A lot of buzz about podcasting in recent conferences.
What is podcasting? Well it’s basically about subscribing and listening to audio feeds through the Internet. A bit like a ‘pick & mix’ of your own radio – when & where you want to listen to it. Portable mp3 players have really pushed this along - you can download to your laptop, your phone even & listen on the go. Also anyone can produce & broadcast their own shows (not that you’d want to listen to anything) – but it really makes it accessible for all (well those with the gear & the internet access but that’s another story) & it’s a democratizing media – we no longer have to be passive consumers of someone else’s stories or point of view but we get to shape the media ourselves. I won’t go too far down that track either but I’m sure you could write a thesis about it
So why would it be important in our children’s learning? Well for a start how about making meaning, sense of purpose and audience – whatever the ‘topic’ of the podcast. The ability to communicate in authentic ways to an authentic audience – whether it’s all the way round the world or to our own communities… Not forgetting the oral language skills all so necessary if you want to hook your audience – real or virtual.
The nuts & bolts of it – download the latest itunes – you don’t need a mac – pc will run it too. Go online (some links follow) & find something you might be interested in listening too. Just find the little button somewhere on the page that says subscribe to podcast & with both windows open on your computer (you might need to resize them & line them up) just drag the little button into your open itunes window. Voila (fast internet is a bonus here too) You can go into the podcast directory directly from your iTunes window & search & subscribe to podcasts this way also.
Podcasts I listen to:
Andy Carvin’s Waste of Bandwidth
Bit by Bit – Bob Sprankle
Bud the Teacher
Connect Learning with David Warlick
Ed Tech Coast to Coast
(you can find these in the iTunes directory – they are all ‘edtech’ type podcasts)
What do you recommend??
I have been searching high & low for ‘stories’ for Sophie – really there’s not a lot around …early days yet. Because this is a democratic media we actually have the ability to contribute to this & LibraVox are looking for readers to podcast ‘opensource’ books (including children’s books) Class project – maybe???
So if you want to produce a podcast – well we’re still working on the nuts & bolts of this one. You can record straight on to your computer – with a mac you have a built in microphone or get a good quality speaker for your microphone. If you want something cheap & portable get a little mp3 multiplayer – I use a legend (for listening – I don’t record – except little notes for myself). Someuse iriver (same sort of thing)
You can edit in audacity (freeware) or garageband on your mac.
Hosting your mp3 files podcasts is an area we need to investigate further – you don’t really want them on your own webhosted area – they will take up a bit of space and then there’s the bandwidth use as people access & download your files. There are a few recommendations and I guess you will look at them more closely when you have some podcasts ready to go…let us know!
The Education Podcast Network
Otherwise Google it – let us know if you find some good ones!