What is the Educational Value of Podcasting with Students?

Over the last few years, the popularity of podcast and podcasting has risen to the extent that it is now commonplace for teachers to be introducing podcasting activities in place of traditional classroom projects.  In this post, we will break down several reasons why podcasting with students is not only educational but one of the best things you can do to help students meet all of the top educational benchmarks.  If you have any thoughts or questions on this topic, please feel free to leave us a comment below or Tweet to us @PodcastingToday.

If you divide the world of podcasting into two sides you get “Classroom Podcasting,” and “Professional Podcasting.”  From this, the question of “professional” often comes up. For the argument of this post and others in this blog, the term is used simply as a distinction between the two worlds. But why should we be podcasting with students?

Why should we be creating podcasts in our classrooms?

Generally, when we take a look at the differences between the two sides, they each have similar, yet different needs and goals.  The goal of the professional podcaster is to create a podcast that is not only entertaining but is connected to an RSS feed to attract subscribers through channels such as iTunes and Google Play.  The goal of the classroom podcaster is often radically different and defined in a much simpler brush stroke.

Classroom vs Professional Podcasting

Different Podcasters Ask Different Questions About Podcasting

How do you create a classroom podcast?

For many teachers, when they say “how do you create a podcast” they are not asking about creating a “show” rather they are looking to implement audio or video in their classroom activities.  

Lucky for educators, there are dozens of fantastic ways of creating “podcasts” in the classroom with students.  Some of these methods mentioned are going to be great for the traditional classroom teacher, and others will be focused on podcasting with film clubs, or as a school district.  

Is a classroom podcast … really a podcast?

When we break down the definition of a podcast, teachers and non-educators have slightly different definitions of the term podcast.  A studio podcaster might define a podcast as an audio/video file that when connected to an RSS feed can be subscribed to so that each new show is automatically delivered to them through the RSS feed.  Simple … right?

In the classroom, teachers have a much different definition.  Because the goal of educators is to simply use audio and video really broadens the traditional term “podcast.”

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Why should students be creating with Digital Media?

When we take a look at the 4C’s in education, they all can be found through the world of podcasting.  In fact, podcasting not only aligns itself with the 4C’s and the SAMR model but also helps students reach the top of Bloom’s Taxonomy and hits many of the ISTE standards for 21st-Century learning.

Podcasting with the 4C’s

  • Creativity
    • When students work with audio and video, they are given the opportunity to bring out their personality and showcase how much they know about the subject.  Creativity can come into play by the way their show is created or by the way they deliver the content to their users.
  • Collaboration
    • When creating a podcast, students have the ability to roleplay as both the show host and content expert.  Student projects can be set up as both individual or small group projects or can be structured as full class activities where groups of students are responsible for sections of the podcast.
  • Communication
    • The entire goal of a podcast is to communicate a thought or idea.  For many, a student project might be as simple as speaking directly into an audio or video application with little to no editing or production.
  • Critical Thinking
    • When a student is asked to create a 5-paragraph essay, they are given a structured assignment When a student is given a microphone and a few guidelines for creating their content, the possibilities are limitless.  
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Podcasting with the SAMR Model

Podcasting the SAMR ModelThe SAMR model, when used as a framework for integrating technology into the classroom should always be thought of on a moment by moment basis.  It is always important to remember that SAMR is not a ladder and never be thought of as a scaffold of steps.

For many students, it’s much easier to express their thoughts and ideas through their voices rather than through written assignments.  

Here is an example of how the traditional writing assignment can be transformed using the SAMR model through podcasting.

  • Substitution
      • SAMR Definition: Technology acts as a direct tool substitute with no real change in function
      • Traditional Assignment: Students create a 5 paragraph essay
      • Modified Assignment: Students use voice dictation to get their thoughts quickly on a Doc to then complete the essay.
  • Augmentation
      • SAMR Definition: Technology acts as a direct tool substitute with functional modifications
      • Traditional Assignment: Students create a 5 paragraph essay
      • Modified Assignment: Students take the main focus of each paragraph and create a 5-minute audio recording that covers each of the topics.
  • Modification
      • SAMR Definition: Technology allows for a redesign of the original task
      • Traditional Assignment: Students create a 5-paragraph essay that gets saved on paper or on a cloud-based hard drive.
      • Modified Assignment: Students create audio content that is then distributed through an RSS feed, or shared via Social Media.
  • Redefinition
    • SAMR Definition: Technology creates a new task that was previously not possible
    • Traditional Assignment: Students create a 5-paragraph essay that gets saved on paper or on a cloud-based hard drive.
    • Modified Assignment: Students create a project using video and audio that is distributed through Social Media or YouTube that engages an audience through comments to create a social forum.

Podcasting through Bloom’s Taxonomy

Unlike the SAMR model, Bloom’s should be thought of in a linear fashion.  

  • Remembering
      • Students learn how to bookmark podcasts on iTunes or create playlists using YouTube.
  • Understanding
      • Classrooms can create an account on iTunes or YouTube and use various audio and video shows as learning materials during lessons and classroom activities.
  • Applying
      • Students create audio/video projects and share them with each other so everyone learns from each other.
  • Analyzing
      • Student created audio/video projects are shared with others in the school.  At the end of the projects is a question that leads to community involvement and engagement.  
  • Evaluating
      • Instead of a traditional writing assignment, students are asked to create a video demonstrating a curricular concept.
  • Creating
    • Students create a blog that involves both written, visual, or audio content.

Additional Resources and Classroom Podcasting Ideas

Is Podcasting Right for Your Classroom?

Throughout the summer, we will be taking a look at various types of projects you can create using audio and video along with providing recommendations on some of the free and paid apps that are out there for your school district's learning platform.  To keep up with all of the great content, please sign up for the TeacherCast Insiders Program by leaving your name and email below.  I promise I won't spam more than once a week.

How are you using audio and video podcasts in your classroom?

We are interested in learning how you and your students are using Podcasts in your classroom.  Do you have your students creating audio and video content or are you using content from iTunes and YouTube as teaching materials in your lessons?

We would love to have you leave a comment below to share your story with us.

For additional Information, please visit www.EducationalPodcasting.com.

About the author, Jeffrey Bradbury

Jeff Bradbury, creator of TeacherCast, and father of the famous @EduTriplets Thanks for checking out TeacherCast today. Please take a moment to find me on all of my Social Media channels!

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