A podcast is most simply explained as an online audio broadcast that you can listen to on your mp3 player or computer (Hegelheimer, 2006). The term ‘podcast’ comes from the integration of the words ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’. A Podcast can be listened to by a user for entertainment, or he or she can create their own and post it on the internet. Podcasts can serve as a useful educational program; however student privacy and the whether or not the content that they have access to is appropriate, needs to be considered. A comprehensive list of podcasts suitable for education use can be found by clicking on this link: Podcasts Suitable for Educators, Schools and Colleges. With the steadily increasing use of technology in both our work and social lives, educators should be trying to promote these new types of technologies in their classroom.
Kearsley & Shneiderman (1999) – authors of the engagement theory – and Oliver (1999) – author of the learning design framework – both recognise the importance of providing students with authentic, real world scenarios for their students to relate to. Some authentic applications that could involve the use of podcasts may include: students recording a radio show discussing a particular topic; developing a podcast as a guide for new students, parents or teachers; or taking on the role of park ranger and developing a podcast on the area around the school. These are just a few of the ideas that I believe would be an engaging and collaborative task incorporating the use of podcasts. Overall I think the possibilities for podcast use in the education system are endless and with further investigation of this topic, this is another technology I could definitely see myself using in the classroom.
Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory:. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Hegelheimer, V (2006). ESL Podcasting Project – Information: IOWA State University. Citing computer references. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from
AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from Learning Design: http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm