Podcasting pt. 3: Thoughts for the future

In this post, I want to do some thinking and organizing about when a podcast is a good learning tool (not just a last-minute work-around for something that I forgot to do). It’s the last podcasting post of three (pt. 1 was reflection on past use, pt. 2 was evaluations of present use). I will draw on student feedback and my own hopes to form some guidelines for identifying good podcasting opportunities and ideas of things to try.  I’ve organzied these thoughts as “good for podcasting,” “bad for podcasting,” “good podcasting habits,” and “ideas I want to tinker with.”

Good for podcasting:

  • passing on information (knowledge in the sense of the most basic level of Bloom’s taxonomy).
  • giving a verbal rendition of an important handout such as exam review or a syllabus for those learners who respond better to a human voice.
  • modeling how to do a singing assignment.

Bad for podcasting:

  • higher levels of knowledge (again, thinking in terms of Bloom’s taxonomy)–although I can think of counterexamples…
  • anything longer than 5 minutes—although, again, I can think of counterexamples.
  • anything that needs an animated visual.

Good podcasting habits:

  • Be open to multiple takes unless you want to write it all out.
  • attach a handout that students can refer to (and take notes on) as they listen.
  • sing, play, laugh, be human.
  • remind them how to ask questions–link an email address or give them a verbal cue at the end.

Some ideas I want to tinker with:

  • There are various smart board programs that I could download on my spouse’s iPad.  I can write/draw on the whiteboard while I speak and post it on that program’s site.  I can’t remember the programs names, but I bet I can get someone to leave it in the comment stream.  I bet I can get staff lines on the program, which would enable me to do a lot of cool things.
  • In an upper division class, I really could “reverse engineer” the class and write a lecture (I never lecture these days) that students listen to before class.  I imagine these being 15-20 minutes long.  It’s difficult for me to imagine this being appropriate for a 100- or 200-level course, but a 300- or 400-level course might work well this way.
  • Students could make a podcast about a piece or a technique as a project assignment.

Kris Shaffer has a great post summarizing a discussion at our professional conference over ideas like these.  You can read it here.

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