Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I searched iTunes under K-12, but found a podcast which better suited my purpose under the general education category.

I have downloaded podcasts to my iPod on many occasions, I find them a wonderful tool to utilise when I walk my dogs! I love the versatility of listening to documentaries on subjects of interest or news feeds etc.

iTunes is a podcatcher, which enables the listener to subscribe to his/her favourite podcasts, which are then automatically downloaded to the computer at a suitable time.
Podcasting has the potential to be not only one of the most exciting ICT’s for students, but one of the most engaging learning tools. What is the one electronic device that almost all students use daily? An MP3 player. The potential here is enormous. Students are already active users of the technology!

I can think of many applications for learning, particularly with secondary students.
A teacher could record an outline of a lesson/ assignment and broadcast it as a podcast prior, to pique students interest, keep them updated or just prepare them for the material they will be learning. It could also be personalised by the teacher with a greeting, another connection to learning. If students are presenting material in groups, they could podcast a brief outline of their presentation for each member of the class, or a quote or anecdote related to their presentation- students could have a lot of fun with it.

One of the aspects I like the most about this technology is that students can receive feeds, say from a teacher or classmates, from the same medium that they receive their music/entertainment. It’s blending school life with everyday life. Vygotsky (as cited in McInerney & McInerney p 60.) believed that formal learning and everyday learning are interconnected and interdependent, that through using everyday concepts, students make use of scientific concepts. I can see this aspect of his theory put to good use here.

The link below makes very interesting reading. It details a program in the US where iPods are used in helping bilingual school students learn English. It also states that universities are using iPods in many courses.

Brian Brooks, associate dean of the Journalism School at the University of Missouri says:

“There’s a lot of theory out there that says what you want to do is engage students in realms where they are already comfortable, and we know a lot of students are already familiar with iPods and iTunes so we want to get into that space and take advantage of that”.

Lectures are recorded and can be downloaded to media players through iTunes U.

A study conducted by the Centre for Educational Multimedia in Middlesex UK ,(2007) found that undergraduate students believe that podcasts are a more effective revision tool than textbooks and that they are more receptive to the learning material in the form of a podcast than a traditional lecture or textbook.
Flexibility is a huge advantage as well. Podcasting has significant potential as an innovative learning tool for students in secondary school as well as university students and adult learners.


Evans, C. (2007) The effectiveness of m-learning in the form of podcast revision lectures in higher education. Viewed August 12, 2009.

Hu, W. (2007) In Some Schools, iPods are Required Listening. Viewed August 12, 2009.

McInerney,D.M.& McInerney,V.(2006) Educational Psychology- Constructing Learning, Pearson Ed. Frenchs Forest, Australia

Rivera, B.G. (2009) School of Journalism to require iPod touch or iPhone for students. Viewed August 12, 2009.

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