Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Episode 7 preview: K-12 Podcasting and Vidcasts: Humbug!

Let's focus on K-12 podcasting for this next episode. I have a really cool interview scheduled with Tony Vincent, from Willowdale Elementary School in Omaha, NE.

A lot of the articles out there on K-12 podcasting rehash the same basic information, without specifically talking about using the technology with students. Here are the best of the articles that I've found on K-12 podcasting.

NY Times Article (have to register to read this one)

"It teaches [students] to do research, to communicate in print, to speak effectively and grab attention with sound."

Podcasting craze comes to K-12 Schools (from Education Week)
"Longfellow 7th grader Alyssa M. Gilbertson described the appeal of creating a podcast. “When you're writing an essay,” she said, “you don't try your hardest because after you're done, you throw it away or put it in a box.” But with podcasts, she said, “now we try a lot harder because we want other people to know that we [can] do more. We want people to hear us.”

Exploiting the Educational Uses of Podcasting
"In what ways can the podcasting phenomena be exploited within education? In reality, there are so many possibilities and, ultimately, the creativity and imagination of teachers and learners will drive the educational podcasting agenda in future. However, there are three areas where the potential of podcasting could be realised within schools:
  • Devising a cross-curricular activity;
  • Providing alternative teaching approaches;
  • Promoting and using personalised learning."
iPods Fast Becoming New Teachers' Pet
"Teachers say the benefits of making podcasts are clear: The trendy technology and the possibility of a wider audience motivate students. "My students research better, read more, write better and understand the material," said Beth Sanborn, a fifth-grade teacher at Willowdale Elementary School, near Omaha, where students have been making podcasts since last spring." (***More about Willowdale iin Episode 7!)

Podcasts as Student Projects

"Sprankle notes that the podcasts allow his students to publish to a global community and that motivates them as writers. One a weekly basis, they create successful and purposeful pieces of writing. Sprankile sees his students as “sculptors” of the show and of their learning day. “They ask themselves questions. ‘Is this a podcasting moment? Do I want to share it? Is it meaningful?”"

Podcasting: Transforming Middle Schoolers into "Middle Scholars"
From a student: “Podcasting motivates me because you feel like you are telling the world about little stuff that we do. It makes you feel important and accepted.”—Ryan"
The technology is a tool to implement the curriculum,” Halderson says. “Podcasting is all about learning the content. If you don’t have educational content, you have no podcast; no amount of sound effects, visuals, or music can hide a lack of content in an educational podcast."


I don't know about this whole vidcasting, or video podcasting, or whatever, thing though. Right now, I'm listening, yes listening, to the vidcast of Ray and Hollye's The Tech Teachers ( I started off watching it for the first couple minutes...but it's two people sitting on a couch, for gosh sakes... IMHO, the extra bandwidth and hard drive spaced consumed by the video is wasted. An image of them sitting on the couch attached to the mp3 would be just fine. It's not just them. I watched a recent Mac-related vidcast and it was just two guys standing there talking. To add some visual appeal, they were standing in front of the ocean and occasionally a boat would go by, but geez. There needs to be meaningful video content, folks! Like a product me the new MacBook Pro, or some new software. But if the program is just people talking, keep it in audio-only podcast format.

Oh, and we should talk about enhanced podcasts too...



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