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Podcasting in Education
The use of technology to better
By Todd Hoitink
• As a future educator I want to be the best teacher I can be. I believe podcasting is a
wonderful tool that I will be able to use to help me achieve this goal. Teachers who have
begun to use podcasts in their teachings are reporting many positive outcomes. The
achievement of their students is better, attendance is better, and the morale of their students
is higher. These examples are all a result of using podcasting effectively in the classroom.
• The use of podcasting has also helped to expand learning beyond the classroom. Students
are able to connect with others from all over the country. For example, if a teacher publishes
their podcast on I-Tunes, anyone can have access to it. One college professor learned that she
had “students” who were retired professors, people who just wanted to learn more about a
particular subject, and some were people who couldn’t afford to attend classes and
downloaded a podcast as a replacement for a college classroom education.
• The last idea that really made an impact on me is the idea that students can now learn
anywhere and at anytime they want. The fact that podcasts are portable makes them so
convenient to use. Rather than just listening to music during my workout, I could be
reviewing for an upcoming test or I could review the notes from my class earlier that same
• Podcasting is a wonderful learning tool that unfortunately, we have yet to scratch the surface
For K-12 Librarians
Although this article is targeted at librarians, I
believe it applies to teachers just as well. The
article speaks of the effectiveness of podcasts
because they can be inexpensive, relatively easy
to do and they can help students learn in a new
and different format.
Another benefit of podcasting is the fact that
podcasts are potable. Students no longer have to
just sit sedentary while they are trying to learn.
They can simply load the material on their device
and go wherever they want. Just imagine the
possibilities. Students can listen to their class
lectures while they exercise or perform their
chores around the house.
One additional benefit of using podcasts in a
classroom setting is that most students are
already familiar with the technology.
Downloading a lecture would be no different
than downloading a song, game, or a movie onto
their personal device.
This article also provides all of the necessary
information for the reader to create and post
their very own podcast.
I agree with the author when she
said, “The real power of podcasting is
twofold: It gives learners point-of-need
access to information, and it
disseminates information in exciting
new ways. Students eagerly and
actively participate in the creation of
content-rich podcasts, and those who
publish their podcasts publicly are
quickly connected to the world
community in ways never before
possible (Eash, 2006).”
I don’t know many students who have
the time or patience to spend hours
looking for necessary information.
Also, when learning is provided in an
exciting and interesting way, we learn
better and retain more of the
I have to admit that I have only used
my i-pod for storing and playing all of
my favorite songs. I havn’t even
downloaded a podcast of a sportscast
that I may have missed. Until I read
this article, I never really believed that
there could be much use for podcasts
in a classroom setting.
When I am a teacher, however, I can
see myself using this technology often.
I believe it will provide an excellent
alternative to my students who wish to
increase their learning. They will be
able to use podcasts along with their
notes to better comprehend the
material I will be introducing.
I really believe that if something is
easy, fun, and beneficial, all students
will want to use it.
Three professors at Bryn
Mawr College using podcasts
to achieve great results.
I love this article. This article speaks of
various uses of podcasts at different
universities. Stanford and Princeton
are using podcasts to help students
prepare for LSAT testing and for
One professor was concerned about
the time it would take him to
incorporate podcasts into his
classroom but he feels it is well worth
the extra effort. He has also found the
process to get easier the more he does
Professors who use podcasts also use
them to critique themselves. As they
listen to their own lectures, they
evaluate what they did well and what
they would change. Teachers are using
podcasts to teach themselves.
“Like TiVo for Lectures”
Michelle Francl began using podcasts in
her classroom four years ago. Although
she was worried that podcasting would
harm the attendance in her class, just the
opposite happened. She edited her
podcasts in a way that promoted
attendance and it remained steady. The
podcasts were “like TiVo for lectures
Podcasting has also changed the way she
teaches in her classroom. She used to
teach the easy material in the classroom
and left the difficult material for
homework. Now, she lets students listen
to the easy material at home on podcasts
and spends class time on the difficult
material. I find this to be an excellent job
of teaching and use of resources.
She was recognized by the university for
her work with podcasting. She also
developed a following of non-students by
submitting her lectures to I-Tunes. She
had retired professors and people who
just wanted to increase their knowledge
following her lessons.
One Example of Misusing
Professors Neal Williams and Peter
Brodfuehrer also use podcasts in their
biology class. They have found it
helpful to their students if they can
listen to podcasts for pre-lab
demonstrations, which can help
prevent or reduce confusion.
They also found students using
podcasts in a way that is not as
beneficial. Prior to an exam, some
students would listen to all of the
podcasts as a way of cramming for the
Professor Williams thinks a better way
for students to prepare is to skim the
lectures for points of emphasis they
did not understand. They may also
revert to using podcasts to cover
material that there is not enough time
for in the classroom.
Learning Through http://www.shawnwheeler.name/workshops/adventures
If you ever find yourself in need of
reasons why podcasting is ideal for
classroom learning, this is the website
This website provides its information
in bulletpoints and its features are
given in an audio format as well. The
creator of this sight gives a plethora of
reasons why podcasting is so beneficial
to students and also asks students why
they like the use of podcasts to aid in
It also informs the viewer how to set-
up their own podcast.
This website is so informative. It is not
to be missed!
Reasons for Podcasting
One of the best reasons for use of
podcasts is the vast number of obstacles
students face in the classroom. The
student may not be very accomplished in 20 minutes 47% forgotten
taking notes or being able to decipher
important information from less-
important information. Podcasts can also
help students who might have a reading
disability or another special need. 1 day 62% forgotten
The teacher may speak too fast and
students try to write as much as they can
and hope to remember more later. As the
2 days 69% forgotten
chart to the right shows, the average
student forgets half of what they heard
after a time period of 20 minutes. It is
impossible for a student to remember
everything that was not written down. As
75 days 75% forgotten
the author of the website said, “If it is
important enough to say to the class, it is
worth saying it two or thee times
78 days 78% forgotten
Podcasting can also be very beneficial to
teachers who have students who are
highly paced or who may simply want
• Why Podcasting in Education?
What Do Students Say
• For lectures
You will hear students answer
• To facilitate self-paced learning
questions about the benefits and value
of podcasting. All of the students love For interviews with external resources
the ability to use podcasting to
• To offer advanced and or highly motivated
improve their learning.
learners extra content
The most popular reason for its use is
• For distance learning
in case of absence. They like the idea
that they don’t have to trouble the
• To allow guest speakers to present once to
teacher to catch-up on what they
missed. They also cited the idea of a
• To feature guest speakers from remote
fellow student having illegible
Another student acknowledged that
• For helping students with reading and/or
he always carries his ipod.
Therefore, he could always have his
• To offer a richer learning environment
lessons on hand, as well.
Podcasting would also come in very For multi-lingual education
handy in some of the less-than favored
• To communicate with your community
classes like history, English, and other
lecture driven course.
I hope that you have found my
presentation on the benefits of
podcasting as informational and
beneficial as I have. From all that I
have read and learned, I believe that
podcasting will be implemented into
more curriculums of schools. The
benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
If this country truly wants to leave no
child behind, I don’t see any better
way to avoid doing so.