Podcasting in Teaching and Learning

The interest in podcasting has exploded over the past two years.  On December 8, 2005, the New Oxford American Dictionary crowned “podcast” as its 2005 Word of the Year and defines the term as “a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player.”  Podcasting is a unique distribution of audio or video files, such as radio programs or music videos, over the internet using RSS or Atom syndication.  Users can listen or view these files using a media player program on the computer or easily move them to a mobile device.  While earlier podcasters typically distributed syndicated audio files and radio shows, podcasters now routinely deliver many types of digital multimedia content, including video, audio, images and text.

Since the birth of podcasting technology in 2004, podcasts have become a very popular medium for news, information, and entertainment.  According to the Pew Internet Project Data Memo released by the Pew Internet and American Life Project in November 2006, approximately 12% of internet users indicate they have downloaded a podcast so they can listen to it or view it at a later time. This latest finding compares to the 7% of internet users who reported podcast downloading in the similar survey given 4 months earlier from February to April 2006.  Podcasting has taken the online world by storm, with teachers adopting the RSS-based digital content broadcasting distribution technologies with huge enthusiasm.  Beloved by students worldwide, the ubiquitous small MP3 player is now becoming a presence in the classroom as teachers discover its many educational uses.

Today, many colleges and universities have begun podcasting pilots for instructional delivery.  Universities such as Duke University, Stanford University, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of California-Berkeley are making podcasts of course lectures available for their students.  With the new generation video iPods or other portable multimedia players, it is possible to provide both video and audio contents to the students.  Students can download the lectures to their iPods or even listen to them using traditional media players on personal computers and laptops.  In January 2006, Apple Computer Inc. introduced “iTunes U,” a free, hosted service that makes course lectures and other educational materials accessible via Apple’s iTunes software.  Through iTunes U, students can subscribe to iTunes U and remotely download lectures to their Macs or PCs, which later, can either be synchronized to an iPod for listening/viewing on the go or burned to a CD.  Instructors can easily post and change content on their own. Also, students can upload their own content to share with professors or with the class.

The uses of podcasting in education are found in the areas of course content dissemination, classroom recording, field recording, study support, and file transfer and storage.  In addition, podcasting can be used in the following areas:

  • Self-paced distance learning
  • Recording lectures for syndication
  • Literary reviews
  • Digital audio books
  • Video demonstrations and presentations from students and teachers
  • Class news and updates
  • Home/school communication
  • Interviews with guest experts or oral history
  • Distribution of supplemental information such as speeches or music
  • Student-produced podcasts
  • Re-mediation for slower learners
  • Tours/fieldwork
  • Staff development
  • Internships/residencies
  • Feedback/evaluation of student work
  • Language lessons

I have created podcasts/vocasts for every course I taught for the past year.  Overall, my students like the podcasts in the classroom.  They use the class podcasts to review my lectures and demonstrations and catch up what they missed when they were absent.  I think podcasting has a great potential in teaching and learning.  Podcasting allows education to become more portable than ever before.  Also, podcasting is a very flexible delivery method for distributing high quality learning materials.  The benefits of podcasting in education include: convenience, mobile learning, location-independent access, easy-to-use tool for recording field notes and interviews, requires no special hardware, greater student interest in class discussion, and support for individual learning preferences.

About Dr. Steve Yuen

I am Dr. Steve Yuen, a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi. This is my personal blog on the use of emerging technologies in teaching and learning. Hope you find this blog interesting, stimulating, and educational. Please feel free to social bookmark this page.
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13 Responses to Podcasting in Teaching and Learning

  1. Pingback: Download Music » Podcasting in Teaching and Learning

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  3. houbinfang says:

    I am excited about this technology. As you said in the class that Podcasting allows everyone to join and contribute to it which is much better than other technologies that is so called one-way technologies. Actually, a podcast is a collection of files, such as videos and audios distributed through the Internet, often using syndication feeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers. And it said in the internet that the term podcast, like “radio”, can refer either to the content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; now it is called podcasting.
    Since the birth of podcasting technology in 2004, podcasts have become a very popular medium for news, information, and entertainment. The Podcasting is a unique distribution of audio or video files, such as radio programs or music videos, over the internet using RSS or Atom syndication.
    It is very smart the podcasting allows everyone distribute to it. I just cannot wait to create one by myself.

  4. 播客對我而言也是非常新奇的名詞,(Podcasting)這個詞來源自蘋果電腦的”iPod”與”廣播”(broadcast)的合成詞,指的是一種在網際網路上發布文件並允許用戶訂閱feed以自動接收新文件的方法。
    Podcasting technology從2004年發展至今,在新聞、訊息及娛樂方面非常受歡迎。Podcasting在2005年能榮登年度的字彙,其重要性,實用性及便利性更不在話下。發展至今,在教育及學習上,應有其功能與貢獻,在資訊蓬勃發展之今日,pocasting在教育上,我想最主要目的無非是要藉由語音及視訊的播送,增加老師教學的活潑性及學生(或學習者)的學習興趣,以達到提高其教學/學習效果。不同的教育階層及不同的教育課程(科目);專業課程及一般(通識)課程,應使用不同工具型態及方法,以達到最大之效果。
    就我本身專長人力資源管理(Human Resourcr Management)而言,

  5. 莊明廣 says:





    1 做好老師的培訓工作,組成一個工作坊的團隊,依照學校的特色課程,來加以製作設計,以有效達到教學的效果。
    2 和高等教育體系合作,進行垂直的合作,如此可有效整合人力資源,充分發揮教學的效果。
    3 透過PBL教學,可以進行延伸式的學習,提供學生更多元的學習空間。


  6. 鴻如 says:

    Podcasting於此文提及不管在教學或甚至各類延伸用途上,最大之優勢莫過於其可攜帶性、機動性與及時性,可獨立學習,也可傳輸至MP3、手機等,無須購買額外之硬體,並可增進課堂前、課堂上與課堂後之預習,也可在我們生活上時常會有許多無法隨心所欲運用的時間,如:坐車、開車、等車、運動或作家事時,此時視線必須專注於其他事物上,而無法閱讀文字,只有耳朵能派上用場,這時Podcasting就能發揮其優勢。具體使用於教學如:(1)課程內容傳播工具:將講師上課的內容、歌曲、演講等錄製成音訊檔,提供學員課後複習的管道。(2)教室錄音工具:結合課堂簡報並錄製下老師或講師之講課內容、與課堂討論,製作成簡報結合錄音檔,提供學生課後之視聽複習。(3)實地訪查紀錄工具: 錄下在實地訪查中的訪問、觀察與發現的細節、環境中的聲音以及一些聲音資訊。(4)學習支援工具:特別針對語言學習特別有成效,可讓學生重複聆聽老師上課的講解或其他語音內容。(5)增強團隊合作技能:可使學生組成小組進行不同主題之Podcasting之製作與設計(6)教師培訓課程錄製:

  7. 林學志 says:

    我是高師大工教博士班學生 林學志

    Podcasting最大優勢莫過於其搭配載具所備具之可攜帶性、機動性與及時性,最近我也有機會接觸到另一項產品(數位電視手機),該載具除了具備手機功能外,也具備數位電視收訊功能,以進行視訊節目的呈現(與iphone 3G功能類似),我想未來的Podcasting發展將朝向影音兩者同步化的型態邁進,當然行動化的特點也是未來將其運用於Mobil learning的一大優勢。

    請參考指教 謝謝

  8. 陳旭能 says:


     課程內容傳播
     課堂記錄
     現場記錄
     研究支持
     文件傳輸和存儲



  9. Madelon Gruich says:

    A very interesting blog about the educational uses of podcasting! A relatively new technology, dating to 2004, several universities have open source podcasts available for download. While there are some minor issues concerned with creating and publishing podcasts, they are generally simple to develop. Developers of podcasts must decide what material to use in podcasts, then create the script or content, and finally make it available to the intended audience through an RSS feed. While not all course materials are easily transmitted through podcasts, limitless possibilities still exist within education. The time required to create the podcasts vary with the quality and quantity of information. Some individuals, more than others, are quite adept at this technology and seamlessly produce much content. The mobility of students suggests that mobile delivery may become a mainstreamed application sooner rather than later.

    I understand that about two years ago, Southern Miss conducted a pilot program designed to encourage university professors to incorporate podcasting into their course content delivery. The outcome of this pilot study would be interesting to read, but I have not been able to locate the study. Any suggestions? Obviously, podcasting is a new trend and has the potential to be very useful in many applications in classrooms. The open source podcasts will certainly be important in creating a library of podcasts for use. Whether this technology becomes as popular as pundits believe it will be remains to be seen; however, from the increased use of iPhones, MP3s, and iPods, it will be surprising if this method of delivery is not embraced by today’s generation of students and teachers. Thank you, Dr. Yuen, for the suggested uses of podcasts in this blog.

  10. Jacquelyn Johnston says:

    It is interesting to read how quickly podcasting has caught the imaginations of learners in just a few years. Podcasting apparently must meet many of the needs of today’s
    learners. It is encouraging that educators are using digital tools, which are a part of students every day life, to take learning to a new level.

    Although, I must admit that I have not completely mastered with ease this new skill of podcasting , I do see the endless possibilities of using podcasting in my classroom. One reason is that podcasting is very appealing to students. Recently, my students were involved in writing the script and producing our second “Starcast” episode. Their excitement with this lesson was very evident. Clearly, using the tool of podcasting was helping to create a richer learning environment for my students. Students were learning skills in writing, speaking, critical thinking, and the list goes on. In addition to skill development, remediation, and enrichment, podcasts will be a great way for students to communicate their learning with their parents and the world.

    As Dr. Yuen pointed out, students in higher education enjoy the many benefits of podcasting. Digital communication is the language that they speak and almost seem to prefer. Teaching them “where they are” in my opinion is a sound educational practice. Professors using podcasts for instructional delivery, although reaching a large diverse audience, seems to suggest a one-on-one learning environment for the student. Furthermore, students can engage in this learning anywhere and anytime, which facilitates their multitasking way of life. Here again, I can speak from experience.
    As a student, I enjoy listening to podcasts. Dr. Yuen’s podcasts posted on our class social networking web site have provided remediation and review this semester. I am thankful for this additional means of learning.

  11. Roslyn Warren says:

    The more and more I read about the uses of podcasting, the more interested I become in exploring how I can take advantage of this technology. I first heard about Podcasting a few years ago, but was unsure about its relevancy in the media world. Now, with the increase any people’s hectic schedules, it just makes sense to have podcast as a supplement to course lectures or training so that every has access to the information.

    Dr. Yuen,
    I specifically enjoy how you listed the many uses of Podcasting. I’m wondering though, how someone could use podcasting for an internship/residency that I feel is suppose to be a hands-on activity to practice skills before being thrust into the workforce???

    Furthermore, I wish that this technology was available sooner because there were definitely times students left class thinking that they had recorded a professor’s lecture on a personal recorder, and the volume might be too low or didn’t record at all. If professors get on board with podcasting they will provide an invaluable means for students to refer back to the key parts of a lesson by actually replaying the podcast over and over again.


  12. vivi says:

    在看過Podcast 的相關文章與親自使用過Podcast 後,雖然大家在文章中難免會對Podcast 目前的使用進行一些批判,但是對於初階使用Podcast 的使用者來說,我覺得滿不錯的!至少以往都要電台DJ才能做的廣播工作,我們可以自己來試試看,或者像我在高中時期參加的廣播社,頂多就中午可以幫同學點點歌,分享同學心情罷了!Podcast 的製作很簡單,只要你會說話大概都沒什麼問題!

    我覺得Podcast 要使用在教學上,除了我們也曾經經歷過〝大家說英語〞時代,每天準時守在錄音機旁邊收聽,現在也許隨時上網都可以收聽了,老師也可以將上課教材,例如:鄉土語言教學、傳統歌謠的教學…都可以請同學小組合作錄製成Podcast 上傳到網站上與全球分享,或是就如上述大家所說可以融入教學與學習的方式,當這樣多元又有趣的教材與資料成為常態,我想收聽的人會越來越多,而製作的學生也會因為這樣的回應而更有動力製作更完美的成品,這樣正相關的學習效益也許老師可以嘗試看看!

  13. 奕嬛 says:

    老師在課堂中示範了如何觀看&使用”iTunes U”的功能,在那裏可以看到很多國外知名大學的課程與教授的演講隨時等著你去下載,不用花到半毛錢,就能夠接觸到那些原本需要花費不斐才有機會獲取到的知識/課程,還可將它隨身帶著走,學習無時差,真的非常方便!

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