Saturday, 8 August 2009

Podcasts - Learning Engagement?

Hello again,

Podcasting has become a great tool that can be incorporated into the classroom. The Learning Manager needs to understand how to effectively use it as a pedagogical approach.

After downloading iTunes, I was searching for podcasts that I could download and use within the classroom for my students. I came across ‘Podkids Australia’ (Orange Grove Primary School, 2009). I Internet searched this name and it led me to their homepage. Year 4/5 students in Western Australia have created this podcast to document their learning journey. Even though I teach a Prep class, I considered how this podcast could be used for children in an older age group. For example, one of the podcasts is on ANZAC Day. The children have interviewed war veterans and commented on the ceremony that was held at their school. This use of this podcast could be at a variety of times during ANZAC Day discussions. The Learning Manager could play it for the students to analyse perspectives of the war veterans. This activity could be used in a lesson that is targeting complex reasoning (Marzano, et al., 1997).

Podcasts can be used within the classroom in the following ways. Students and teachers can create their own materials then record and upload it, or existing files can be downloaded through the use of a program such as iTunes.

Podcasts allows students to create and share learning experiences. It allows them to be exposed to a variety of material from around the world. This style of learning creates meaningful and authentic assessment options for the Learning Manager (Department of Education and Training Western Australia, 2009).

The flexibility of this technology allows students to access the material from the Learning Manager and listen whenever they wish, generally through the use of an mp3 player. This mode of delivery promotes podcasting as a valuable pedagogical approach (Department of Education and Training Western Australia, 2009).

This educational tool aligns with the Learning Engagement Theory (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). This theory promotes human interaction, rather than individual interaction with a computer program. Therefore, the use of podcasting can be viewed through the Relate-Create-Donate approach. The use of podcasts in this theory is documented below.

Relate – Students work collaboratively and focus on effective communication, planning and social skills.

Create – Students create their podcast as an authentic assessment task. This could be demonstrated by role-playing an interview based upon a problem that has been identified within their community.

Donate – Students are given the opportunity to publish and share their podcast as a solution for a problem identified in the ‘create' phase.

As shown above, this e-learning tool can be used within the classroom. Again, it is the responsibility of the Learning Manager to equip themselves with the skills and acquire the appropriate technology to implement this approach into the classroom. Personally, I think that it is a worthwhile tool, as many students have access to technology such as an mp3 player. It is the role of the Learning Manager to ensure that all students are able to access the podcast and to cater for student diversity where appropriate.



Department of Education and Training Western Australia. (2009). Retrieved August 8, 2009, from Podcasts in the Classroom:

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory:. Retrieved July 10, 2009, from

Marzano, R., Pickering, D., Arredondo, D., Blackburn, G., Brandt, R., Mofett, C., et al. (1997). Dimensions of Learning: Teacher's Manuel. Colorado, USA: Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory.

Orange Grove Primary School. (2009). Podkids Australia. Retrieved August 8, 2009, from

No comments:

Post a Comment