What are podcasts?
A podcast is an audio or video file that you save on computer. The term originally comes from a radio or TV-style broadcast suitable for playing on an iPod. You can listen to or view podcasts on a computer, various types of MP3 player, or mobile phone.
Podcast software automatically updates computer files with new material released by favourite podcasters. This can be easily transferred to a portable or mobile device.
How podcasts are used in school
Podcasts can be used in various ways to support teaching and learning in and out of school. For example:
• podcasts can be used to share recordings of lessons – within and between schools
• teachers can find and share podcasts that are relevant to coursework
• they can be used as a revision aid – some audio content can be converted into text
• pupils can create their own podcasts of presentations, interviews, music, plays and debates
• some schools put out their own broadcasts, such as radio shows or news readings.
“Two girls who are quiet and don’t speak up in class came across as so confident. We got far more out of them from doing it with a podcast than we would in class.” Elm Park Primary School
Benefits of podcasts
The great thing about podcasts is that they can be stored and shared over a school’s network. This makes them an ideal way to present educational content in a different format.
It makes learning easier in a fun and exciting way.
And because podcasts update automatically, they help to keep:
• absent learners up to date with lessons they have missed
• parents in touch with school news (instead of a paper newsletter).
Podcasts in practice
Children at a west London school are becoming more and more proficient in podcasting. The children are in charge of creating the content. They make podcasts of the school news and tell everyone what the school council is doing. They often add a couple of songs, too.
The headteacher has ultimate editorial control and checks everything is all right before the broadcast. But as the children get more proficient, the podcasts have become less guided.
Video courtesy of Be Very Afraid.