The proposal about podcasting is good for school
PODCASTING in EDUCATION
In the continuing culture of modernization together with the process of globalization, everything goes digital or technology-based. Perhaps, the rapid growth of technological advancement in the society has brought people so much ease in all the things they do. Undeniably, everything is credited in the apparent advantage of human knowledge and technology. Technology refers to the equipment and techniques that are being used in managing and processing relevant information the most effective way possible ( 1991). It is important for various institutions in the society like the government, economy and businesses – whether small-scale or large-scale, academe and its related fields, and individuals to keep themselves updated to the latest trends so as to keep the competitive value of their products and services as well as their skills in the global market. Technology has always been a major means for creating new physical and human environments. It is possible to ask today whether technology will also destroy the global civilization that human beings have created ( 2000).
Among the numerous and obvious trends that depicts the utilization of technologies is the involvement of its use in improving the traditional operations and machineries of most organizations and at the same time the technical skills of every individuals. These technological advancements have brought people especially those in the business world to utilize a strategy that would be helpful in enhancing the business value of any organization ( 2001). The intricacies of achieving business achievement through increased efficiency and competitiveness, combined with innovative applications of information technology (IT) has heightened the awareness of both IT and business managers towards more strategically oriented approaches for planning and management (1993).
Similarly, learning through performance requires active discovery, analysis, interpretation, problem-solving, memory, and physical activity (2003). The world we live in today and with all the new information and communications technology, it can be said that traditional practices of education particularly in teaching are being replaced with modern alternatives that are perceived to be more convenient and effective. Today, various phenomena affect almost all ways of living present in contemporary societies. It is a universal fact that many everyday chores are becoming more automated. With the commercialism of the Internet and the already wide acceptance and use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) hardware and software, tasks that are difficult and stressful to perform before are now as easy as 1-2-3 or even A-B-C. Proponents of the new technologies boast that these new systems will enable work to become faster and more accurate ( 2002). For many people who have access to websites, it opened a whole world of discovery for them. This is same as true with the process of learning as well as teaching. Now, there are different strategies and technological applications that are integrated in the traditional educational system and among these technological applications is podcasting.
This paper aims to discuss the facts of podcasting as an innovative technology to be integrated in the traditional style of learning (as well as education and teaching) among teachers and students of LIC. Specifically, it tackles how podcasting works and its benefits. Previous research studies and literatures probing the effectiveness of podcasting in education are used to reinforce the possibility and benefits of the process particularly among LIC teachers and students. Similarly, the group also incorporates personal reflection and evaluation of the process especially on the reason why they choose it.
What is Podcasting?
Podcasting is simply a new technology that uses pre-recorded video or audio files delivered to a computer, cell phone or any mobile device. According to (2005), it is considered as the "radio for the people" that provides a "narrowcasting" version of broadcast media. He added that the said technology refers to the automatic downloading of MP3 audio files to a computer and, in most cases, subsequently to a mobile MP3 player. In a white paper of published online by the University of (2006), podcasting is a method of publishing audio files (usually MP3s) to the Web. This is made available by means of subscription and automatic downloading to a personal computer or any technologies that is compatible with the process (e.g. portable MP3 player). The word PODCASTING is a contraction of “iPod” and “broadcasting” (2006) as it combines both.
How does it work?
Today, iPods and podcasting represent a sizzling new use of technology in education (2006). Now, the big question is – how does it work?
It is identified that podcasting (publish/subscribe model of podcasting) involves Internet-based content delivery system or the so-called push technology, wherein information are delivered from a central server to a client computer set preconditioned with the required parameters to allow the transfer. Initially, the information source or the server selects what files are to be offered in a feed (push) and the subscriber chooses among the presented feed channels (pull). All files are required to be available over the Internet and accessible through some known Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) or a general-purpose web address. In general, podcasting is perceived to be similar to the basic procedures involved in any electronic transfer that requires the presence of server and receiver or client (See Appendix A).
Furthermore, podcasting maintains an automatic method in which multimedia computer files are transmitted from a server to a client. The client then “pulls” down XML files containing the Internet addresses of the media files which contain audio or video, as well as images, text, PDF, or any file type. Adapting the layman’s explanation on how a podcast work, (2005) summarized the initial set up for retrieving podcast.
- Install podcatcher, or podcast aggregator, software. This enables you to subscribe to podcasts. Most podcatcher software is free, and versions are available for Mac, Windows, Pocket PC, and Linux platforms. A current list of podcatcher software is available at Podcast Alley.
- Find and subscribe to podcasts by browsing podcast directories such as Podcast Alley, Indie Podder, and Podcast Bunker. Once you find a podcast, cut and paste its URL into the add feed section of your podcatcher software.
- Use the retrieve or download now function of your podcatcher to get the podcast. You can also configure your podcatcher to have it automatically download podcasts periodically.
Correspondingly, both authors also provided a four-step process on how to create a podcast. To quote:
- Use an audio editing program to record your podcast. We use Audacity because it is free and can be used on Mac, Windows, or Linux machines.
- Upload your podcast in MP3 format to a Web server using an FTP program. Be sure to take note of the URL of where your MP3 file is stored.
- Create a Weblog. WordPress, LiveJournal, and Blogger are all free blog services. Once you have created your blog, paste the URL of your MP3 as an entry in your blog. Take note of the URL of your blog.
- Convert your blog URL into an RSS 2.0 feed with enclosures. This is easy with the help of Feed-burner. Once you get to the Web site, enter your blog URL and click "next". Click the "smartcast" option and then click "next". Feedburner will take you through the process of creating an account and deliver your completed podcasting feed. This is the URL you give to friends and register with podcasting directories.
The Benefits of Podcasting
Podcasting has been used primarily for disseminating recorded lectures and discussions (2005). But there are other proven benefits of podcasting in education. Among these are the following:
Ease of use. While every student or youth on this contemporary generation is aware on how technology works, it is recognized that one of the benefits of podcasting especially in education is it s ease of use. (2006) state that the presence of hottest and most discussed new technologies like Apple's iPod make students import, download, sync, share, and stream all kinds of files. Indeed, part of the appeal of podcasting is the ease with which audio content can be created, distributed, and downloaded from the Web. Podcasting offers educators a means to reach learners with a tool that can be much more than a music player (2006). In podcasting, files are audio-based and without graphics or video, so it is like listening to a next-generation cassette recorder (2006). Furthermore, sites such as Yahoo! Podcasts and the Education Podcast Network feature hundreds of education-related podcast programs that are available worldwide.
Cost- and time-effective. Podcasting delivers instruction without compromising learning effectiveness. Because it includes technologies that are readily available among students (e.g. computers and mobile technologies), it is said to be practical (2006; 2005). For instance, in a recent study of students in higher education in the United States ( 2005), 82% owned cell phones while less than 12% owned PDAs. The presence of such technologies specifically the portability of mobile devices enables the student to have immediate and free access to a podcast. (2006) further explicate that mobile media can be just as easily utilized outside of the classroom as they can in it as learners can study or practice manageable chunks of information in any place on their own time, thereby taking advantage of their convenience. Also, Miller (2006) added that it is inexpensive because it uses push-based technologies that send files to individual users.
Other benefits. Podcast is a great way to augment current class instruction. Due to its abundance on the Web, a student is able to access related topics that will help him/her understand the lesson further. Fortunately, this medium has the ability to do more than record potentially monotonous lectures (2005). The presence of videos or images incorporated in a podcast makes the learning experience more entertaining and interesting. For example, podcasting usually integrates audio-dependent courses such as music and foreign languages. In application, music students have used podcasting to listen to, memorize, and critique classical music and eventually to share original musical works. The ability to distribute files in a large number of people is an outstanding feature of podcasting. Like for instance, foreign language teachers have shared native music, literature, and plays through podcasting. Students can also share their projects to co-students and eventually their teachers. Using podcasting technology, students even have an easy, inexpensive, and quick way to communicate with peers across the globe (2005).
Podcasting can improve student achievement like other technologies. Jeanne Halderson, a teacher of young people at School in incorporated podcasting technology to her daily teaching situations (2005). She identified the three C's of teaching: creativity, curiosity, and confidence present in podcasting. Using podcasting, a teacher is able to show his/her creativity in coming up with something unique using the technologies at hand. Because of the unique features of podcasting, the students develop a strong curiosity and free to explore new ways of learning and expression. Certainly, the result of teaching using podcasting technology strengthened and even increased the students' confidence. All in all, (2005) believe that podcasting is a new and rapidly developing technology. Its potential in the classroom is only limited by the resourcefulness and creativity of faculty, students, and administrators.
With the given benefits of podcasting, there are also identified drawbacks that affect its overall applicability such as technical support limitations, copyright issues, bandwidth, Internet connections, production and presentation quality and others.
Why we choose it
We decided to choose podcasting and be implemented to the DeVry Institute of Technology (DIT) – LIC campus because we simply find a strong requirement of implementation and foreseen its potential beneficial consequences. The technology is chosen due to the following reasons:
- Students are experiencing difficulty and problems in understanding some of their lectures. With podcasting, the student will be given a chance to go over the lecture note over and over again and can access related podcasts over the Web that can augment his/her further understanding of the lesson. Time restrictions are eliminated.
- Traditional classroom instruction is deemed to be monotonous and even be boring. Thus, using podcasting technology, students and teachers will change the mainstream learning experience making it more interactive, interesting, and entertaining without sacrificing the absorption of knowledge.
- Since majority of the school’s population are familiar with the technology, podcasting can expand educational options easily. It can provide short lessons, feedback and evaluation of lectures. Also. It is used in different ways like video, audio or mixed (e.g. PowerPoint and audio).
- Podcasting is also inclusive as it encourages students to be participative in the production of podcasts. Now, the production of learning materials are not only limited to teachers as the students are given the chance to develop their creativity and share their personal know-how.
- The technology of podcasting is relatively simple to install and very inexpensive because it does not require costly hardware. Not to mention, its ease of use and mobility is an advantage.
- Lastly, the school needs to integrate podcasting technology to its educational system in order to go with the current trends in education – both teaching and learning. The involvement of students as well as teachers in such technologies develops their skills that will serve as competitive advantage in their future experiences.
To end, (2006) affirm that “as the iPod generation continues to drive market demand for digital media outside of the classroom, educators need to stay up on the latest technology trends”. Even if the school or any other organization is not ready to dive into such technologies, it is important to be prepared to embrace the latest on-demand technology when the right time comes. In the field of education, this is to ensure that the learning curve is navigated as easily as possible by faculty and staff.
How Podcasting Work
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