Schools all over the country have flocked to podcasting as a new 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, professors at prestigious colleges from Bentley to Purdue have flocked to this medium.
A growing number of professors are recording their lectures, the term coursecasting has been adopted in academia. Podcast lectures are used as study tools, and are available for students who might have missed class. Some podcasts are password restricted to students who are enrolled in that specific class. While other institution’s publicly post their podcasts and offer non-enrolled students insight into the class material.
Why has podcasting been embraced by the educational field? The adoption of RSS is 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.
Bentley 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 are 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.
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.
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. With the hectic pace today’s students keep between classes, commuting and employment, podcasts fit, allowing students to maximize their commute and use their time efficiently while juggling it all. Just as home computers have become an integral tool in the educational field, todays hectic lifestyles make the need for educational podcasts and videocasts only more evident.