Podcasting in the Classroom  

Public Workshops & Presentations by Jason Everett - Educational Service Unit 10 

Attended a Recent Conference?

What is a podcast?

A podcast is grounded from a technology used by bloggers. Blogging is, in a very simple sense, a chronological journal. This journal uses a protocol called RSS or Real Simple Syndication so that it is easy to read on a regular basis. At some point, RSS version 2 came about and it had the ability to attach files. This was a huge boon to what could be distributed and there was a rush of this type of communication. The biggest push has been to attach MP3s, or simply audio files. Most of the podcasts would be what I would call any time, any where radio stations that are on the Internet. The difference is that you don't need a real radio station to be a producer, you only need your computer to have your own "radio station".

There are lots of other popular attachments that have made podcasting very popular. From MP3 being only audio, there was a push to add pictures, video and other files. There are Enhanced Podcasts that include pictures in the audio files. This is very beneficial for doing only presentations or slide shows. We can attach PDF files for documentation or instructions. We can also attach video files to create our own television type shows. The possibilities for creativity and publishing your ideas is greatly enhanced using this medium.

Featured Podcasts

Enter your own podcasts for submission.

Consumer of podcasts

Being a consumer of podcasts is the first step to take. Check what's out there. Do you have an interest in science? How about health? How do you go about finding podcasts and listening or viewing them?

Here are a list of places to search for podcasts.

The first step in subscribing to a podcast is to have a "podcatcher" or software to get the RSS feed. Probably the most popular software is iTunes. It is free software from Apple that runs on both Windows XP and OS X. iTunes Download Page Another place to find a list of podcatchers is: http://podcastingnews.com/topics/Podcast_Software.html

iTunes has a great directory of Podcasts built right in to the iTunes Store. If you do a search you will see a section for podcasts. There are others, though, that may not be listed in iTunes.

Once you have your podcatcher installed, you can now listen to them or sync it with your MP3 player and listen "on the road" so to speak.

Producer of podcasts

With the technology we have available at our finger tips today, being a producer of podcasts is as easy as opening your laptop. Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit but not much! The most important part of the podcast is the design and scripting of show or episode. There is much more prep time than there is computer time. These are some things to consider before you get started.

Pre-Production/Design and Planning

  • Script - What format? Journal, Interview, Discussion
  • Bumper Music (Jingles)
  • Using Podsafe music (make sure your additions are copyright friendly - consider Creative Commons works)
  • Roles for the students - Technical and Non-technical
  • Recording Software - Audacity, Garageband
  • Or other recording hardware - ie: digital recorder


  • RSS Generator - Podcaster, Casteasy, The RSS Buddy, Server software
  • Server - A place to upload the podcast - Manila, Web Apache, IIS, PowerMedia Plus, Podomatic.com, Gabcast 


Other Resources


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A podcast is a digital media file, or a series of such files, that is distributed over the Internet using syndicationfeeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers. A podcast is a specific type of webcast which, like 'radio', can mean either the content itself or the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. The term "podcast" is a portmanteau of the name of Apple's portable music player, the iPod, and broadcast[1]; a pod refers to a container of some sort and the idea of broadcasting to a container or pod describes the process of podcasting. More about the name itself can be found in the history of podcasting article.

Though podcasters' web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be downloaded automatically, using software capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.