Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Podcasts are audio or video digital media files that are released in episodes. They are downloaded through a web syndication using iTunes, Zune, Juice or Winamp. These have access to a centralised web feed which they use to automatically download any newly released podcasts which the user is subscribed to. This means that in an educational context, the following uses of podcasts would be extremely useful:

- Lecture notes; this would enable learners to listen to everything the lecturer is saying, rather then screening what they are saying and missing out on a lot of important content due to writing the last thing they said.
- To facilitate highly motivated or gifted learners with the chance to gain extra content.
- Facilitate the opportunity for guest speakers to have a ‘guest speak’ from somewhere else in the world.
- To allow for larger distribution of a guest talk to learners and the opportunity to watch it more than once.
- Homework

(Norman, 2004)

The podcast that I have downloaded is from the Hooked on Phonics series- “The O Song Kindergarten”. It is fun, it is catchy and it has great motion pictures that go with it. Whilst learners are learning about the letter O in words during school, why not send it home with them to watch and listen to on their ipods? After all, learning should never simply be confined to the classroom, a whiteboard and a marker (Moodle, 2009). Additionally, using a podcast in this context conforms to the multimodal learning instruction by catering to more learner-needs as a result of being able to watch, listen to and learn from the podcast anywhere, at any given time (Stansbury, n.d.). It also conforms to a multimodal form of learning through the use of technology. However, with the good must come the bad; access and equity. Technology access is fundamental to learning through podcasts and unfortunately, the learners without access to computers, ipods or internet outside of school will be severely disadvantaged by this. After all, education cannot exist when it is only available to a sample of students (Spender & Stewart 2002).


Reference List

Moodle. (2009). The Big Picture: Conceptual ICT Learning Design. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

Norman, D. (2004). Podcasting for Education. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

Spender, D., & Strewart, F. (2002). Embracing e-Learning in Australian Schools. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

Stansbury, M. (n.d.). Analysis: How multimedia can improve learning. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nic,
    I too, enjoyed and appreciated the advantages of podcasting as an educational tool. I also agree with you about the point that not every student has the opportunity to have access to technology e.g., computer and iPod. The opportunity for students to spend on computers and other technology aids at school are limited (observation from the school I am currently at).