Schools all over the country have flocked to podcasting as a medium to assist the teaching profession. Professors are using podcasts to instruct students and get their messages out.
Podcasting is not restricted to one educational sector either. Professors at prestigious colleges from Bentley to Purdue have flocked to this medium.
Use of Podcasting at College and University
A growing number of professors are recording their lectures. The term coursecasting has been adopted in academia. Podcast lectures are used as study tools by online teachers and are available for students who might have missed class.
Some podcasts are password restricted to students who are enrolled in that specific class. Other institution’s publicly post their podcasts and offer non-enrolled students insight into the class material.
Reasons for Technology Adoption
Why has podcasting been embraced by the educational field? The adoption of RSS was likely in part due to the demographic higher-education attraction. Most college students are young and well educated.
Because of their age, the students have embraced technology. They have always had technology as a component to their life. This demographic have grown up with computers their entire lives. Technology has always been an integral tool in their education. The popularity of online learning sites shows how technology is embedded in the modern education fabric.
Bentley University initially adopted podcasting in the course IT 101 to introduce students to the concepts of technology as they relate to business, ethics and social responsibility, global commerce and culture. Students were not only required to listen to podcasts but also to produce their own podcasts.
Bentley, understanding the importance, influence and power of technology, felt that students would benefit by obtaining a complete and thorough understanding of the podcasting medium. Now the University has an Admission101 podcast for new undergraduate students.
Certain subject material lends itself to podcasting more than others, for example: foreign language lessons are ideal for podcasts because students can listen to accents, intonations, and speech patterns. Students listening to foreign language podcasts are able to hear and experience the language outside of the classroom.
Some educators are using videocasts to demonstrate science labs and experiments. The portability of the videocasts make it easier for students to review labs, when critically analyzing their data.
Disseminating Education Opportunities
Educators are known for their philanthropy and desire to share their knowledge. Technology and podcasting as a communication medium have made it easier for educators to collaborate, share and provide material in a portable format.
Podcasting allows professors to extend their reach outside the classroom. For example, anyone is able to access online content on topics such as paleontology through free, open university-provided courses.
With the hectic pace today’s students keep between classes, commuting and employment, podcasts fit. They allow students to maximize their commute, or learn at a distance, and use their time efficiently while juggling it all.
Just as home computers have become an integral tool in the educational field, today’s hectic lifestyles make the need for educational podcasts and videocasts only more evident.