The Many Uses of Podcasting in Education

The Many Uses of Podcasting
In a way, I started podcasting in the 1970s. I worked as a radio DJ and spent hours with reel-to-reel tape, editing with literal razor blades and Scotch tape. We didn't call it podcasting, of course. I first heard of podcasting in 2004 or so.

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In a way, I started podcasting in the 1970s. I worked as a radio DJ and spent hours with reel-to-reel tape, editing with literal razor blades and Scotch tape. We didn't call it podcasting, of course. I first heard of podcasting in 2004 or so. Some mentors in the cutting-edge Regents Online Degree Program of Tennessee had acquired iPods to experiment with for higher education. If students could download music files, they could download any audio file, including recordings of educational material, and that seemed promising. The term sounded fancy, but I realized a podcast was nothing more than an audio program on a new device. The “new” part of podcasting lay only in the delivery method—and the decreasing costs and barriers to producing them. In short, podcasts are simply digital audio files. Along with Brandon Ballentine almost exactly three years ago and continuing for the last year and half with Mark Fuentes, I have co-hosted, produced, and published nearly 60 episodes of a podcast entitled “Mobile Talk,” focusing on the use of mobile and emerging technology in higher education. If you'd like to sample it, you can find it through bitly.com/mobiletalk. Though our ongoing podcast serves an audience of faculty, educational technology specialists, and administrators, we have also used podcasting to enhance our classes. In fact, there are at least four ways you can use podcasts: The pattern of decreasing costs and barriers has only continued, so that you, too, can fulfill your dreams of being a broadcaster (remember listening to the radio growing up?) using equipment you probably already have in your office, with minimal additional tools. You can produce a podcast relatively cheaply and easily. In fact, you can easily produce one with whatever computer you have right now or bypass the computer altogether with the right apps on a mobile device. Among the things we have learned: That gives you some idea of why you would want to do a podcast, and the beginnings of the idea that you actually can without having to start a second career. In Part 2, we will walk you through practical considerations in creating a podcast, including some basic “how to” information, helpful equipment and software, and hosting the podcast. Donnell King is an associate professor of communication studies at Pellissippi State Community College.