When I first saw or rather heard Podcasting I was a little confused as I confused Podcasting with Vodcasts. So when I subscribed to a few of the Eductional Podcasts on itunes and listened to a couple of them, I was expecting to actually see the speaker etc. I was a little disappointed but then I thought well yes we could use these in the classroom. These Podcasts could be used as a collaborative or individual interactive learning tool. Connecting an ipod up to several earphones for collaborative learning can encourage students to work together engagingly(Prensky 2005) on a project, with all resources available nearby. This could be a set task of gathering information, answering a key question and following on research from other resources.
These Podcasts could be set up for a variety of learning levels for individual students in the class. For example students who are fast finishers could be working together on a particular project that has been specifically set up for them at a higher learning level and so on. For the Visual Learners (Gardeners Learning Styles 1983) I would be a little concerned, possibly the Learning Design Module (Oliver 1999) or Framework (Kearsley & Shneiderman 1998) would need to be modified to using the podcast as simple higher order questions, and small amounts of information and direction for further research to be found in other resources that would be suitable to their learning style which would ensure their success in completing the task. There is also the possibility of pairing Visual Learners with Audio Learners (Gardener's Learning Styles 1983) for peer learning/teaching. Podcasts in the classroom would need to be engaging and real-world related as Kearsley and Shneiderman (1998) indicate when working with ICTs and ensuring the Authentic tasks are engaging with a problem -based learning approach. This would also work for the younger grades also, or a book reading could be possible, with a task set out for drawing /creating the pictures to the story or a music podcast for these grades used with other resources could also be a engaging effective teaching tool.
Gardener, H. (1983). Howard Gardener's multiple intelligences. Retrieved August 18, from, http://www.businessballs.com/howardgardenermultipleintelligences.htm
Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory. Retrieved August 18, from, http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for on-line teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254.
Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved August 18, from,http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0553.pdf