Podcasting is only one technology within a whole array of web-based technologies that are used in distance education. In addition, podcasting can be used in many different instructional ways. Therefore, there are many combinations of what is possible with podcasting in education.
For example, consider combining a teacher podcasting with student and teacher discussion groups, and vlogging of student presentations. Or perhaps a face-to-face class in which students create a podcast project that extends in rotation across several class sessions. In this way students can participate in sharing research and perspectives on course material.
The important point is that we do not have to be confined to one model of instruction. This premise is especially true when we have the opportunity to work with digital natives who may very well catalyze new perspectives of the content during the creative process.
Podcasting has been a movement by which more of the general public could be part of the media. It is called the “democratization of the media”.
In a similar way, couldn’t podcasting be a push in the direction of co-learning in colleges and universities? Perhaps, we could begin to see teachers and students share, dialogue and engage more through this media. The professors are content experts, the students may provide expertise in the digital culture. This provides a place where we might have a creative nexus.
In addition, large questions lie right in front of us that I believe students of all ages in higher education can explore, such as:
- Political issues that collide in the close spaces of our classrooms
- Cultural understandings that need to be understood within our local and global communities
- Economic issues that impact worldwide audiences rather than solely local or regional spaces
Such questions pose fertile opportunities for 20, 30, or 50 year old learners as podcasters. Or similarly any aged podcast listener?
From creating podcasts, to critiquing their meaning and constructing new understandings, digital media is a nexus of innovation, technology and empowerment and these are generative elements. Let’s unleash some new possibilities of deeper learning coupled with creativity and expressing understanding. Effective communicators of the 21st century will need these same skills for their professional success. Why not take advantage of the need, the resources and the opportunity to develop engaging critical audio projects in higher education classrooms and training settings?
In a future article, we will discuss how podcasts provide other benefits for these constituencies also.