Rethinking podcasting

Posted: February 10, 2007 in Reflection

As I have been thinking this afternoon about my ideas for using podcasts, I wonder if I’m not misusing the technology.  What is the sense of using new technology to do the same old things?  Is it better to do that than not to use technology at all?  Am I setting us all up to be bored with the new technology before we ever begin?

That is a problem I had when I began trying to get my students to blog.  I didn’t know how to create new kinds of assignments and tried to have them do what they always did; the only difference was the format.  They were bored and it didn’t really work.  I have tried to do different things with wikis, and that seems to be going pretty well.  I am approaching blogging differently this semester, too, and it is going better, although we are off to a really slow start.

I  want to think about this more.  It was hard to overcome students’ negative experiences with blogging, and I don’t want to have to do that with podcasting, too!

  1. I think you make a very important point here. It doesn’t make sense to replicate what has been done or what can be done in a traditional way. However, I think that the uniqueness of podcasting lies in the fact that it can help students to develop their voices. Instead of listening to the teacher, they become the teachers (podcast producers) who have to use their creativity and skills to create interesting and valuable shows for others. There is a greater sense of accomplishments and also of responsibility. Also, it’s the end of passive learning.

  2. John says:

    You certainly hit the nail on the head with this post. I think my first experience with blogging was like yours. “Why are we doing this teacher? Can’t we just write it on paper?” That is why I haven’t tried podcasting yet. I want to, but I need an entry point that makes sense to me and will to the students. I want it to be fun and exciting and not just another way of putting old wine into new bottles.

  3. I think it’s so important to have made your own experiences with the ‘tool’, whatever it is, before implementing it in the classroom for this very reason. I would greet working together on podcasts much the same way we did on blogs for this very reason. It’s also the reason I haven’t used podcasts yet.

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