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What is a podcast?

podcast (not to be confused or equated with Apple Inc's iPod) usually consists of a combination of audio and/or video that is made available for download via syndication. It is this syndication aspect of the delivery that separates a podcast from a file available for download. The files are usually retrieved with software applications (generically known as podcatchers) such as iTunes so that subscribers can listen at their convenience on devices that have intermittent, slow, or are otherwise lacking Internet access. The podcatcher reads an [RSS] feed (whose entries point to specific podcasts, usually sorted by date) to identify and retrieve the podcast.

Why use a podcast?

  1. Supplement text-only communications
  2. Engage auditory learners
  3. Communicate asynchronously in audio and/or video to students
  4. "Push" your rich media communications to your students
  5. Recorded communications can be experienced by students either on their computer or a portable device

Possible Educational Applications of Podcasts

  1. Voice announcements and personal messages from the instructor
  2. Introduction / wrap-up to unit activities
  3. Exam review tips
  4. Microlectures
  5. Student-generated content, project deliverable alternative
  6. Many, many more!

Examples of Podcasts

  • EDT 6030 - Using Technology to Build Learning Communities - Course Podcast [RSS Feed] [iTunes]
  • WD1231 - Web Design Principles for Online Educators - Course Podcast [RSS Feed] [iTunes]
  • SN1111 - Social Networking in Online Education - Course Podcast [RSS Feed] [iTunes]
  • NIU Faculty Development Programs Archives (video) [RSS Feed] [iTunes]
  • NIU Teaching with Blackboard Podcast (audio) [RSS Feed] [iTunes]
  • Jason Rhode's Talks [RSS Feed] [iTunes]

Free Podcast Tools

More Podcast Resources