tend to take things with a grain of salt.

I think podcasting has a number of benefits- in particular while it compares to a written
blog, and could be used in much the same way, there are many students who would find
it more engaging. Sound and video could go a long way toward eliminating the sterility
of text based presentations, and restoring some of the human interaction that much
technology represents.

That said, I do not think pod casting is the next holy educational grail. (In fact, very few
Holy Educational Grails ever turned out to be Holy Educational Grails- in the end, they
just turned out to be good drinking cups) Like everything else, it has a place and a use,
but in moderation. It will not change the face of education, it will just add to it. Also,
like web pages and other and other promising goodies, they take time to create, not to
mention the equipment software and learning curve.

Amy Kaye-Peterson:

Though blatantly Macintosh, I really enjoyed the educational tab on the Apple
educational resources site in regard to podcasting. The educational value is HUGE! I
envision podcasting as the natural linear progression from PowerPoint as a key tool in
educational presentation. It becomes multi-dimensional with the addition of tracks of
different media; sound, voices, etc. The Part 1 Introduction to Podcasting was a very
realistic introduction to the work it takes to organize and coordinate your material for
presentation. I liked the middle school administrator who targeted the human voice
enrichment when compared to words sitting flatly on the page – or PowerPoint for that
matter. – About PPT, it has always been my objective to teach students to create the slide
show as a guide to direct and present, in a limited way, the information meant to be
presented to the audience (not too many bells and whistles). The use of voice recording
now completes the message that a PowerPoint was meant to get across. The same
administrator commented on pre-existing information in the form of recorded drama that
now can be placed in a medium where it can, once again, be appreciated. The podcasting
bridges the archived material with the present day uses for it. The cherry on the
administrators praise of podcasting was the obvious educational benefit of students using
podcasting is the development of researchers and creators of content rich materials.

 There were lots of online examples of many podcasts. Quick and Dirty Tips’ Grammar
Girl is a hoot, including her photo library of incorrect grammar in the world around us.
The animated voice drew me in and I listened to grammar examples as if it were the first
time I had heard them.

 Since this is inherently Mac technology – what about PC users? What is the PC
equivalent of GarageBand? Is Quicktime the ultimate format to cross operating systems?
Can an animated clip (Flash) be added on the GarageBand tracks? Are there effects that
can be added to the image track to spice up the show – I am inspired now to try my hand
at a podcast, too.

-Amy

Kristen Owens:

I am a firm believer that podcasting has a great future, and for that matter a current
position in the classroom. It is time to get rid of those old school 80's videos that would
bore you to death as a student and a teacher, and replace them with updated, more
interesting and upbeat podcasts. Podcasts are beneficial to all the players within the
classroom environment. They help to enhance lessons and the learning process
immensly. Teachers can use or create podcasts to supplement textbook material that
otherwise could be mundane and boring to students. At the same token, kids can create
podcasts from oridinary material and turn them into great products of their learning.
Students can create podcasts for projects and study guides among other endless
possibilities. Podcasting is a technology which cant be ignored, and should be
incoporated into curriculums due to its power as an enhancement for learning and
instructional tool.

-KO

Keri Maguire:

There are a number of advantages to using podcasting in the classroom. The first
advantage would be as a tool for students when asked to research various topics. There
are many sites which allow you to download podcasts free of charge. The accessibility of
these podcasts and the fact that they may provide them with an alternaive point of view -
other than their teachers' - can be extremely valuable.

 In addition, students could choose to record a webcast as a school project in place of the
powerpoint presentation or even the more basic story board. The idea of researching a
topic and then developing the podcast is a great way to incorporate technology into a
general lesson plan.

 Finally, the teacher's effective use of podcasting could also benefit the students. For
example, if a teacher records some of his/her lectures and then downloads the information
to a website, students can either listen to the lecture a second time or they have the
benefit of hearing the lecture if they were out sick or missed class for another reason.

 There is concern about the digital divide and how this move to podcasting may
negatively impact those without access to a home computer or even an IPod from which
to download. However, as the posted links stated, you do not need an IPod to take
advantage of podcasting - you can download most directly to your computer. Students
without access to a home computer would have to utilize classroom time/resources to
take advantage of this technology tool which is not ideal.

Brett McCoy:

It's funny, in my school life I am always at odd with the other teachers who are either
fearful of technology or just don't see the point, but in this class I'm always playing the
downer. Maybe I just like playing devil's advocate.... but on with the discussion.

I don't think I've ever seen an educational technology create as much buzz as the concept
of podcasting. It is surely a technology with great potential. However there are some huge
hurdles to be adopted before it can be successfully implemented.

1 - The digital divide. One of us (sorry, can't remember who) already brought up the issue
of children who don't own or have access to a PC or iPod so I won't go any further here.
2 - Time - the only way I see teachers really using podcasting fully is if it is an automated
process. I hear at BU and some other colleges lectures and discussions are automatically
recorded and posted without any effort required from the teacher. This is awesome! I
don't think anyone could expect your typicall k-12 teacher to add the burden of recording
and feeding their lectures or notes via podcast on top of their current responsibilities.

3 - Cost - always an issue but with grants and time, schools should be able to tackle this
without too much trouble (except for maybe the pre- mentioned auto-cast)

4 - Effectiveness - while the initial results have been promising it should be noted that
most anecdotes or data relating to podcasts are from colleges. College students are
obviously a very different group than middle school students. My fear is that after the
novelty has worn off, this will just be another thing that students either must read and use
or simply ignore (like the information in the text book, the notes the teacher's web site,
the handouts, etc) when doing work.

To summarize, I think podcasting has tremendous potential. I like the fact that it does not
require reading. (Great for kids with reading issues) It's just that like anything else, it has
its hurdles and is no "magic bullett". Instead, it is one component in the array of
educational technologies.

Jason Soslow:

While looking at the burgeoning list of videos, both educational and otherwise, that are
now available on Itunes, I was struck by the reality that hand held video players and web
connecting devices like the IPhone are kind of sneaking in the back door while everyone
looks for the ubiquitous low cost student laptop to take wing. I was playing with an IPod
"touch" the other day at an Apple store and thought the little thing was really remarkable.
They are popping up all over the place at school and kids are starting to use them as
generalized media storage, sharing and playback devices. Obviously the little screen is
not useful for every application - especially text intensive ones - but kids are never far
away from a video monitor and keyboard these days, both at home at school.

Also, while playing with the Ipod Touch, I was surprised at how usable that little 3"
screen actually is. I could easily sit there and watch a 30 minute television show
(especially when immersed in the ear-bud stereo sound environment). I even think I
could watch the tiny new Nano screen (though, that's stretching it). But the Ipod Touch
screen size is no joke. It's very easy to imagine watching a downloaded video lecture or
PowerPoint presentation.

One educational hurdle that needs to be overcome is the fact that while many kids have
these things, many still don't. If I put up key lectures on Itunes as video podcasts, is that
giving an unfair advantage to the digitally privileged?


Huntley Harrison:
After reading the podcasting posts this evening, I believe there is a place for this
technology in an educational environment; however, like anything there are the pros and
cons. The links provide a wealth of examples that certainly are enticing and make for
great food for thought, but as Brett pointed out what teacher has the time to put an
interesting podcast together that will attract students, ultimately capture their interest, and
enhance their learning. Also, as happened to me with one of the links (Part 2: Meeting
Standards with Podcasting)) on the Apple site, I couldn’t listen to it because it didn’t load
on my PC. Perhaps it was something I did or didn’t do, but what if I were a student with
that assignment due tomorrow – SOL. It has to work perfectly all of the time to be
effective. We all have experienced the frustration when technology doesn’t function as
promised. To involve students the Podcast will need to be short, to the point, and would
be better if it were a Vodcast using video. I just don’t see secondary students walking
home from school listening to a lecture on their iPod. Sitting in the library, at home, or
under a tree watching and listening to a video with sound makes a whole lot more sense
to me. But again, even with the easy technology available to create one, who would have
the time to put together a quality show, for multiple lessons? And what is the worth of
doing it just once?

I also worry about the digital divide, but more for the handicapped students who have rea l
difficulty accessing anything, much less an iPod, than I do the “underprivileged.” This
latter group has pretty much only money to worry about and probably could arrange
access to a Podcast through a school or public library computer, if they didn’t have one of
their own. The handicapped kids may have problems seeing and/or hearing, so they may
miss it all together.

Believe me I’m not totally against the idea of P/Vodcasts. In fact I rather like the concept,
but I do think that if they are to be successfully integrated into a curricular area, there will
have to be a great deal of time spent on training, lesson planning, script writing, and
production. Wow, more power to you if you can figure that one out.

Jim D’Attilio:

Sometimes I feel like a jaded old miser who can't see the value of wasting money on
indoor plumbing for the staff. But really- I'm not! I love technology. I love wires and
buttons and lights. But I do tend to take things with a grain of salt.

I think podcasting has a number of benefits- in particular while it compares to a written
blog, and could be used in much the same way, there are many students who would find
it more engaging. Sound and video could go a long way toward eliminating the sterility
of text based presentations, and restoring some of the human interaction that much
technology represents.

That said, I do not think pod casting is the next holy educational grail. (In fact, very few
Holy Educational Grails ever turned out to be Holy Educational Grails- in the end, they
just turned out to be good drinking cups) Like everything else, it has a place and a use,
but in moderation. It will not change the face of education, it will just add to it. Also,
like web pages and other and other promising goodies, they take time to create, not to
mention the equipment software and learning curve.

Paul Sullivan:

With any of the “emerging” technologies there seems to be a significant “novelty factor”
that must be addressed. Where does the novelty end and the functionality begin? Put
another way, why go through the expense of acquiring the equipment and effort of
mastering the knowledge and skills necessary to use a new technology. Initially, there is
the element of for the fun of it. In education there is the claim of increased “engagement. ”
However, once the newness and the novelty wear off, what is the value? Only when that
question has been answered can the real function of a technology be discerned. In
education, the answer must always be that the technology allows a process to happen
better or more effectively that traditional means could have achieved.

 As I went through the materials posted for Podcasting this past week, I was looking for
the answer to the above question. In essence it was like a Wendy’s commercial asking,
“Where’s the beef?” There were a couple things that struck me. The first is that through
Podcasting, one can communicate more information to a much larger audience than via
traditional means. Traditionally, one could always post text on the web via a web site.
However, through the use of audio, and especially video, much more information can be
transferred than through text and numbers alone. I supposed one can post an audio or
video file on a web site. However, when one does that, one has for all intends and
purposes created a podcast, just without the subscription process or format offered by a
podcast host such as iTunes.

 Beyond those factors, the benefit that struck me most grew out of my experience
working in the printing business with my father when I was growing up. One can write
manuscript all one wants to and there is always the opportunity for revision. However,
when something “goes to print” it must be exact and as close to perfection as it can be
because once it is published it is “out there” and cannot be brought back. Thus, whether it
is a published article or book, a live musical performance or a recording, what goes out is
exact and final. The educational benefit of this reality relative to podcasting is that it
demands a focus on quality from students that would not be as automatically achieved by
media that would remain in the classroom, or be posted on the hallway bulleting board, or
be taped to the home refrigerator. When one goes past the factors of new and cool one
comes to the factors of complete and exact. These are process goals of any academic
discipline that are drawn out and formalized by podcasting.

 As an aside: This week’s Discussion Board forum on Podcasting was a really great
advertisement for Apple Corporation. I think they owe you a commission.

								
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